Intel helping partners build digital signage, surveillance practices

In Toronto recently to meet with channel partners, Intel Corp.‘s (NASDAQ: INTC) district manager for the channel and embedded sales group, Trefina Gindi-Fox, told CDN building partner competencies in adjacent areas such as digital signage and digital surveillance is a key part of the vendor’s channel strategy going in 2012.

“It’s been a terrific year for us with our channel partners. We transitioned different product generations, and our partners grow in the transitions,” said Gindi-Fox. “We believe the coming year holds tremendous opportunity with the different products we have coming, such as all-in-ones , ultrabooks and Sandy Bridgehead for enthusiasts and gamers.”

A focus for Intel in 2012 will also be helping partners develop adjacent businesses, such as digital signage and surveillance. At the Toronto event, Intel had a digital signage lab on hand to show partners how Intel can help them tap this market opportunity.

“We’re recognizing a piece of silicon isn’t enough for our channel partners,” said Gindi-Fox. “We’ve worked with our ecosystem and alliance partners to not just put together hardware, but put the applications and software together so they can either buy a completed solution or build it themselves.”

Intel partners can access training resources on the vendor’s partner portal to help them pull together the pieces of the solution from different suppliers. Gindi-Fox said digital signage is a natural extension to the work many Intel partners are already doing.

One partner she met provided servers to a group of doctors’ offices, and wanted to be able to leverage that to offer signage in the patient waiting rooms.

“It could be a system builder or it could be a VAR; the intent is to deliver a solution someone can use and employ in different situations,” said Gindi-Fox.

Another area where Intel is expecting growth next year is around white-label servers, said Gindi-Fox, an area partners haven’t had a lot of opportunity to explore in the past.

“We’ve put a lot of focus on making sure there’s a lot of inventory there, and aligning solutions there,” said Gindi-Fox. “(This week) we announced extended warranty and service on server products, and that will be a major driver.”

Both branded and white-label server solutions have their place depending on what the users are looking for, said Gindi-Fox. Branded servers are good for off the self implementations, where white-label can work better when customization is needed to meet specific customer needs.

Responding to partner demand, earlier this year Intel revamped its channel program to put more focus on training, a frequent partner request. Gindi-Fox said having one big event every year isn’t enough; with the pace of technological change, partners need and want continuous training. Intel is also working to enable partners by partnering with OEMs to develop more solutions for the channel to participate in.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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