Technology hardware and equipment industry

Technology Hardware and Equipment Industry

1. Abstract

The technology hardware and equipment industry is very lucrative and ever evolving. ACER is one of the biggest players in the industry and has undergone several changes in its 34 years of existence. The rate at which it has been growing is a marvel to many. Its headquarters being in Taiwan which is of no known significance in the committee of big economies and tremendous impact on the global stage from there has made its strategy to be revered. ACER's products are for the cost conscious individuals although they are not known for quality.

This report looks into the several changes that have occurred in ACER and how it dealt with them. It further examines its business strategy and IS strategy. Based on the several analyses made such as, SWOT, Ansoff and PESTLE, recommendations were made and future directions proffered.

2. Introduction

Technology is the application of science to profitable use, which in most cases is solving an industrial problem. However, in modern parlance and to a lay man, technology is a term used to describe equipment or electronic devices for work or leisure. The phrase 'latest technology' is mostly used to describe digital equipment with the most recent mind blowing feature which in most cases become outdated after just a few months or years.

The Technology hardware and equipment market is an ever growing industry with a constant need for expansion due to high demand for technology products. Owing to this, one of the most vibrant sectors in the world's most developed economies is usually the technology hardware and equipment market. Quoted companies in this sector experience high volumes of trade in stock exchanges in these leading economies.

ACER is a company in the technology hardware and equipment industry that has gone through and surmounted many challenges in its 34 years of existence. ACER is the fastest growing among the big computer brands (Woyke 2010). In this report, we are going to look into the background of technology hardware and equipment market, overview and history of ACER, business description and organisational structure. In addition, we will examine the effect of cultural change, IS/IT Strategy and current market strategies Porter's five forces analysis, SWOT analysis, PESTLE and recommendations based on a Ansoff analysis and future directions of ACER.

3. Technology Hardware and equipment Market

Technology hardware and equipment industry is one that influences our daily lives. It is practically unimaginable in the present dynamic and fast pacing society to go a whole day without using equipment from this industry; ranging from mobile phones to PDA's and laptops. Owing to the insatiable wants of humans for a better and easier life, the technology industry is constantly evolving, developing new, more efficient and cost effective ways to deliver equipment to better their lot. Hence, the size of the industry keeps growing and is even in need for more players.

Technology hardware and equipment industry can be defined as a market that deals with electronic equipment and gadgets, computers and their peripherals, communication equipment and other office electronics. The market value reflects end users spending (Datamonitor. 2009a).

Some of the big players in the technology and hardware industry include Hewlett-Packard, International Business Machines corporation, Dell computer (Datamonitor. 2009a)corporation and of course, ACER which is the rising giant.

The computer hardware and peripheral segment is the most lucrative in this industry accounting for about 38.2% of the industry's global value, electronic equipment and instruments, 36.4%, communication equipment, 18.4% and office electronics 7.0%. Figure 1 shows the share of the various devices in the technology hardware and equipment market.

However, due to the recession and hence slashes in IT budgets of several companies in 2009 there was a decline of about 8.1% in the growth rate in this industry. Albeit the economic decline, innovations in technology and the need to upgrade equipment will boost and revive the industry in the nearest future.

Table 1 below shows the annual growth rate of the technology hardware and equipment market. Before the recession, the CAGR was 5.9%, after the recession it slumped to 3.1%. Nonetheless, before then there was an average steady growth rate of about 1.98%, this shows the industry has potential.

Hewlett-Packard company accounts for 5.3% of the global technology hardware and equipment industry's group value (Datamonitor. 2009a).

However, ACER now sells 13.4% of the world's PCs, ahead of Dell's 12.4% but far behind Hewlett-Packard's 21% (Bruce and Tim 2010). The pie chart in figure 2 below shows the market share of IBM, HP, Dell, ACER and others which like apple, nokia, LG, NEC, Sony etc.

In recent times, Asia-Pacific has shown a high demand for technology hardware and equipment. America, the United States in particular has been the world's major consumer and producer of this industry's equipment. Production however, is shifting to the Asia region because of the cheap cost of labour. Europe's share of the market is about 28.79%. The others just trail behind, especially Africa where the illiteracy level is high and therefore the market cannot thrive. Below is a table that shows the global technology hardware and equipment industry group's value.

