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110 Things Acer Can Do to Catch Up to HP

1. Go To The EnterpriseAny strategy Acer follows must revolve around the enterprise. HP is successful there because it can attract enterprise customers that want functionality and affordable computers. And although Acer is doing a fine job of appealing to consumers, its enterprise efforts leave much to be desired. Acer must figure out what enterprise customers want and start delivering that.

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2. Stay Focused On DesignIn the consumer market, design trumps all, as Apple’s recent success has shown. The only issue standing in Apple’s way is that it doesn’t offer Windows. But Acer does. Offer an Apple-like design together with Windows and Acer could provide the best of both worlds for customers. That’s more than what can be said for HP.

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3. Consider ProductivityProductivity is a top concern of the enterprise, another place where Acer could innovate. It may not be an easy job, since Acer is using the same basic components as every other PC maker in the business. But it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. HP has done a fine job of making its computers more productive than Dell’s, which has helped it attract more customers. Acer must streamline its PC designs to make them ideally functional for enterprise customers if it wants to make a play there.

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4. Use Dell As A GuideDell has lost significant market share over the past few years, but its enterprise strategy has been spot on during its decline — something Acer can learn from. Rather than offer flashy products, Dell has offered a cheap, simple alternative for enterprise users. That’s enabled Dell to attract major corporate customers, something that Acer can learn from.

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5. Acquire LenovoThis might seem like a risky move, but Acer should consider acquiring Lenovo. Lenovo offers some of the best enterprise products in the market, widely used by both small businesses and major corporations. At the same time, Acer is doing poorly in the enterprise. By acquiring Lenovo, it can jump-start its ailing corporate business and start working towards competing with HP in that space. By owning Lenovo, it can significantly help its chances there.

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6. Keep Apple In MindAt all times, Acer should keep Apple in mind as it plots its computing strategy. Following Apple’s lead won’t help much in the corporate market, but it could significantly improve its chances in the consumer space. Apple understands consumers and knows how to give them what they’re really looking for.

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7. Work Closely With MicrosoftMicrosoft could be the key to Acer’s success going forward. Acer should work hard to form close alliances with Microsoft in the corporate market. Whether it’s an Office deal or something else, the company needs to find a way to be Microsoft’s trusted partner when it comes time to deliver computers to enterprise customers. Such a move would drastically improve its standing in the corporate space.

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8. Start Partnering With Enterprise ProvidersIt might not be a good idea for Acer to partner with HP in the enterprise market, but forming relationships with other key enterprise players, like Cisco and IBM just may be. Currently, Acer is non-existent in the enterprise-solution market. But that can change quickly if it starts working with major enterprise providers to bolster its corporate offerings.

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9. Go MobileIt might seem counter-intuitive for a company looking to make a mark in the PC business to go after the mobile market, but in today’s tech industry, it’s practically a necessity. Considering HP has now acquired Palm’s WebOS, it’s now time for Acer to break into the mobile market itself. It might not be easy, but competing with smartphones and tablets is a requirement for if Acer wants to dominate HP.

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10. Double-Down On NetbooksIn spite of the introduction of tablet computers, netbooks are still quite popular in the consumer and enterprise markets. Plus, they fall in line with Acer’s strategy of offering PCs to consumers. Acer needs to do more in the netbook space. That doesn’t mean it can neglect tablets — that would be a big mistake — but it should spend much of its time attempting to appeal to those who want to be more productive while on-the-go. It’s one place where the company can quickly trump HP.