CEO Forum - Q3/2003

by Andrew Ku on July 20, 2003 12:16 PM EST

1. Ultimately, do you feel that your company's future hinges on diversifying into other markets outside of motherboards, such as wireless, IA, storage, video, etc…?

CEO #1: We will diversify our product line based on its core competence: motherboard design and manufacturing.

CEO #2: Our core business now is motherboards and graphic cards…

CEO #3: Our company has been investing in ACP (Applied Computing Platform) business for years, products including touch panel PC, PC system, server system, NAS, ACP board, Media Center…and so on. We can see the rapid growth constantly. For the other product lines, we always keep on researching and will implement new programs in the near future.

CEO #4: …we will still invest resources on our core competence of motherboard business. This is the basic of new business.

CEO #5: Our core competency is motherboards. We have vertically integrated to include control over all production and have relocated to China for cost benefits. Demand for motherboards in our clone market remains strong. As the market matures, we will further strengthen our hold on this segment as the strong get stronger and the weak look to survive. We will experience growth through this strengthening and also through emerging markets. However, a maturing market also means our company has to look elsewhere for growth opportunities. You could say that our future will use motherboards/VGA as the base and new products such as miniPC as a means of accelerating growth.

As the motherboard market has started to reach its full maturity, it wasn't unexpected to see all of the CEOs answering, "Yes," in one manner or another. One CEO answered no, but did acknowledge that motherboards were an avenue for future proliferation into other markets.

The most notable diversification in recent news has been the large success of Shuttle at the Small Form Factor. They may have perhaps struggled at motherboard sales, but the advent of the XPC has given add security to Shuttle's place in the market. Profit margins are getting thinner, and new sources of revenue must be sought out. It seems inevitable that diversification will occur for all motherboard manufacturers, but when will be key to the success of any innovation. Pointing back to SFF, Shuttle's first dive into this market has given them a distinct advantage. Recent attempts by several other major manufacturers have yielded some success in niche markets, but Shuttle still takes the majority of this market. Timing can turn out to be a company's biggest ally or foe.

We followed up by asking, "Where do you see the emerging markets?" The responses we got back were fairly expected, as SFF and wireless were the most mentioned.

CEO #1: Server/Storage, Wireless, Notebook.

CEO #2: Wireless, IA, Video.

CEO #3: Barebone Desktop, Barebone (Channel) Notebook, Special purpose XC, Consumer PC.

CEO #4: We think "wireless" has the most potential Enterprise will need it, and then family users will follow.

CEO #5: We see great opportunity especially in barebone system and wireless LAN. The PC market will break into 2 fringes: the high-end product for gamers or people pursuing performance and the small-sized with multi-function that for common or office user. MiniPC satisfied the second group, and the market is booming. Wireless LAN is another killer application for the PC market. The market is surging rapidly, and when Intel is really to integrate it to their motherboard chip, it will become the standard specification eventually.

CEO #6: Bare bone (white box) servers; security servers with built-in encryption devices; optimized server platform for the HPC market, e.g. built-in infinite band controllers; storage products using iSCSI protocol.

CEO #7: DTP, Barebone systems, N/B, Servers, Graphic Cards, Optical storage, Wireless LAN & WAN Devices, and Network switches.

CEO #8: There is always a market demand which request high quality service. We will focus on new product innovation and exact production management to catch the eyes of the worldwide IT industry.

Index One year from now, do you see a stronger worldwide economy?
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  • unclebud - Friday, July 25, 2003 - link

    i am thoroughly impressed! what an excellent idea!
    thanks to anandtech and all others who made this event possible...
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - link

    On the whole a very interesting read, with a surprising range of views from the CEOs.
    I was also surprised that there was no mention of TCPA & it's effects on the both the mobo manufactures & public perception. I was also somewhat surprised on the response to AMDs entry into the server market - I think that AMD are going to have a very up hill stuggle to maintain any hold in this market - even with 64/32 bit processors.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 21, 2003 - link

    I was rather dissapointed that TCPA/TrustedComputing was not addressed. Not only do I refuse to purchace any device containing these mis-features, I am willing to pay higher prices to aviod doing business with any company that deals in them. I have influence over puchases made by a number of people and purchases made by a non-profit organization.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 21, 2003 - link

    Prove themselves in the enterprise market (ie. VISA)? VISA wouldn't run anything important on Intel. What is anand smoking? VISA runs mainframes and Unix boxes for mission-critical stuff.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 21, 2003 - link

    Actually, I was kind of surprised by the _lack_ of insight here. You would think that these CEOs would have more to say, off the record, then was written here. But it's a good start and a unique way to make some noise/news. Nice work.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 21, 2003 - link

    You found the only CEOs in the world who didn't blame all their business woes on 9/11. Amazing.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 21, 2003 - link

    Keep up the good work. Would like to see the main site updated more often though. Perhaps try to find some new hardware to test? Just a thought.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 21, 2003 - link

    Congratulations on a well written, groundbreaking article. Amazing insights: some succinct & punchy comments.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 21, 2003 - link

    Wow, intriguing. A unique article, I knew I came here all the time for a reason.

    Good work.

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