Acer Looks to Cloud to Offset Slowing PC Sales
Selling software and services will help keep Acer more engaged with its customers after selling a device. With the new offerings, selling a notebook, tablet or smartphone will only be the beginning of the customer engagement, officials said. Acer—like rivals such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell—has been hit hard by the slowdown in PC sales worldwide over the past couple of years. However, the market for PCs plus mobile devices is strong, and those devices will form the foundation for the company's cloud efforts, officials said. "BYOC represents Acer's vision to win in the era of cloud services," Shih said. "Built on an open platform, our cloud technology follows the [Chinese philosophy] 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." The idea for BYOC came after two days of meeting with 40 executives, and fits in well with what Acer is looking to achieve through its restructuring efforts, officials said. It wasn't that long ago when Acer officials expected netbook sales to propel it to greater heights in the larger PC market, enabling the company to challenge HP and Dell. However, the PC slowdown, fueled by the rise in popularity of tablets and smartphones, has been difficult on Acer. Most recently, Acer's third-quarter revenues fell 11.8 percent—to $2.11 billion—from the same period in 2012, while losses grew to $86.61 million.Acer's restructuring plan calls for cutting its workforce by 7 percent to save $100 million in expenses. The company also will shed some products as it looks to streamline its portfolio.
After releasing those financial numbers last month, Acer announced that T.J. Wang was resigning as chairman and CEO, and would be replaced by President Jim Wong. However, within two weeks, Wong resigned, and eventually was replaced by Shih.