PALO ALTO, Calif. & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pocketalk Corporation (“Pocketalk”), the leading provider of translation solutions, and SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) a Japan-based telecommunications and IT operator, announced they formed a comprehensive strategic alliance on July 25, 2023. Under this partnership, both companies will collaborate in the marketing of “Pocketalk” translation solutions for enterprise customers in Japan and global markets with the aim of further expanding their businesses.
Since its establishment in February 2022, Pocketalk has focused on exploring potential markets both in Japan and globally while strengthening its sales capabilities. In line with its "Beyond Carrier" growth strategy, SoftBank is expanding beyond its core telecommunications business and utilizing advanced technologies such as AI, IoT, and 5G to create new businesses in a wide range of industries and promoting digital transformation (DX). Pocketalk and SoftBank decided to form a comprehensive strategic alliance to collaborate in the expansion of “Pocketalk” solutions sales and deployments, both in Japan and global markets, with the aim of selling one million “Pocketalk” series units in three years.
In response to the accelerating demand for multilingual support and translation solutions in Japan due to the recovery of inbound travel, Pocketalk will join SoftBank's business partner program "ONE SHIP" and work with SoftBank's approximately 3,300 enterprise sales personnel to expand the sales of "Pocketalk" solutions to SoftBank's corporate customers. Furthermore, with the growth of business opportunities with overseas partners in Japan, there is a pressing need for smooth business communications with overseas-based business partners. To meet this need, SoftBank will propose a solution that combines “Pocketalk Simultaneous Translation for Business” with “Zoom”—one of the video communication solutions it offers to corporate customers—to its existing “Zoom” customers. SoftBank has a large base of corporate customers—with transactions with about 93% of major Japan-based companies—and it offers a wide range of services and solutions to them. By offering Pocketalk's business interpretation software and other solutions to its corporate customers, Pocketalk and SoftBank aim to further expand the "Pocketalk" series customer base.
In the global market, Pocketalk and SoftBank will bolster sales expansion by collaborating with SoftBank ‘s major overseas hubs (in 26 locations in 11 countries and regions), to respond to the needs of corporate customers based in North America and Asia. In addition, in collaboration with its partner companies, Pocketalk and SoftBank will focus on developing sales channels to global carriers with large, local customer bases.
In addition, Pocketalk decided to adopt the IoT connections of the German company 1NCE—for which has SoftBank has exclusive distribution rights in 19 countries and regions, including Japan—for "Pocketalk" translation devices with built-in mobile communication functions that can translate 85 languages*, even in places without Wi-Fi. 1NCE-based IoT connections will provide a comfortable communication environment and support smooth communication in various business situations that require multilingual support.
"We are very excited to announce our strategic partnership with SoftBank, and we are extremely pleased that they support our mission to break down language barriers,” said Noriyuki Matsuda, President and CEO of Pocketalk. “Starting with this partnership, we are confident that our efforts to eliminate language barriers will accelerate on a global level. In addition to accelerating our global expansion, we are determined to break down language barriers by meeting the growing demand for translation solutions among businesses."
"We are delighted to announce our partnership with Pocketalk. SoftBank has been actively pursuing its ‘Beyond Carrier’ strategy by expanding into new IT business areas while continuing to sustainably grow its telecommunications business,” said Daichi Nozaki, Senior Vice President, SoftBank Corp. “In our enterprise business, we actively support the digitalization of our corporate and local government customers, and we strive to create new value together. We share Pocketalk’s mission to break down language barriers and will work together to expand the sales of 'Pocketalk' solutions by utilizing both of our strengths."
With the mission to solve communication problems by enabling real-time conversations across language barriers, Pocketalk is set out to transform the way people communicate and connect with each other. SoftBank is committed to supporting its enterprise customers' DX based on its corporate philosophy of “Information Revolution — Happiness for everyone.” In the future, the two companies will work together to expand access to “Pocketalk” solutions around the world to meet the needs of customers on a global scale.
*The devices can translate 74 languages into both audio and text, and 11 languages into text only.
