Acer today signaled a significant change in the approach the company will be taking to the ICT Industry. The new vision will enable Acer customers to seamlessly integrate their PC and mobile devices for accessing data, anytime, anywhere, through Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC). Acer will also enhance its own designed apps for BYOC to improve the customer experience. This vision sets a new milestone for Acer to transform from a hardware company into a "hardware + software + services" player as it prepares to embrace new opportunities in the era of cloud technology.
Acer Chairman and CEO Stan Shih said, "We are embarking on this transformation based on our existing core capabilities. On the one hand, with our PC and mobile devices we have sufficient strength and scale. In addition, more than a decade ago, Acer announced the BC (Basic Computer) and XC (Specific Usage Computing) concepts, as well as the Mega Infrastructure, Micro Services idea to launch e-services; so it can be said we have already sown the seeds for cloud technology long ago. This was further developed two years ago when we acquired iGware (renamed Acer Cloud Technologies Inc., 'ACTI') to focus on developing the cloud business."
Acer will combine its strength and scale in PCs with the foundations and core competence in cloud technology, to become a hardware plus software and services company. In the future all Acer PC and mobile products will be designed in line with this vision, allowing users to build their own cloud on Acer devices.
The cloud concept was in fact raised by Acer more than a decade ago. Through its eData Center (eDC) business, Acer accumulated the technology and experience in information security and established its core cloud competencies. In the last two years Acer developed AcerCloud and apps, while ACTI built up a reliable technology for managing the application platform.
BYOC services are provided through apps; Acer will therefore continue to enhance the content services of existing apps. In the past Acer only sold hardware, which meant that after the sales transaction the service provided by Acer was limited. In the future, the sale of an Acer notebook, tablet or smartphone will be just the start of an experience which offers enhancements and services through BYOC. Thus, BYOC will be the bridge to Acer's transformation into a hardware, plus software and services company.
This means that Acer will in the future provide software and services to consumers and enable them to build their own cloud on their devices, such as music, photos and other types of clouds. These self-built clouds, based on an Acer Open Platform, are reliable, easy to use and can be shared anytime, anywhere. In the future PCs with cloud will be more convenient to use and customers can expect more and even better services to come.
Shih explained, "BYOC represents Acer's vision to win in the era of cloud services. Built on an open platform, our cloud technology follows the Wangdao mindset to focus on innovative applications for a higher quality of life, and to create value with all stakeholders and share the benefits with them. Acer will strive to strengthen core competencies to create value and to construct a mechanism to balance all interests."
While the growth of the PC market is limited, the annual global market for PCs and other mobile devices still has a significant scale. As PC and mobile devices will fortify the foundations of cloud services, Acer can remain one of the key members of this industry. And by moving forward towards providing cloud services, Acer will both enhance and subsequently boost the competitiveness of its existing operations.
The consensus for Acer's new vision was reached after two days of meetings with 40 global executives, and takes into full consideration of the feasibility and Acer's execution capabilities. In addition, Acer communicated this vision at an assembly of managers on December 17, describing the vision for change, for a wider consensus.