Intel asks partners to lead with business risk reduction solutions

MARKHAM, ONT.Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) held its first SMB security conference for channel partners yesterday where executives urged solution providers to solve end-users’ security needs by prioritizing and leading with business risk reduction solutions.

Harrison Li, small business marketing manager for Intel’s Worldwide Channel Organization, delivered a keynote speech at the day-long event that brought in about 120 channel partners from across North America. Li said at Intel, the company has three pillars that make up its computing strategy: performance, Internet connectivity and security.

With more individuals and businesses going online and interacting with others via social media networks these days, Li asked what’s being done to make sure these mediums stay secure.

Social media opens new threat paths, Internet attacks continue to grow, mobile adoption increases and there as loss risks with PCs as data leave the ‘four walls’ of the business,” Li said. ‘With each of these comes security risks and vulnerabilities; so how can you as partners help?”

According to research forecasts from AMI Partners, Li said there were more than 5.6M SMBs in Canada last year. Next year, it’s expected that these businesses will spend $4.01B on hardware and they’ll also spend $1.08B on security, software and services.

Because many of these SMBs often lack an IT department, the need for a security partner and security policies and solutions becomes very important.

Typically, many of today’s SMBs are often over confident about their existing security practices, or they think they don’t need any more security, Li said.

“Small companies are so busy running their own businesses and many of them often don’t have their own IT departments so they don’t think about the things that an IT department normally would,” Li said. “Partners need to educate their customers around security laws and compliance and help them figure out and prioritize what their security needs are.”

There are 19 vertical industries that Li said channel partners can take advantage of in today’s market place. He suggested to partners that they not try to work in all of them, but rather work in one or two and become really good at it by understanding their specific IT security needs.

As the global economy continues to recover from the recession, Li said it’s important for partners to realize that due to SMB IT budgets shrinking or remaining flat, customers will not be able to buy everything at once.

“Partners can help small businesses think about their security plans,” he said. “Help them prioritize their security needs because these customers can’t buy all this stuff all at once. Don’t sell your customers a product but instead sell them a business risk reduction solution and show them how they can improve their business using security solutions. This will ensure better margins and a better relationship with your customers.”

At Intel, Li said the company has a comprehensive suite of security-focused technologies which include storage with its Intel solid state drives, servers with Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology, and digital surveillance with Intel’s Embedded Technologies.

To help raise partner awareness, Li said Intel has tools available for partners on its Web site in addition to training and education resources. He also said yesterday’s event is being piloted as the first of its kind to bring partners and vendors together for one day to discuss security in the SMB market place.

“Our call to action for partners is to let you know that you don’t sell hardware or software,” he said. “You’re selling a risk reduction solution. Consider the security needs of your own business too because you can use your business as an example to show customers how it’s done right.”

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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