4. History of ACER

Mr. Stan Shih, together with his wife, Ms. Carolyn Yeh, and five other partners co-founded Acer in 1976. Acer was originally known as Multitech. The company designed Taiwan's first mass produced computer product for export in 1976 and by 1985, the company began its expansion into overseas markets by setting up branch offices in Japan and Germany. Soon after, in 1990, the company acquired Altos, a manufacturer of UNIX computer systems. This was followed, in 1997, by the acquisition of Texas Instruments' mobile computing business.

In 2000, Acer established its design and manufacturing services and Acer brand operations units and separated its original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and branded businesses from these units. In 2007 Acer acquired Gateway, one of the largest PC companies in the USA. In January 2008, Acer's subsidiaries, Acer Europe and Gateway acquired a controlling stake in PB Holding Company, the parent company of Packard Bell. In February 2008, the company announced its intention to launch low cost PCs. In June 2008, Acer launched Aspire one, the company's first Internet device. Aspire one is a communication device designed to provide mobile and wireless experience through continuous access to the Internet. In the next month, the company appointed Hsueh J. Sung to its board of directors. In June 2009, Acer joined Open Handset Alliance, a group of mobile and technology leaders who work towards changing the mobile experience for consumers. Acer also announced plans to launch smart phones based on the Android, an open mobile platform of the alliance, in the fourth quarter of 2009. In the same month, Acer announced plans to launch its first Aspire One net book featuring the Android operating system to offer users wireless internet capability, in the fourth quarter of 2009(Datamonitor. 2009b).

5. Business Description

ACER is committed to developing easy-to-use and dependable products that meet customers' needs at the most affordable rates. Its long-term mission is Breaking the barriers between people and technology through the creation of empowering hardware, software and services (ACER-GROUP 2010a). It offers three main categories of products;

  • computer peripherals
  • personal computers and
  • consumer electronic products

Presently Acer is comprised of four different brands in which its products are sold. They are:

  • Acer
  • Packard Bell
  • eMachine and
  • Gateway.

These four brands produce different types of electronic products with distinguished brand characteristics to meet varying customer needs. The company operates in Taiwan, Europe, Asia, and North America. Its headquarters is in Taipei, Taiwan and employs about 7,000 people (ACER-GROUP 2010a).

ACER is popular for its netbooks and aspire notebooks which are relatively affordable. Its other products include: servers and storage products, mp3 players, monitors etc. Services include business solutions and communication and technology solutions.

Its products are sold by leading retailers, e-tailers and channel partners in Europe, Asia and America.

In the bid to build a global reputation ACER has partnered with many international companies which include; CISCO systems, IBM, Hitachi, Yahoo, General Electric and many other companies. These alliances have helped ACER acquire a number of companies in markets such as Mexico and other developing countries and also introduced ground breaking innovations such as Acer-Hitachi SMS 100, a storage device designed for the needs of SMEs. ACER has helped potential businesses such as Pack OS to grow, and also gotten some patent litigations, that of HP being the most popular.

Below is a diagram showing the market share of ACER and other big players in the world wide notebook market. As seen below ACER's rising profile from 2003 to quarter 1, 2010 has been relatively stable despite the economic down turn in 2009.

5.1 SWOT ANALYSIS

ACER is involved in the manufacturing of electronic hardware. It does the research, design and also distribution of its products. The four strong brands in which ACER operates under gives it versatility and thus an advantage over the other companies in the technology hardware and equipment market. Also, ACER's presence and growth in the net book market makes it a force to reckon with. Nonetheless, strong competition and innovations such as iPad by apple in the note book market could influence its market share and effective performance. The objective of every profit making venture is to get a higher return on investment and to have an edge over its competitors. To achieve this ACER must have a higher patronage from technology hardware consumers.

5.1.1 Strengths

  • Strong corporate culture. The key elements here being it offers a clear corporate vision; it is supported by corporate values consistent with the aims of the company and aligned with the personal values of organization members; a high value is placed on employees at all levels and there is extensive employee interaction across many levels; and the culture is adaptable, adjusting to external conditions, and consistent, treating all employees equally and fairly (El-Nadi 2010).
  • Alliances for potential development. ACER has deals with a number of companies such as CISCO systems, IBM, Hitachi, Yahoo, General Electric etc. With these partnerships ACER has brought about great innovations as well as created room for expansion of its business. In addition, it has helped in building its brand name and put it on a global pedestal. Having acquired Gateway in 2007 and Packard Bell in 2008, there seem to be more prospects in sight for acquisition.
  • Strong financial position. At the moment ACER has consolidated revenue of $5.1 billion for the first quarter of 2010 and operating income of $137.8 million (ACER Group 2010). This gives it the financial backing to implement whatever innovations and ideas to give it an edge over its competitors.
  • Supporting employee participation and ideas. Employees are given the free will to make suggestions and give ideas they think will better a product or yield higher efficiency of the system.

