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Sony's Hirai hopes for quick start to online content service

Martyn Williams | Nov. 23, 2009
The just-announced Sony Online Service could be here in the next few months

Lessons have been learnt and, perhaps most importantly, the entire company reorganized to remove internal barriers to cooperation between business units, he said.

"I think there was always a vision of doing [this] but unfortunately the company was set up in a way that the vision was not put into execution."

An important contributor to the success of the service might be how Sony handles DRM (digital rights management), electronic and software restrictions on the use of content. Consumers won't want to be prevented from sharing downloaded content between their own devices or within their family, and Hirai said the issue remains one that is continually under discussion.

Hirai took his new position earlier this year when Howard Stringer, Sony's CEO and president, reorganized the company into three main business units. Hirai's previous PlayStation group was brought together with the Vaio PC group. A consumer products division was formed to include the television and camera business and a B2B group covered the broadcast and disc manufacturing businesses.

But in a key departure from previous restructuring efforts several functions common to each business unit were spun out to company-wide groups to drive cooperation. As a result Sony's software development, sales, marketing, procurement, manufacturing, logistics and customer service are all now handled by groups that span the electronics operations of Sony.

 

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