CES Could Have Been Called the 'Cloud Electronics Show'

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Cloud computing, which used to be found far and few between, seems to be literally everywhere, and that was most evident at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (a.k.a. Cloud Electronics Show) in Las Vegas last week.

More retailers are using cloud to transform their one-off consumer offerings into long-term relationships; the number of cloud-related announcements at CES last week is a showing of what is to come for so-called retail cloud in 2012.

In fact, finding an announcement that didn’t in some way use or leverage cloud was few and far between. InfoWorld’s round up of cloud retail rollouts shows how mainstream cloud is becoming in the world of consumer electronics, noting that cloud computing has “seeped” in over time.

“The ability to add streaming from services such as Netflix to your DVD or TV has been around for a while, but that same cloud is now providing an application development platform for third parties and the ability to store many gigabytes of data,” according to InfoWorld. “In other words, they are morphing from simple website abstractions to true platforms.”

What is driving the rise of the retail cloud is the aspiration for companies to be more innovative than the competition – not to mention the revenue potential that exists.

In addition to selling a gadget or device in a one-time sale, retailers are now able to upsell their customers by offering subscriptions to a cloud system for years to come – “gaining double or more the revenues as from the device itself. That profit motive, coupled with users’ embrace of connected technologies (all those iPhones and Android devices), is what will power the retail cloud for years to come,” InfoWorld said.

As one example, Acer unveiled its cloud-based service, AcerCloud, at the CES show, previewing its service that connects PCs and mobile devices, TechZone360 reported.

During a pre-show press conference, JT Wang, CEO and chairman of Acer, said AcerCloud will launch later in 2012 to help users manage music, photos and documents across multiple devices.

“Users no longer use the PC only,” he said, according to the report, explaining how the company’s cloud services help bridge the gap between Windows and Android platforms. “They use smartphones, tablets alongside the PC. Users need help to solve the problem of cross-devices and cross-platform.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration, click here.

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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