5.1.2 Weaknesses

  • Uniformity in culture and demography across acquired companies. Inducing the ACER corporate culture and values in the acquired companies is tasking and demanding. Since it cuts across several continents with different demographies and cultures ACER may as well allow them to continue if the system is efficient.
  • Managing its growth. Due to the rate at which ACER is growing coordination might seem a little tasking. Looking at the organisational structure in figure 4 although the subsidiaries are semi-autonomous if there is a lawsuit to be attended to in China; it has to go to the corporate headquarters in Taiwan first before it can be tackled.
  • Limited operating income. ACER presently has an operating income of $137.8 million, this is only a fraction of the biggest player in the market HP whose net income for same period is $2.3 billion
  • Dependence on the European market. Bulk of ACERs income comes from Europe especially UK. Between 2007 and 2009, an average of 51% of its revenue came from this region. With the uncertainty of UK's economy, there will be hampering of its forecasts.

5.1.3 Opportunities

  • Economic recovery. Many companies cut their IT budgets in 2009 due to the economic down turn. However, in 2010 the economy has started improving and will likely have an effect on companies which might increase their IT budgets. Hence, there is likely to be a massive purchase of computer hardware.
  • Growing knowledge of IT and internet. The internet has become part of everyday's life. E-commerce and e-tailing have revolutionised the internet and there is a growing need for computer hard wares. Using Nigeria as an example, between 2000 and 2010 the growth of internet users has grown from a meagre 0.1% to about 16% of the population.
  • Growing smart phone market. Today smart phones can be used to do just about anything a PC does. Smart phones can now be used to pay bills and even make purchases.
  • Development of software with varying capabilities. ACER is in a unique position, haven been trusted for relatively cheap and reliable product. This trust can be harnessed by building the required hardware to suit the needs of the latest soft wares such as new operating systems etc at a cheap rate.

5.1.4 Threats

  • Minimal Demand. In the face of economic meltdown there has been a low demand for computer hardware. Improvement of the present situation is still uncertain.
  • New innovations from competitors. The introduction of iPad by Apple might bring about a decrease in the sale of netbooks since it offers virtually everything a netbook has such as wi-fi and much more.
  • Market congestion. There are so many products in the market and competitors are finding better means for distribution of their products. ACER might be forced to further reduce their prices or find a better alternative to compete effectively in the market.
  • Law suits. ACER had about 10 patent law suits from HP. These have long been resolved although it will most likely have an effect on its brand as a copy cat.
  • Exchange rate. ACERs products sells in a number of countries worldwide and thus exchange rates will have an effect on its income and pricings. If the exchange rate does not favour ACER it will record losses.

6. Organisational Structure

According to Mullins (2005), ''structure is the pattern of relationships among positions in the organisation. Structure makes possible the application of the process of management and creates a framework of order and command through which the activities of the organisation can be planned, organised, directed and controlled''. Birkinshaw argues that, ''an organisational structure is meaningless without support of appropriate systems and a consistent culture''.

Being a global organisation, ACER's staffs think entrepreneurially which is a reflection of its founder Stan Shih. Figure 4 shows ACER's structure by work and location. All ACER's subsidiaries are semi-autonomous with collective responsibility which he once described as a ''set of dragons with no leading dragon'' (Parker 2010). Nonetheless, Mullins argues that striking the balance between autonomy and coordination can be very challenging for management since divisions might become too autonomous.

Owing to its channel business approach, continental operations are carried out on a partnership basis with several IT distributors.

Practically, ACER is an internet based organisation (Parker 2010) in other words it uses the IT approach in terms of structure. Hence, it operates what is known as a 'flatter' organisational structure. This has brought about the decentralisation of decision making within ACER. In figure 4 we can see how ACER is divided into Regional Business Units that control operations in particular territories. Within these Regional Business Units there are Strategic business Units that deal with operations on a smaller scale thereby having direct contacts with the customers and attending to their needs.

