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SK C&C targets new businesses in AI, smart factories

The Korean IT services provider will continue to accelerate its digital transformation and shift its focus to next-generation growth engines.

South Korean IT solution provider SK C&C has announced a target of 2.5 trillion won ($2.1 billion) in annual revenue by 2020 by developing new businesses based on artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and smart factories.

The South Korean IT services corporation said last Thursday it will broaden the IT services it delivers including reprocessing datasets using big data and AI analytics tools, according to the company's chief technology officer and the man in charge of its R&D centre.

"The emergence of new technology will cause a disruptive change and a digital transformation across all the industries. SK Holdings C&C will increase its partners' competitiveness and profit by providing top-tier ICT technology," said Lee Ho-soo, SK C&C's chief technology officer.

"SK Holdings C&C will transform into a data service company to accelerate digital transformation which provides sophisticated convergence ICT service combining cloud, big data, AI, and smart factory," he added.

SK C&C is the de facto holding company of SK Group, South Korea's third-largest conglomerate, with over $140 billion in revenue.

So far, SK C&C has focused on system integration and IT outsourcing services as its major profit booster for its clients in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. Starting this year, however, the company shifted its focus to next-generation growth engines.

SK C&C teamed up with Big Blue at the start of May to develop services running on IBM's AI Watson, such as banking, telecommunications, logistics, and healthcare.

SK and IBM will work together to teach Watson conversational Korean language, and develop a Korean API. They are also building an AI cloud platform at the Pangyo Cloud Center so local startups and developers can create new AI services.

A company spokesperson said Watson needs data and data analysis to create a service that SK C&C can provide. "It's like Watson is a lego baseplate and SK Holdings C&C is putting lego blocks on the plate to create a new service," she said.

SK C&C opened an R&D centre in Seoul this year which then rolled out cloud computing service Cloud Z, and an AI service, called Aibril, for domestic AI, big data, and cloud computing markets. "By providing Aibril, we are looking forward to create a strong ecosystem of AI in Korea," SK C&C said.

Aibril is based on IBM's Watson and employs a big data and cloud computing system located at SK Holdings C&C's Pangyo Cloud Center.

Source: ZDNet.co.kr