Table Speech

Initiation Speech

April 28, 2010

Mr. Hajime Takayanagi
Mr. Kinichi Hiramoto

Initiation Speech

Mr. Hajime Takayanagi
President, High Availability Systems Co., Ltd.

History of Computers and the Information Society

 It is said that computers brought about the greatest industrial revolution in the 20th century. Yet, it has a relatively short history of a little more than half a century, as the first computer “ENIAC” (electronic numerical integrator and computer) was developed in 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania, a huge calculator containing 18,000 vacuum tubes. Five years later, the first commercial-use computer was introduced in the USA for the national census, marking the start of computer industry. In 1964, IBM launched the revolutionary System/360, the third generation computer using integrated circuit with an innovative architecture, making it the market leader. Around this time, computers came to be used for data communication, bringing the new domain of on-line system. Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 marked the first instance of epoch-making real-time data processing in Japan, and since then domestic computer manufacturers expanded rapidly.

 The computer industry has flourished and enjoyed its golden age, regardless of the world business conditions. Yet, it experienced the first and sudden slump in 1985, as a result of shift to the so-called “downsizing” to general-purpose minicomputers or workstations. Computer manufacturers made a drastic change to their business models accordingly, from the hardware business to service business, which accounts for the majority of sales today. Innovation in semiconductor technology brought the era of personal computers.

 IBM released personal computers in 1981 and enjoyed top share in the market. IBM consigned microprocessor development to Intel and core software development to Microsoft, which allowed equipment manufacturers to set up assembly plants in low-cost South East Asian countries to manufacture compatible PCs of the top brands in the market.

 Global network through Internet, or what is called the “dinosaur appeared at the end of the 20th century,” now covers 1.6 billion people around the world, or nearly 25% of the total world population. As a result, new companies utilizing internet have come into business one after another. They are the so-called “dot-com companies.”

 As we entered the 21st century, mobile phones have started to function as terminals with internet connection. It is said that total shipments of mobile phone reached 1.1 billion units last year. It is no exaggeration to say that diffusion among people in their 20s and 30s is almost 100%. I am sure mobile phones are considered essential for daily life among young Japanese today, and I foresee they will gain wider usage when they can be used as information terminals or for electronic transfers of money.

 I also think further progress in networking cultures will herald the arrival of a new information society in the near future.

Initiation Speech

Mr. Kinichi Hiramoto
Chairman, SysproCatena Corporation

Social Action Programs Utilizing Information Technology

 Our company group has been engaged in various social action programs to assist the socially disadvantaged through utilizing IT for over 20 years.

 The first program was establishing the special subsidiary in 1986, to promote employment of the disabled, based on the “Handicapped Persons’ Employment Promotion Act.” This model enterprise, jointly financed by the public and private sectors, currently employs 21 people with disability.

 Our second program also assists the disabled through purchasing handicrafts made by them at welfare factories and giving them to our 5,000 shareholders once a year as hospitality gifts. This 15-year-activity has been much appreciated by the disabled and the people concerned.

 Our third program assists home-based employment of single mothers. We established a secure network of “VPN remote image entry system,” which enabled mothers to work on data-entry anytime they wanted at home. Today nearly 700 mothers are registered and almost half of them are engaged in monthly operation. This program was granted the Director-General Award by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2007.

 Now let me elaborate on our first program, the special subsidiary to promote employment of the disabled, to which we put utmost priority.
This special subsidiary was established in 1986 and was jointly financed by our company (51%) and the Tokyo Metropolis (49%), with a model enterprise accreditation to “employ the seriously handicapped.” Today we employ all of the 21 disabled people as permanent employees, of which 14 are seriously handicapped. The disabled staffs are mostly engaged in IT service business, with over 50% in “data-entry,” while the rest work for “software development,” “scanner operator” and “computer operator.” Their terms of service are quite long; 70% of them have been working over 15 years. 4 of them with extensive experiences and skills were promoted as supervisors, and are proving equally competent to able-bodied staffs. They are important assets of our company.

 Sales in the first term of our 25-year-old special subsidiary have exceeded 2 billion yen and the business has shown promising growth. Yet the greatest challenge we are facing now is how to secure adequate amount of work suitable for the disabled, especially data-entry.

 I assume government offices have extensive amounts of data-entry work, yet the law stipulates contracts with central or local government offices must go through general competitive bidding. Major companies join the bidding, making it harder for us to get orders at reasonable prices.

 It is our sincere wish that governmental or extra-governmental offices separate 10% or 20% of their orders as “preferred orders” and allocate them to companies undertaking activities that match their policy objectives. We are determined to do our best and continue supporting the socially disadvantaged.