7. Business Strategy/plan

7.1 ACER's Channel business model

For sustainable global growth, ACER adopted the channel business model in 2003. It is an indirect business model and directly opposite to the hybrid models its competitors use. This model involves collaborating with high profile IT partners and suppliers all over the world to distribute its products while reducing operating cost thereby increasing profitability. ACER works closely with these partners who keep inventory between 6-8 weeks (Center. Hu IT Ltd. 2010). It is like a fast food franchise model where they have both Strategic Business Units (RBUs) and Regional Business Units (RBUs), the production of devices is closer to the market. Since then ACER has risen to become the second largest distributor of notebooks worldwide.

7.2 Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff Matrix will be used to analyse the present business strategy of ACER. Ansoff Matrix is basically a pattern in which a company's growth opportunities are identified by linking its marketing strategies with its core focus. We will be looking at it from two perspectives which are the product and also the market. Below is a table showing a summary of the Ansoff Matrix ideology.

ACER being a global brand deals with markets on virtually all the continents and concentrates on leading countries in information technology. Growth opportunities will be discussed on a global level. Acer's strategic directions for Q2 2010 are;

  1. Innovate to enhance profitability
  2. Break through the bottle neck in china

7.2.1 Market Penetration

Figures 5 shows that between the first quarter of 2009 and that of 2010, there was a 1% rise in the sale of notebooks and netbooks and a significant decrease in the revenue gotten from display screens. It is worthy to note that there was no major change, upgrade or altering of products within this period.

7.2.2 Market Development

Due to the acquisition of Packard Bell and Gateway in 2007 and 2008 respectively, there has been a growing presence of ACER in the US and Pan America as a whole. Figure 6 shows the revenue of ACER in the first quarter of 2010, Pan America makes up about 27% of its total revenue of $ 4,948M

A lower price of netbooks brought about an increase in Asia pacific's response there by increasing the total market share by 2%. This will eventually attract new customers to get the existing products.

7.2.3 Product Development

  • ACER has just introduced a product called Timeline X which is thin and light with a battery power life of about 8 hours.
  • 4 smart phone models with ACER interface have also been launched. They come in different specifications and varying prices. It is the beTouch series, E110 and E400. They are based on the android platform though 1.5 and 2.1 respectively
  • With the 3D craze, in February 2010, ACER officially launched its 3D laptops called Aspire 5738 series. So far customer reviews depict that although it comes at a higher price, its features makes it relatively cheap.

7.2.4 Diversification

  • ACER America designs and markets software solutions to big firms. One of its products is empowerment technology which comes with every ACER system
  • By 2014 ACER plans to be among the top five in the mobile phone industry. Ten smart phones have already been launched using the Microsoft windows mobile software (Woyke 2010).

To enhance its profitability, ACER is committed to;

  1. Doing a thorough research and development in China to get a product that will sell.
  2. Better local sales and induce marketing abilities among in senior management team.
  3. Enhancing its brand by investing in advertising and avoiding patent law suits.

8. ACER's IS STRATEGY/PLAN

Sahai (1999) noted that ''a company's strategies are dependent on market conditions, degree of competition, condition of economy, regulations affecting the industry, its own growth targets and the interactions with its subsidiaries''. Every stage in a company's lifecycle, a different strategy is adopted to suit it. The earlier stages are characterised by innovation and development of the product. In the second stage, the strategies are centred around marketing to gain a higher market share and also return on investment. When balance is achieved, the company's resources will then be focused on subduing competitors. The later stages will then be employed in diversification, expansion, acquisitions, joint ventures etc.

Mullins stated that ''Advances in information technology and the internet means that organisations have to embrace successful e-commerce and e-business strategies''. He further supports that, ''It is an input to business strategy as well as an output''.

8.1 ACER's IT Solutions

Acer uses Triton, which is a self-developed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. With a minimum of internal bureaucratic machinery and a maximum of Internet-based technology, Acer has been able to move quickly, often in a matter of a few weeks, to take advantage of opportunities (Parker 2010). A traditional multinational approach would do the same only after a lengthy process.

  • ACER's website is on for 24 hours a day and has links to its other brands and partners sites to allow consumers shop all day from anywhere in the world, thereby enhancing its global reach in distribution and marketing.
  • The figure below shows the transfer of knowledge and sharing of ideas and resources between the subsidiaries of ACER.
  • ACER's intranet and wide area network (WAN) facilities, facilitates interaction between officials all over the world.
  • E-tailers all over the world do business to business transactions with ACER via its portal.

8.1.2 Impact of information systems strategy

8.1.2.1 Procurement:

Procurement of equipment for SBUs like processors needed to assemble systems is a lot easier and faster since proper inventories are kept by the information systems. When inventory gets to a particular level, more equipment can be ordered via the ACER portal.

