Kubota, Accenture JV for industrial transformation

  • September 6, 2022
  • William Payne

Kubota and Accenture have formed a joint venture company to accelerate digital transformation of Kubota’s business model and operating infrastructure. The transformation will lead to the creation of smart factories across the Kubota group of companies, and the development of smart and precision agriculture technologies in the Group’s agricultural and farming interests.

The new joint venture, Kubota Data Ground, Inc., will begin operations in September 2022. The new company will aim for developments in food production, water, and environmental sustainability. The company will also develop digital human resources and a cloud-based digital platform to strengthen and upgrade existing businesses by connecting internal and external services and data.

Kubota Data Ground will focus on four main initiatives: creating sustainability solutions; promoting business transformation across the Kubota Group; creating digital human resources; and building a cloud based digital transformation platform.

IoT, AI, and cloud technologies will be applied to data on crops and farmland to improve overall productivity in agriculture. In addition, food-related challenges will be a focus, starting with farmers, through the value chain to distributors and consumers.

The company will also promote establishment of smart factories throughout the Group, with a particular focus on data collection from RFID tags and factory based sensors as well as employment of mobile apps by factory based workers.

Kubota Data Ground will build a cloud-based digital transformation platform to share data, including on weather, crop growth, and yields. The platform will be built on Microsoft Azure. The company will also strengthen governance at its 66 global sites and improve global security risk detection.

The new joint venture will create solutions to improve efficiency and extend use-life for pipes, treatment plants, and other urban infrastructure. It will also look to improve disaster resilience with monitoring and management platforms capable of responding to conditions throughout the water supply ecosystem.

It will also create resource recovery solutions that collect and sort waste materials and recycle them into electricity, fertiliser, and valuable metals.

Kubota will employ digital technology to enhance its existing services, improve quality, and promote the efficiency and sophistication of its operations, including the development of a safer working environment.

To promote digital transformation, Kubota Data Ground will train around 1,000 transformation specialists by the end of 2024. It will also hold digital workshops for senior management and educational programmes for all Kubota employees to raise digital literacy across the group. Workshops covering business operations will focus on internal and external digital transformation case studies, providing a practical curriculum that will lead to real-world solutions.

YuDXichi Kitao, president and representative director of Kubota Corporation, said, “Since its foundation, Kubota has been working to solve social issues related to the essential needs of food, water, and the environment. In recent years, food and water shortages, climate change, and other global issues have been presenting increasingly complex and diverse challenges.

Atsushi Egawa, who leads Accenture’s business in Japan, said, “Our goal is to create 360° value for all our stakeholders—our clients, people, shareholders, partners, and communities. Kubota is a leader in addressing global issues in the areas of food, water, and the environment, so this joint venture embodies the combined ambition and philosophy of our two companies. Together we will continue to strive towards a sustainable society by fully leveraging our strengths, including the utilisation of data, cloud, and AI, as well as the development of people who specialise in digital transformation.”