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ITRI Software Startup Taps into Vietnamese Market

Published: Apr 02,2018

TAIPEI, Taiwan – ITRI startup LoFTech has tapped Juiker, a Taiwan B2B-focused cloud communications software platform, in cooperating with Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) on launching a new OTT application named Karo. Karo instantly became popular upon going online this month, having been downloaded 250,000 times in just three days among Vietnamese users. This cooperation sets a precedent in the export of outsourcing services of a Taiwan communications software, and creates a win-win business model for Taiwan software developers and international telecom providers. This successful model will be replicated in the future in other markets around the globe, helping Taiwan seize Blue Ocean opportunities.

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Dr. Tzi-Cker Chiueh, ITRI’s Vice President and General Director of Information and Communications Research Laboratories, remarked that new startups constitute an important driver in Taiwan's move from being an efficiency-driven to an innovation-driven economy, underpinning the transformation of Taiwan's industrial structure. ITRI, he said, will continue to use new startups with high-end technology capacities to promote the proliferation of R&D achievements.

To date, ITRI has cultivated over 270 startups, which have provided new dynamism into Taiwan's biomedical, ICT, materials, machinery, and green energy industries. LoFTech has been able to rapidly grasp business opportunities among the emerging mobile-oriented markets. It has exported Taiwan's first B2B, real-time communications operations model Juiker to Vietnam, grabbing a share of the corporate communications market there and marking a new page in software outsourcing services. ITRI hopes that more software startups will link up with international firms, enabling Taiwan's soft power to be extended internationally and for Taiwan industry to increasingly focus on digital opportunities.

According to the Nielsen Vietnam Smartphone Insights Report 2017, the use of smartphones and tablets is becoming widespread in Vietnam. As living standards continue to improve, people in Vietnam have greater interest in going online when they want. Mobile phone penetration in key cities is 95%, with 84% of these individuals using smartphones, a rise of six percentage points from 78% in 2016. This points to enormous mobile-based business opportunities.

VNPT Vinaphone Deputy General Director Pham Anh Tuan commented that due to the competition of Over-The-Top (OTT) services, telecom providers nowadays not only must offer customers with voice and Internet services but also become providers of value-added services to boost their competitiveness. The demand for voice services has declined in recent years, but VNPT has discovered that over 60% of its customers must make work-related calls. Consequently, VNPT hopes to replicate Juiker's successful B2B real-time communications model. Mr. Tuan added that the two sides have jointly developed Karo-OTT services and that use of the APP and a management platform is reducing corporate management costs, saving customers about 30-50%.

LoFTech Chairman Ching-Yen Tsay stated that in this this cooperation, the Juiker team tapped into its "Federal Cloud Technology" to assist VNPT in creating their own business communications platform, providing business customers with safer, faster, and cheaper communications services. The Taiwan team provides the platform services, while data remains in Vietnam. LoFTech is developing localized services for VNPT, and in the broader picture is generating new digital business opportunities. In the future, LoFTech will continue to pursue cooperative opportunities with international telecom companies, expanding OTT platform technology, he added.

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