8.1.2.2 Product development:

Responses and reviews of products are posted on the website. System developers can use these information to further develop the product.

8.1.2.3 Marketing

Marketing of products is a lot easier with the adoption of IS strategy. Customers can easily compare prices of ACER's products online and confirm how relatively cheap they are and go on to effect payment as well. It has helped in the business-to-customer transactions faster.

8.1.2.4 Sales

ACER has e-tailers all over the world who help in the distribution of its products. Interaction between ACER and its distributors ensure that they don't run out of stuck and ACER does not over produce.

8.1.2.5 Administration

Management can make decisions factually after a proper analysis of the e-business model. It has brought about fewer hassles in sorting out redundant offices due to its rapid expansion and reduction in the number of staff.

8.1.2.6 Technical support

The internet has bridged the gap between technical staff and the customer. Upgrades can be made easily online and other technical help a customer needs can be attended to remotely. Acer unveiled Acer e-Caring Services including an e-Caring Security Operation Service that includes system vulnerability scanning, notification, real-time incident alerts and monthly status reports all delivered in conjunction with channel partners (Burke 2003).

9. CHANGE MANAGEMENT ISSUES

Change is an inescapable part of both social and organisational life (Mullins 2005). Literarily, change management deals with transforming a system, pattern or ideology from a particular state to an envisioned state for desired output or better efficiency in a controlled manner. Change management could be carried out on individuals, teams, departments, divisions and organisations. Cameron and Green 2004, argue that ''no matter the level at which change is effected, the people on the receiving end are individual human beings. It is they who will ultimately cause the change to be a success or a failure, without looking at the implications of change on the individuals we can never really hope to manage large-scale change.''

Pugh (2007), noted that ''the way an organisation approaches strategy is partly dictated by its organisational structure, which is the management's view on many things''.

In its 37 years of existence ACER has been restructured twice, first was in the early 1990s and the second was in 2000. The second change saw ACER integrating all its business units to avoid competition between themselves in the global market and repetition of investment. Acer Group was then divided into three large global business units (GBU); namely, Acer Inc., BenQ, and Wistron (Wang and Ho 2010). Each of them concentrates on different global markets and products. From then on, ACER's organisational structure which is more semi-autonomous has made it deal with organisational change faster than traditional companies that respond bureaucratically (Parker 2010).

All the changes which have occurred in ACER from a team level to the entire organisation have been dealt with in four phases.

1. Set-up phase

  • Staff who will be most affected are told way ahead of time to prepare them
  • Staff affected by the change are involved in the planning process
  • A proper assessment is carried out to find out if ACER is ready for the change
  • Know the skills and technical know-how required to effect the change
  • Set up milestones and deliverables to measure the progress of the change.

2. Kick-off phase

When implementation starts ACER's management;

  • Creates a project management group which takes people's views into consideration
  • Draft out tentative policies and procedures during the change
  • Develop new channels of communication so that rumours are kept to the barest minimum
  • Set-up frequent meetings

3. Delivery phase

In this stage, management;

  • Train people on the new system
  • Staff are further made more responsible
  • Ensure there is an efficient channel for feedback
  • Give adequate room for lapses
  • Expect staff to resist and find means to quell their resistance
  • Monitor the progress made closely

4. Review phase

  • Examine what has been learnt in the process
  • Recognise and reward staffs who have contributed the most in the successful implementation of the process.

9.1 Organisational culture

Mullins (2005) defined organisational culture as, ''the collection of traditions, values, policies, beliefs and attitudes that constitute a pervasive context for everything we do and think in an organisation''. He further stated that culture is reinforced through the system of rites and rituals, patterns of communication, the informal organisation, expected patterns of behaviour and perceptions of the psychological contract. An Organisation's culture in most cases is a reflection of the founding members or leader. We could say it is an organisation's personality.

Suffice it to say that ACER is a global brand and has varying cultures. However, ACER's culture has a Taiwanese root since it started from there. On an individual basis it thrives on mutual respect, cooperation, respect for diversity and treating everyone equally. Nonetheless, as a group ACER reflects the values of its founder Stan Shih who thinks globally, he built the strategy of ACER from inception with an international mindset. ACER has a task culture in which influence is widely spread and based on expert power than position or personal power (Mullins 2005). Unlike hierarchy based companies, being a late comer or employee doesn't mean that you cannot be elevated to the highest position. ACER culture is a baseball team culture (McNamara 2010) which is based on competence hence encouraging positive competition and constant development among its staff.

