Press release

Pendo Opens Tokyo Office, Releases Report on Digital Transformation in Japan

Pendo research suggests Japanese product teams are well positioned to help lead their companies through DX. 

TOKYO, JAPAN—MARCH 2, 2021—Pendo, a platform that accelerates successful product adoption, today announced its expansion into Japan, with leadership and growth plans in place to help Japanese companies initiate or accelerate digital transformation. The company also released findings from its first State of Product Leadership survey focused on the role of product management teams in Japan’s digital economy.

Since its founding in 2013, Pendo has provided digital product teams tools and education they need to do their jobs. With its combination of product analytics, in-app guidance and product planning and feedback tools, Pendo helps product teams automate user onboarding, education and support, launch new products and features, measure user sentiment, and accelerate software usage and adoption, all without requiring engineering resources. Pendo enters Japan at an opportune time, enabling Japanese companies to deliver better digital experiences for their customers and employees. 

Leading Pendo Japan is Country Manager Kiyo Takayama, who most recently served as vice president of channel sales, public sector and finance sales at Box Japan. Takayama brings over 23 years of enterprise software experience to Pendo, helping global brands like Adobe (Omniture), Cloudera and Box drive demand and interest in Japan. Takayama will build a team of more than 20 people over the next two years, in roles spanning sales, marketing, customer success and technical support. Pendo Japan is headquartered in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

“There are dramatic shifts taking place in the Japanese IT market as more companies acquire SaaS tools to improve efficiency and traditional enterprises introduce new digital business models,” said Kiyo Takayama, general manager of Pendo Japan. “As DX picks up speed in Japan, it’s never been more important to understand users and ensure they can use software tools quickly and successfully. I’m excited to help Japanese companies improve adoption of their products, increasing employee productivity and customer satisfaction.”

Takayama and team will borrow from Pendo’s playbook in other global markets, supporting the Japanese product community through sponsored events, training and educational content aimed to help companies adopt a product-led strategy. That includes the new report, which revealed these findings:

  • Product-led is an emerging theme in Japan, with 51 percent of respondents in the IT/software sector and 43 percent of those in traditional enterprises reporting they are part of a product-led organization. Product-led companies put the product at the center of the customer experience, an approach crucial for speed and efficiency in digital transformation.
  • Yet, just 25% of respondents said they play a role in their company’s digital transformation initiatives, compared to 75% of respondents to Pendo’s larger global study. The report suggests that Japanese companies invest in centralized product leadership to help drive their digital transformation efforts forward. 
  • Japanese product leaders also said they aren’t accountable for driving software adoption, a key responsibility of product teams in other parts of the world. Only 13% felt responsible for digital adoption, compared to 80% of product leaders in the larger global survey. A critical consideration for DX is how to accelerate adoption of the software you buy or build.

“Prime Minister Suga has made it clear the time is now for the digitization of Japanese society,” said Todd Olson, CEO and co-founder of Pendo. “Product teams are uniquely positioned to lead Japanese companies through this transformation, but they need a place in the executive ranks to ensure any new software is actually used.”

Today’s announcement comes after Pendo surpassed its annual revenue target, driven by an increase in bookings from traditional enterprises and existing customers. Pendo now counts nearly 2,000 customers, including some of the world’s largest retailers, hospitality companies, banks and educational institutions. The company employs 500 people, with offices in Raleigh, New York, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Herzliya, Israel, and Sheffield, UK.

About the report:

The annual State of Product Leadership survey includes perspectives from organizations and leaders in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. A third party research firm surveyed 202 Japanese respondents—90% in digital product management roles—representing both traditional enterprises and B2B technology startups, companies with revenues less than $25 million up to those with more than $1 billion. Get the full report here.

Über Pendo

Pendo helps people adopt software more quickly and successfully. Pendo customers include the world’s leading software companies and digital enterprises, including Salesforce, Cisco, Trend Micro, RE/MAX, LabCorp, OpenTable, Okta, and Zendesk. Founded by product people in 2013 in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina, Pendo is backed by Battery Ventures, Spark Capital, Meritech Capital and Sapphire Ventures. Through its ProductCraft community, sponsored events and podcast, Pendo aims to support the success of product people everywhere. For more information, visit: