McAfee, SSD advances and Intel on ARM servers dominated the headlines coming out of the the Intel Solutions Summit this week in Las Vegas, but OEM builders were paying attention to the chipmaker's quiet move to consolidate its channel.
Intel unified the previously separate Intel Channel Partners (system builders and integrators) and Intel Technology Providers (branded resellers) into one program dubbed Intel Technology Providers.
On the surface it seems like an administrative measure designed to eliminate what CJ Bruno, Intel's VP of sales and marketing for North America, called an arbitrary distinction between channel partners.
"... It's silly for us to distinguish between [beige] box and CPU resellers. They're all Intel technology," Bruno said.
Behind the curtains the measure puts more power in the hands of partners, especially the system builders who are driving the market for embedded devices. It appears to be a recognition of the fact that Intel the chipmaker is a platform company that will rely on partners to build innovative solutions on top of its wares, said Tom Kilroy, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Sales and Marketing Group, according to CRN.
PC technology is becoming more personal and content creation and consumption is driving demand. Kilroy PC-like embedded devices have proliferated and that users now require a seamless, always-connected experience. As a result, Kilroy said Intel has become a platform company.
"Consumers want a familiar, consistent experience where devices work together securely," Kilroy said. "In the past we've segmented this; our goal now is to make it pervasive."
The unified program offers more support from Intel in terms of marketing and sales for both sets of partners. More importantly, Intel is tripling the products from its Enterprise Platform and Services Division (ESPD) for channel partners, giving them more options to build without the "nightmares of SKU and inventory management," said Lisa Graff, general manager of Intel's EPSD who announced the new availability.
The expansion in the number of motherboards for EPSD servers comes as a result of increased customer demand for differentiated offerings for a variety of embedded applications, Graff said... By offering more types of boards to the channel, Graff said the company's partners will be more able to compete against large server vendors by offering greater customization. By just a three-fold increase in number of SKUs, Graff said partners could innovate in a multitude of new directions, predicting hundreds of options based on a single motherboard SKU.
- Intel on ARM servers: Wimpy cores niche at best
- Maingear debuts Titan gaming laptop with Intel Core i7 990x CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M graphics
- SeaMicro: Welcome to the world of $148K Atom servers
- Intel unveils Thunderbolt (photos)