Intel outlines channel strategy for 2015, tells IT providers to specialize

Canadian IT providers are generalist compared to their American counterparts, and need to specialize to take advantage of the higher industry growth, according to Intel.

This was a key message in Intel’s Canadian channel strategy for 2015, which the computer chip maker outlined this week.

“General IT was growing at 2 per cent and line of business, especially for accounting, signage, or other elements was growing at 7 per cent,” said David Allen, director of North American distribution sales at Intel.  He cited one example where, in Canada, many provide education IT, yet few are known for it.  As IT becomes increasingly mission-crucial to business, companies need to do what they can to stand out, he said.

“It’s a great business opportunity,” he said.  “How am I differentiating myself from those around me?”

This message echoes that of Citrix Systems Inc., which just last week announced a revamp of its Citrix Solution Advisor (CSA) program to allow partners to specialize in their provisioning.

The challenge, Allen said, is largely a result of Canada’s relatively small population, which means providers in smaller communities have needed to be able to serve everyone.

But it’s not an either-or.

“It sort of feels like that’s the way they need to be to be successful,” said Allen.  “I think in Canada there’s been more towards generalization but we’re seeing the trend now of people adding specialities, be it retail POS, digital signage, or virtualization. The growth will come from the line of business.”

To help partners achieve this, Allen said that Intel would be focusing more on providing certifications through its own channel partner program in 2015.

As with Citrix, Allen said the company would also reward partners for completing courses; no purchase necessary.  It would also be pushing specializations through its distie partners, and is adivising providers to approach them for training.

“There’s tremendous opportunity now,” said Allen.  “There’s big change but technology is part of that; it’s what drives the revolution.”

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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