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PagerDuty expands Japan presence with joint venture

PagerDuty forms joint venture with Japan Cloud and is eyeing business from financial, telecoms and e-commerce companies as it seeks to grow its footprint in Japan

PagerDuty has formed a joint venture with Japan Cloud to expand its presence in Japan as part of efforts to grow its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new venture, PagerDuty Japan, will be staffed by a local team that will report to Natalie Fair, PagerDuty’s regional lead for Asia-Pacific and Japan. It is actively hiring for in-country sales, support, service, marketing and operations personnel.

Fair said the company has been building up its capabilities out of Australia to serve the Japanese market since 2017, landing notable clients such as Yahoo Japan and NTT DoCoMo.

“When we saw an increase in demand for our platform in Japan, we started to think about having a presence in that country with support services across sales, pre-sales and post sales, as well as a full functioning office based out of Tokyo,” she told Computer Weekly.

Fair attributed the growth in demand for PagerDuty’s cloud-based incident response platform in Japan to the country’s growing adoption of cloud as well as DevOps as more organisations are move from a centralised to decentralised way of working.

Cognizant of the importance of business relationships in Japan, Fair said: “We’re very sympathetic to the ways of doing business in Japan, and we’re able to support that with people on the ground there.

“To date, we’ve done a good job of doing that remotely, but I think nothing can be taken away from having people on the ground in a country where we see an opportunity for us to grow.”

While Japan is home to some of the most digitally mature companies in the world, it has its share of traditional enterprises that are still in the early stages of digital transformation.

Fair said PagerDuty will be targeting banks and financial institutions where the company has seen success, particularly among legacy banks that have started to deliver digital services through mobile apps and digital finance.

The other sweet spots for PagerDuty are telecommunications and e-commerce, where it hopes its platform can help operations teams aggregate signals from different monitoring tools so that they can keep their key services and platforms humming.

Yahoo Japan, which offers e-commerce among other digital services, for example, has been using PagerDuty to proactively manage alerts, relying on the platform’s event intelligence feature to reduce the number of alerts and focus on its core responsibilities.

Next on the cards for Fair’s team is localisation. She said the initial focus will be to localise content for the Japanese market, including production information and security documentation.

In the short term, however, Fair said PagerDuty will not be localising products just yet, “but it is on the roadmap to do it later on”.

“I don’t want to say a certain date at this point in time because it’s something that we are working with our product teams to look at when this will happen,” she added.

On infrastructure investments, Fair said Japanese customers will use the PagerDuty platform hosted out of datacentres in the US and Europe, noting that the company’s initial analysis of the market showed that it does not need to open a datacentre in Japan for now.

“But as we start to get things up and running, and that becomes a requirement, it’s certainly something that we would look at,” she added.

Japan Cloud has a track record of scaling US enterprise software companies in the Japanese market, including Appito, BlackLine, Brze, Coupa, New Relic and WalkMe.

“Digital operations management is critical for Japanese companies as they adapt to an always-on world,” said Aruna Basnayake, CEO of Japan Cloud. “Japan Cloud is thrilled to partner with PagerDuty in scaling their Japan operations and making their digital operations platform a must-have for Japanese companies.”

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