January 21, 2009
ACCESS Discusses Mobile Communications, ITEXPO with TMC
By Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief
ACCESS, a company providing technology, software products and platforms for Web browsing, mobile phones, wireless handhelds, and other networked devices, helps its customers improve time to market, gain flexibility and offers customizability.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company also operates subsidiaries and affiliates within Asia, Europe and the United States.
Albert Chu, the Vice President, Marketing & Alliances, of ACCESS will take part in a session at the upcoming ITEXPO event in Miami, Florida titled "Contact Centers in a Web 2.0 World" happening Wednesday February 4, 2009 from 1:30-2:15 PM. During this session, Chu and other panelists will discuss ways to serve customers in a Web 2.0 world.
At ACCESS, Chu is responsible for developing business and marketing alliances with companies in the telecommunications, consumer electronics and media industries and is also responsible for the marketing operations for ACCESS Systems Americas.
I caught up with Chu recently to find out more about ACCESS and his thoughts on the industry.
How did your company get to where it is and where is it headed?
We consider ourselves to be a mobile Internet pioneer. We have helped to develop and deliver technologies that have brought the Internet to a new generation of mobile devices and consumers.
ACCESS technologies were central to the development of the first successful mobile data service – the i-mode service in Japan - and this success has grown at a phenomenal pace. We currently have over 680 million deployments of our NetFront technologies around the world in more than 1,500 devices including handsets, gaming devices, set top boxes and beyond-PC devices.
ACCESS also continues to be a leading innovator in mobile Linux platform development and is a pioneer in convergence solutions for the digital life generation. The ACCESS Linux Platform is a leading choice for phones, mobile Internet devices and more; bringing widgets and Web 2.0 to mobile Linux.
What pain does your company take away for customers?
ACCESS is a customer-driven company and we take pride in our ability to work together with our customers to solve technology obstacles in delivering cutting-edge innovation. This core competency has resulted in establishing our credibility and leadership in delivering mobile software for all the major operators in Japan, as well as for OEMs and service providers worldwide.
What excites you most about our industry?
What we’re already seeing as a reality in the mobile market in Japan will likely come to the U.S. in the very near future. This is exciting not only for ACCESS, but for the mobile consumer as well.
These next generation devices and services have greatly raised the bar for what all future mobile platforms must aspire to and are continually evolving to include the full range of communication and entertainment activities. Mobile phones, which just a few years ago were used mainly for person to person calls, are becoming smarter, with highly advanced software platforms that enable them to become full Internet-savvy communications and entertainment devices.
What does your dream mobile device look like?
Every morning, when I leave the house, I take with me three things: my wallet, my keys and my mobile phone. My dream mobile device is the one device that will replace these three. When I leave the house, I would need to take only the “dream mobile device” because that device can do mobile payments, have unlock codes, as well as serve as my communications and entertainment device.
How has open-source changed our space and what more can it do for us?
As the world evolves to a more mobile, interconnected, open Internet society, the software and services enabling the trend towards mobility and convergence are also evolving.
The ACCESS Linux Platform was the first comprehensive, commercial-grade, mobile software solution based on open source software, and its development represents our continued commitment to open source.
In the coming years, ACCESS will remain a leading innovator of solutions for the open Internet generation, focusing on converged devices and networks, such as home gateway solutions, next generation network software for mobile devices and software to access the open Internet from all consumer devices.
Who has influenced you most in your career and why?
I have been fortunate to have had many influential mentors throughout my career. The best advice I received was during my first job at Apple (News - Alert): “Develop your own style; be yourself.”
I have learned that my best work – when I feel that I am accomplishing my best – is when I am acting on and doing what feels right to me.
What areas do you wish you could devote more energy/attention/resources?
It’s exciting to see the sophistication of mobile platforms today, making the opportunity for innovation on mobile and beyond PC devices so rich and alluring. I wish I had the personal time to devote to brainstorming and creating new applications for this next generation of beyond PC devices – for example, for digital cameras that are connected to the Internet and location aware.
Poof – you become President Obama’s top advisor on tech. What should he do to foster more technology use in the US and abroad?
President Obama has set an inclusive tone – reaching out to the rest of the world to unite and move forward together. This is a very pertinent theme to technology, as well. The United States should work with the rest of the world to identify the key areas of technology advances and work collaboratively in implementing and helping those developing countries build up their technology foundation and infrastructure so that all humankind can benefit from the latest in mobile communications, advanced healthcare and green energy efficiency.
If you were forced to head Nokia, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft (News - Alert), GM, Cisco, Nortel or the US… Which would you pick and why?
I believe that Google (News - Alert) would be a very interesting company to head in these times. The company has successfully developed a business model to monetize the Internet through advertising. The challenge is how to move the business model to the next stage, beyond advertising, given the advances of wireless broadband, advanced software and information ubiquity.
You are speaking at the INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & Expo which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. Why do people need to hear what you say, live and in person?
It’ll be to the benefit of all attendees to come to our session to learn more about the different ways that consumers are beginning to use their mobile phones on a daily basis. To fully leverage the potential of the Internet on mobile phones, it will be necessary to alter the service model and user experience of the personal computer and adapt it for the every changing mobile marketplace.
What surprised you most about 2008?
I think the quickness of the downturn in the economy took everyone by surprise.
However, the good news from our perspective is that our business is playing an even more critical role for our customers. We provide solutions and services to help service providers and OEMs/ODMs deliver their products and services quickly, efficiently and affordably.
Make some wild predictions about 2009/10.
Over the past few years, we have seen significant advances in technologies and services available to the digital home. It won’t happen immediately this year, but we anticipate that the communications market will evolve to next generation networks where all devices will be networked and have access to the open Internet, thus evolving to an open Internet generation that is always mobile, always on. Communications will no longer be just person to person, but also device to device.
Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO (News - Alert)). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi