I would like to offer greetings to everyone as we embark on a new year.
One of our new initiatives in 2017 was the provision of CTC Future Factory, a platform for providing comprehensive support to customers in the process from the creation of a new business idea to its commercialization. In October, we opened DEJIMA, a space for open innovation and collaborative creation. In December, we launched CTC Innovation Partners, a venture fund aimed at supporting start-ups and financing joint ventures with customers.
Overseas, we established a group company in Indonesia in August and acquired Netband in Thailand as a subsidiary in November. With these and other initiatives, we were able to establish a system that enables us to provide services in the entire ASEAN region, including Malaysia and Singapore, in accordance with our plan.
Recent years have seen rapid changes in business managers' awareness of IT. Until a few years ago, they regarded IT as a cost. At present, however, IT is regarded as an important business tool and engine. Everyone is talking about IoT, AI, FinTech, robots, and other technologies. In this age of changes, when the adoption of new technologies is considered whenever a system is renewed, the capabilities of SI companies are growing more and more important.
Concerning AI, which is a noteworthy technology, we will aggressively provide an environment that facilitates customers' utilization of AI with a focus on CTC Integrated AI Platform Stack, a platform that serves as a development infrastructure.
However, IoT, AI, and FinTech are not the only things that need IT. The CTC Group has the same important mission as before, that is, building customers' mission-critical systems and their peripheral systems in the latest environment and keeping them operating properly.
In 2018, we will provide powerful, well-balanced support for these customers in both their groundwork and their digital transformation, which will commence after the groundwork.
We will complete the current medium-term management plan, which will end in March this year. From April onwards, we will work on the next medium-term management plan according to a new concept.
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