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"We're trying to change .. [Samsung] to a more agile, nimble, consumer-focused company that focuses on software and services," said Valerie Casey, head of Samsung's Silicon Valley accelerator, which is a part of OIC. Those new businesses, created or revamped in the past two years, have some early successes. They include introducing a new sensor-filled wearable reference design, forming partnerships with popular app developers and buying startups such as smart home-focused SmartThings. SmartThings, which was acquired by OIC in August after a two-month courtship, is expected to play a big role in Samsung's smart-home and connected-device plans, and it will talk about some of those steps at the developer conference. "We've seen how [Samsung has] really excelled in hardware," said Alex Hawkinson, CEO of SmartThings. "Where they haven't done as well is the entire synthesis of software and services. But they have a massive commitment to that."OIC-led "road trips," in which Samsung executives visit the Bay Area and Silicon Valley companies travel to Korea, have helped bring the company both literally and figuratively closer to big names in tech, like venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, social networking giant Facebook and online magazine maker Flipboard.
"The 1-on-1 opportunities iphone screen protector or no are invaluable," said Eric Feng, Flipboard's chief technology officer, who has participated in the road trips, Other companies working with OIC have also lauded the group's ability to introduce them to executives at Samsung's headquarters -- and help them navigate the behemoth, "They're moving you around a massive corporation pretty well in the Valley," said one person who worked with OIC on deals and partnerships but asked not to be named, But there have been setbacks, too, Some of the apps made by MSCA have been deemed lackluster, and many partners say they're still confused about who they should be working with at Samsung, Some of Samsung's Silicon Valley businesses have also gone through reorganizations, and the ultimate decision-making always returns to Korea, That's been frustrating for both US-based Samsung employees and the companies working with them..
Other partners CNET News spoke with complained about cultural misunderstandings, unreasonable expectations on the part of Samsung's Korean project managers and, at times, a lack of results when it comes to Samsung helping their businesses. While some app developers have benefited from working with Samsung, others who have worked closely with the company in the past say they're now being more careful before committing resources to Samsung projects. And at least one developer says his company won't work with Samsung at all anymore. "We felt in their development process, once you get turned over to Korea, with the lack of support, lack of understanding, and arrogance, we don't need them," the developer said, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.
While MSCA and OIC try to work across Samsung's operations, it's also been hard for them to break down the company's traditional silos, The TV business still doesn't work well with mobile, observers said, and Samsung has started to move away from creating its own software and services in iphone screen protector or no favor of using Google's programs or apps made by big name developers, Several Samsung-created apps have been scrapped over the past year, including My Magazine (replaced by Flipboard Briefing), Samsung Books (replaced by Kindle), and Samsung Video and Media Hub (replaced by M-Go)..
Getting the various Samsung divisions to work together is "a complex problem to solve," said Marc Shedroff, the OIC vice president in charge of partnerships. "The way you do it is have products that prove out the thesis" that software should work across devices. Some examples he pointed to included the MSCA-made Milk Music app that runs on Samsung smartphones, TVs and wearables, and SmartThings, which not only works on Samsung devices, appliances and other Android products but also gadgets running Apple's iOS software and Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.
Change is afoot, Some partners say Silicon Valley may be gradually influencing Samsung, but Samsung also is influencing Silicon Valley, "We've actually learned a lot from Samsung," said iphone screen protector or no John Lagerling, vice president of business development at Facebook, "It's..more about the way they run their business and have made big and bold bets in their history."The question is whether Samsung's dedication to the Valley will make any true impact longer term or whether it's a "dog and pony show," as one developer put it..
Samsung vows that its push in Silicon Valley won't be short-lived. The Bay Area will remain the center of Samsung's innovative tech development and ecosystem efforts, Sohn said. Within the next five years, Samsung may run some of its businesses from the US, instead of taking all big decisions back to Korea. That's something that would "be a change in our DNA," he added. Still, it won't be easy for Samsung to become synonymous with Silicon Valley, like Google or Apple. There are cultural and geographical issues, and the lack of understanding about how the company works. There's actually a complicated hierarchy at Samsung, with three CEOs: Kwon, who approved Sohn's investment, oversees the other CEOs and Samsung's components business; JK Shin heads mobile operations; and Boo-Keun Yoon is chief of Samsung's consumer electronics division.
At the end of the day, Samsung remains a conservative, family-run organization, albeit one the iphone screen protector or no size of a nation-state (about 20 percent of Korea's GDP comes from Samsung), As much as Samsung has expanded in Silicon Valley, the Bay Area still remains Apple's backyard, If Apple comes calling, it would be almost impossible for an app developer to turn the Cupertino company away in favor of Samsung, "With developers, [Samsung has] done so much better than any other handset maker," said one app developer who's worked with the Korean giant, "But anybody would jump way higher for Apple than they would for Samsung."That sentiment comes as Samsung's feeling the heat from Chinese vendors willing to undercut its products, and from the competition it faces daily from Apple's iPhone franchise, Samsung has also struggled to develop apps and services that are widely used by consumers, and its homegrown Tizen software -- an alternative to Google's Android mobile operating system -- has been a nonstarter in smartphones..