Pocketalk is the global leader in connecting the world and facilitating conversation through the only translation solutions on the market that enable an authentic communication experience. Pocketalk, which is HIPAA and GDPR compliant, connects people of all backgrounds through language translation — fast, easy and most importantly, accurate translation. Developed, manufactured and distributed by Sourcenext, the largest distributor and creator of software, hardware, and IoT products in Japan, Pocketalk officially launched in the U.S. in 2018 with headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. The company offers translation solutions through the handheld Pocketalk collection, cloud-based Pocketalk App, and enterprise solutions including Ventana. The two-way translation solutions can translate 84+ languages and be utilized anywhere in the world with an internet or data connection. To find more information or purchase Pocketalk, visit Pocketalk.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to stay in touch with our latest updates.
About SoftBank Corp.
Guided by the SoftBank Group’s corporate philosophy, “Information Revolution – Happiness for everyone,” SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) operates telecommunications and IT businesses in Japan and globally. In the fiscal year ended March 2023, SoftBank Corp. registered 5,912.0 billion yen of revenue, 1,060.2 billion yen of operating income and 531.4 billion yen of net income. SoftBank Corp. has 40 million mobile subscribers in Japan, and through its group companies PayPay Corporation, Yahoo Japan Corporation and LINE Corporation, 57 million smartphone payment users, 85 million online media users and 95 million communication app users, respectively (as of May 10, 2023). Building on its strong business foundation and compelling number of customer touchpoints, SoftBank Corp. is expanding into non-telecom fields in line with its “Beyond Carrier” growth strategy while further growing its telecom business. Also, by fully harnessing the power of AI, 5G/6G, IoT, Digital Twin, Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) solutions, including High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS)-based stratospheric telecommunications, and other advanced technologies, SoftBank Corp. aims to be “a company that provides next-generation social infrastructure essential to the development of a digital society.” In recognition of its ESG initiatives, SoftBank Corp. was selected for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index 2022, FTSE4Good, 2023 Constituent MSCI Japan ESG Select Leaders Index and Empowering Women Index, and other leading global ESG investments indices. To learn more, please visit https://www.softbank.jp/en/
About “Pocketalk” AI Interpreter Devices
"Pocketalk" AI interpreter devices allow people who cannot speak each other's language to have conversations in their respective native languages. The devices can translate 74 languages into both audio and text, and 11 languages into text only. They feature high translation accuracy using the latest and most optimal engines and AI on the cloud and can also translate long sentences. The devices have built-in mobile communication functions that can be used even in more than 130 countries and regions around the world (141 countries and regions with "Pocketalk S" and 139 countries and regions with "Pocketalk W"), even where there is no Wi-Fi. They can be used without contracts or communication fees (for two years) upon purchase.
The "Pocketalk" series (including the first generation "Pocketalk W," "Pocketalk S," and "Pocketalk S Plus") has shipped more than one million units (excluding samples, etc.) as of December 2022 since launch in December 2017. For more information, please visit https://pocketalk.jp/ (in Japanese).
About “Pocketalk Simultaneous Translation for Business”
"Pocketalk Simultaneous Translation for Business" is software that allows real-time understanding of the speech of others in 10 languages (English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian) through voice and subtitles in 73 languages, as if having a dedicated simultaneous interpreter. Another major feature of the software is that it can be used for in person meetings, not just online. This product builds on a previous feature that was realized with the subtitling function of a previous Pocketalk product, which translates remote meeting conversations and displays subtitles on-screen.
For more information, please visit https://pocketalk.jp/forbusiness/livetranslation/ (in Japanese).
1NCE is a provider of IoT-based communications and software, and offers them globally at a flat rate. 1NCE provides high-speed, secure, and reliable communication services and software in more than 150 countries and regions. The "1NCE IoT Flat Rate" is designed to be available for the lifespan of IoT devices and can be used for applications such as smart devices, asset tracking, and telematics.
For more information, please visit https://tm.softbank.jp/business/1nce/ (in Japanese).
About Business Partnership Program “ONE SHIP”
"ONE SHIP" is SoftBank’s new partner program created with the aim of co-creating an Information Revolution platform with companies that possess sophisticated technologies and strong track records in various business domains. Through the development and provision of next-generation services for enterprises in areas such as AI, robotics, cloud, security, IoT, RPA, among others, and through the promotion of DX in every industry, ONE SHIP strives to enable the Information Revolution.
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