Acer expands into telephoning networking equipment

For a company once devoted to consumer PCs, the product is a bit out of left field, but Acer announced an upcoming telephoning and chatting system meant for enterprises, at a time when the company is diversifying its business.

To develop the system, which was announced Tuesday, Acer has partnered with Taipei-based Octon, a maker of communication products for businesses. Called, abPBX plus, the system includes switchboard functions, instant messaging and video conferencing, and can also be used with smartphones. Acer is marketing it as a way for enterprise users to save money and improve communication between employees.

The Taiwanese company has been struggling to revive its earnings, as PC demand has fallen. But starting last December, Acer switched gears, focusing more on cloud computing products targeting both consumers and enterprises.

By partnering with Octon, Acer said it wanted to bring its cloud computing services into the telecommunication realm. The two companies plan to develop Internet Protocol and Software Defined Network telecommunication models built over a cloud platform, Acer co-founder Stan Shih said in a statement.

The first products to come from Acer’s partnership with Octon will arrive early next year.

Acer is holding a forum Wednesday in Taipei to help attract more partners to the company’s cloud computing projects. In May, Acer announced it has partnered with over a dozen companies.

Although Acer isn’t known as a big player in the enterprise market, the company completed its own data center to offer customer services back in 2001. It’s hoping to target certain verticals, such as connected home devices and smart cars, as a way to expand its cloud business.

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