10. BUSINESS ANALYSIS

We looked at SWOT analysis where we spotted the factors both internal and external that are complimentary and those that adversely affect ACER. Here we will consider the PESTLE analysis which are relatively external to ACER and affects the entire technological hardware and equipment market.

10.1 PESTLE Analysis

This will be limited to ACER's largest source of revenue which is the European market and its smallest source of revenue which is the mainland Chinese market that it is trying to penetrate.

10.1.1 Political

ACER's main source of revenue is the European market. There is an issue of a common European currency. If the present government in the UK adopts the uniform currency and hence other European nations, ACER's revenue will be dependent on the exchange rate of the Euro.

In addition, China's relationship with the U.S. will determine how much of ACER's products from their subsidiaries such as Gateway will be imported into the country. Recently, there have been speculations of China putting a ban on importation of all US technology and products due to series of accusations by the US government of cyber attacks.

10.1.2 Economic

The European economy has been struggling in the recovery process from the global economic meltdown that occurred between 2008/2009. Many countries in the economic and monetary union (EMU) are accused of having unfavourable monetarist policies which has led to Greece requesting for a bailout package. Many other countries in the eurozone might follow suit. Quoted companies on the various stock exchanges are unstable and are adversely affecting ACER's share price.

On the other hand, China is experiencing a boom in its economy and fast becoming the world's largest economic super power. Penetrating the mainland Chinese market will bring about higher revenue.

10.1.3 Sociological

With the advent of social networking sites there has been a growing demand for lighter and more affordable netbooks in the UK. In addition, it is expected by 2012, 40% of the UK population will have access to 40Mbps broadband with the Digital Britain project in which the government is backing.

Also, China telecoms companies are moving into the 4G network which will provide fast internet connections. This is a great opportunity to create models of notebooks and netbooks that will be used on this network.

10.1.4 Technological

The 3D technology is revolutionising entertainment. Without the 3D glasses which to some people can be a burden the image on the screen will be blurred.

10.1.5 Legal

Patent issues have arisen in the past due to negligence or outright ignorance in the industry. This usually amounts to huge settlements.

10.1.6 Environmental

There has been an outcry for the dumping of failing technology in third world countries such as India and Nigeria. Burning of these electronic items releases lead. The lead from these items usually cause health hazards such as cancer. Also it affects plants and increases the toxicity content of the soil (Lead Action News 2010).

11. Future Directions

ACER's future direction is still centred on its main objective which is breaking the divide between people and technology while maintaining global competitiveness.

To achieve this ACER will;

  1. Invest more in research and development for better innovations
  2. Invest in carrying out feasibility studies in China to look for ways and means to harness the market and produce products specifically for China
  3. Train indigenous sales and marketing staff and also management team
  4. Expansion of its channels and getting more partners all over the world
  5. Drawing up better strategies to enhance its multi-brand.

12. Recommendations

In terms of structure being an internet-based organisation, ACER's 'flatter' organisational structure without a defined bureaucratic path might lead to rivalry among staff since everyone is allowed to take decisions. Assuming a secretary takes action on a particular issue which might be assumed to be in the jurisdiction of a manager, the manager might take offence in that.

In addition, ACER should channel most part of its resources into breaking the barrier of penetrating into the Chinese market because of the enormous potential it has. Chinese market has a number of cheap options, for ACER to break through it has to offer additional features in its products at relatively cheaper rates in other markets in the world.

Since it already has a strong footing in Europe, ACER should soft pedal on its distribution and relationship with channel partners because of the uncertain nature of its economy.

13. Conclusion

ACER being the fastest growing technology has undergone two major changes and has risen beyond those challenges. Its change to a channel business approach saw it giving 100% of the distribution of its multi-brand products to channel partners and e-tailers all over the world. Although, it's semi-autonomous approach for its subsidiaries and channels is directly opposite the traditional business approach used by most multi-nationals, it has grown to be one of the largest brands, only second to HP. ACER is not fazed by its headquarters being in Taiwan as opposed to its competitors who have headquarters in big economies such as United States and United Kingdom. The various strategies adopted in managing its change issues has earned it the top five spot in the technology hardware and equipment market over the last seven years.

With the evolving nature of technology, ACER with its breakthrough innovations will definitely continue growing stronger and stronger living up to its nick name: The Rampaging Giant of Taiwan.

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