Today we attended a press event in Taipei where Acer launched their new cloud eco-system called BYOC, or ‘Build Your Own Cloud’, a flexible, secure an open platform that promises to redefine the connected world for businesses and individuals.
With new senior management in place earlier this year, Acer is now realigning itself as a company, becoming a ‘Hardware + Software + Services’ provider. One very large part of this transition is BYOC, a cloud eco-system that spans a broad range of services for both consumers and enterprise customers. This is a highly ambitious move from an Acer that has struggled to meet shareholder expectations in recent quarters as a purely hardware focused vendor.
abAPPs for Consumers
With BYOC, end-users can enjoy cloud services to store, sync and share personal data like photos, video, music and documents across several devices.
abApps are basically a suite of Apps that allow consumers to use their own PC as a personal cloud accessing data easily across Windows, Android and iOS platforms. abApps include abFiles for simple file access from your PC to any other device, abPhoto for photos, abDocs for Office documents and abMusic for your music collection.
At the core of the abApps suite is the BYOC concept of building your own personal cloud that includes your devices, your PC and cloud based storage services – it’s all about flexible, secure, convenient access to your digital data.
BYOC for Business
Enterprise and business customers can also take advantage of a more flexible cloud service that the company says will offer improved customer intimacy, without invading personal privacy. Acer is motivated by a future were growth in the area of the ‘Internet of Things’ means much more personal data regarding people’s everyday lives. Soon all data related to exercise routines, geographical movement, dietary habits, app usage and even automotive data will be stored on the cloud.
In both consumer and business instances Acer are positioning themselves as a flexible enterprise cloud solution that also addresses privacy and security concerns, with a more anonymous, flexible and closed box approach to cloud storage.
AOP – Acer Open Platform
At the heart of BYOC we have the Acer Open Platform which the company hopes will help hardware and software developers build their own apps based on the AOP for better scalability, reliability and security. In terms of flexibility, Acer is talking about cross-platform, cross-device and cross network cloud services. So, as with the consumer model, companies have much more flexibility regarding how and where the data is stored. AOP supports Windows desktop, Windows 8 UI, Android, iOS and Linux.
Acer showcased a number of partners from healthcare, digital home and automotive industries, most notably Advanced Telematic Systems who demoed a system where users program a set of car keys to include personal info, travel routes, music preferences and more.
Competition in the Cloud
Essentially Acer is offering an alternative cloud eco-system to Google, Microsoft and Apple which promises to be more flexible about where the data is stored. Acer is backed by a well developed and mature data center of its own, which we were fortunate enough to see today also, but their approach is not about selling you server space, it is about building your own cloud eco-system using their own Apps and services.