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News from Japan: Sayonara to 2020

The coming 2021 is the Year of the Ox ? (or cow ?, in Japan, because the character 牛 [ushi] is the same). Oxen and cows are known for diligence and persistence. Moving forward despite hardship. And 2020’s certainly had a lot of hardship on our planet.

But we must keep taking steps.

Digital transformation (DX) received a massive tailwind and here in Japan, we’ve been working with that momentum.

Sansan users on the English side, as well as the Japanese side, have seen new ideas like Virtual Cards and integrating online meetings become central. Progress. Steady progress. Persistent hard work… ?, ?

Annual Shrine Visit and Business Card Offering (mostly online this year)

The Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo

Business card exchange is the DNA of Sansan contact management. Whether in-person or online, exchange of business cards is tangible proof that two people have met.

To give gratitude for a year of such blessed encounters, we held a business card offering festival (meishi osame matsuri) online on December 16 to dedicate business cards in the Japanese tradition of making an offering at a shrine.

This is the 5th time we’ve held this annual event, though the first time for it to be online.

Such is 2020.

The business cards were dedicated at Kanda Myojin, a glorious shrine in the heart of Tokyo’s Otemachi business district. This was broadcast live online and made news as well (see Japanese media story here).

Compared with previous years, where many sat side-by-side, our lone representative attended on behalf of Sansan and kept a safe distance.

Such is 2020.

We hope for good fortune and health for all in the coming year.

Business Encounter Survey Finds Big Push for How We Value Human Connections in 2020

Sansan conducted a questionnaire survey among Japanese businesspeople to find out how they met/encountered others in business this year.

Among the key findings from respondents, 54.5% agreed with the statement, “It became difficult to meet new people outside the company, which hindered my work.”

Also, 64.2% reported, “It’s difficult to communicate and build relationships with other people because of the increase in online encounters.”

“I feel that new encounters and connections with people in business are more important than before” was 73.0%

We might say a takeaway is that, despite our hardships in 2020, we (1) saw a drastic change in how we interact and (2) strongly recognize the importance of connecting with one another.In every cloud, there’s a silver lining.

The survey is reported here (in Japanese).

Sansan’s Business Encounter Research Group Releases Powerful OCR Engine

DSOC OCR has now been released. This is the unique optical character recognition (OCR) engine created by our research and data management arm, DSOC. This OCR engine, which specialized toward recognizing and processing business cards, can digitize email addresses with 99.7% accuracy.

As with all of DSOC’s status quo-busting research and output, we’ll aim to apply this to other products and services in the growing Sansan lineup.

Now back to work!

Details are in Japanese here.

Steady progress, persistence, diligence, as we move into 2021! ?, ?

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