By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
WeiserMazars is getting ready to participate in a 24-hour challenge whereby individuals, entrepreneurs and app development teams will be tasked with creating new software and innovative ideas for Ford’s award-winning in-car connectivity system, SYNC. The first-ever Ford SYNC® AppLink™ Developer Challenge in Tel Aviv is to be held on October 11-12 and Jules S. Reich, Partner and Financial Advisory Services Leader at WeiserMazars, spoke with Big4.com just before he left for the event.
SYNC is Ford’s integrated in-vehicle connectivity system whereby drivers can control many of their vehicle’s functions with voice commands. AppLink for SYNC goes one step further, allowing for the same voice control over smartphone apps. Both systems are designed so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and their attention focused on the road. Entrepreneurs, app development teams and individuals will work alongside Ford engineers and WeiserMazars executives to create new software and ideas for potential use.
Reich supplied some of the history behind the endeavor.
“I was in Israel in December and March looking at the same kinds of things that Ford is looking for,” Reich says, going on to describe how the two sides meshed since the car maker was scouring the country looking for technological innovations and WeiserMazars was searching out clients for their technology practice. A meeting with Scott Lyons who leads the SYNC AppLink European Business & Partner Development initiative for Ford, presented an opportunity for each of the organizations, Reich explains.
“We didn’t have a prior relationship with Ford, but we met in December and started thinking about some things that we could do together.”
The representatives forged a few notions before coming up with the idea of having Reich serve as one of the judges for the Challenge alongside executives from the automaker. David Chaudat, Global Head of Manufacturing and Automotive at Mazars Group, will also work with Reich and provide counsel on the potential business opportunities for participants’ creations.
Reich also had a few words to say about the focus behind SYNC.
“It’s about comfort and security, but Ford also wants to be cool and compete with the top cars and so basically they need to be out there with the best technology,” he said.
The top prize for the event is a new 2015 Ford Fiesta. Additionally, the three top winners will receive consulting services from WeiserMazars such as financial advisory services as well as automotive and business consulting.