By Hayato Koeda 

At the end of May, DocuSign Chairman Keith Krach gave the keynote speech at the Global Digital Summit in Tokyo on “Accelerating the Digital Transformation Around the Globe.” The Summit was hosted by Nikkei and Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. It was attended by government officials and top industry executives.

Keith’s presentation focused on three key areas:

  1. The state of the digital transformation globally and in Japan,
  1. DocuSign’s role as a catalyst for the digital transformation, and
  1. The five universal principles for accelerating a digital transformation.

Keith recognized that digital transformation has emerged as a national imperative in Japan. Currently, Japan has the second largest amount of paper per capita in the world. The government has been searching for ways to increase office workers’ efficiency so they can devote more time to caring for the rapidly increasing elderly population. One change that would dramatically increase their productivity is significantly reducing paperwork.

After Keith and I spent time with government officials, the Japanese government came to view Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and eSignature as a strategic catalyst for their digital transformation. Japanese Ministries then gave us invaluable advice and support for bringing our solution to market, aiding their fight in the war on paper.

Keith also described DocuSign’s partnership with Shachihata, the issuer of the Hanko in Japan, to develop the eHanko: a customized digital stamp integrated into DocuSign’s DTM platform. Masayoshi Funahashi, the President of Shachihata, said, “Shachihata and DocuSign’s jointly developed eHanko is replacing the need for the physical Hanko. Our eHanko is now becoming the trusted standard in Japan for speed, efficiency, and security.”

Keith went on to discuss the five digital transformational imperatives: leadership, technology, mindset, trust and speed.  

5 Transformation Imperatives 


  • Communicate challenges
  • Challenge the status quo
  • Inspire a shared vision


  • Use as a catalyst
  • Model the way
  • Align tightly with partners


  • Simplify – get rid of paper
  • Quick wins – momentum
  • Learn form everyone


  • Basis of every relationship
  • Essential for employees, partners, and shareholders
  • xDTM  – the standard for trust


  • New currency in business
  • Ultimate goal – satisfy customers fast
  • Fast eat the slow, not big eat the small

Keith used the example of DocuSign’s recent strategic partnership announcement with Deutsche Telekom when emphasizing “trust is the basis of every relationship.” He compared the friendship he has forged with Tim Hottges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom and the relationship they observed between Prime Minister Abe and Chancellor Merkel at CeBit in Germany.

At the VIP reception, Keith thanked Mr. Waichi Sekiguchi, the #1 technology editor in Japan from Nikkei, for inviting him to keynote at the conference.

He then asked everyone who wasn’t a customer to raise their hand. For those who raised their hand, he joked, “I would tell you to fax me your number so I can follow-up, but my fax machine is in an ancient history museum.”

It is always a pleasure to have Chairman Keith join us in Japan. We are excited about the opportunity to drive Japan’s digital transformation. There is no doubt that our country is ready for a dramatic change in an effort to streamline current manual processes and increase office worker productivity. Thank you to all of our customers, partners, friends, and in particular, the Ministries of the Japanese government for all of the advice and support as we roll out the DocuSign Global Trust Network in Japan.

Domo arigato,


As Keith-san always says in Japan, “eHanko and Ikimasho!”

(Just DocuSign and Go!)