Intel sets new targets for 2006

Intel has set its sights on three markets in 2006: digital home, servers and mobility, and it wants its channel partners to follow along.

While the new Viiv chip is slated for the digital home market and Centrino is firmly planted in the mobility market, it is the server segment that worries Intel of Canada the most.

According to David Allen, vice-president of North American distribution for Intel, the server deployments are increasingly needed in Canada, but the channel is not taking advantage of it so far.

Servers, Allen said, are longer-term sales and need to be more a part of an overall solution than a point product offering.

“Intel invests money on platforms of growth such as the digital home, servers, and mobility, and in 2006 there will be a shift in the channel business model to these new areas that Intel is creating,” Allen said.

The company is gearing up chips such as NAPA Centrino, Paxville dual core Xeon chips for this market in 2006. “First are the platforms and they will take advantage of common building blocks,” Allen said.

For example, it will allow resellers to interchange components such as battery and optical drives. Allen believes this will lower the cost and help in sourcing.“We are going to work with original design manufacturers (ODM) to further this common building block system and enable the channel to take advantage of the interchangeability,” he added.

Intel’s ODM partners are Asus, Quanta, MSI, Compel, Foxcon and A/Open.“These six build the world’s notebooks and motherboards,” he said.

Intel is also going to release a new channel program called TTM, which will target system builders who are interested in build-to-order white servers. Allen did not want to reveal all the details of the new plan, but did say it would help system builders take advantage of this market opportunity. Long-time Intel supporters Asus, Quanta, and MSI will back the plan. Also slated for the plan will be a demand generation campaign.

One area that is driving server growth, according to Allen, is VoIP. Intel, he said, is trying to build channel alliances with VoIP vendors. He said most of these vendors are not good at selling to the small- and medium-sized business market. “We needed these vendors to understand this four years ago,” he said.

Intel’s second area of focus is mobility and Allen believes the tipping point for this market has already happened. During the back to school period, notebooks were more popular than desktops and that trend carried over into the next month.Allen believes that in 2006 notebooks will outpace desktop PC sales in Canada. “It is going to be a notebook world,” he said.

As for the digital home market, Intel’s latest chip, Viiv, is aimed at that segment.

The digital home market is classified as an emerging segment. In a national survey conducted by Decima Research, 68 per cent of Canadians were unable to define the concept of digital home networking.

In developing Viiv, which is pronounced “viv” (rhymes with five), Intel focused on making online services, software and accessing movies, music, photos and games easier with a remote control rather than keyboard. Viiv technology includes a dual-core processor, chipset, platform software and wired networking capabilities.

“Viiv technology delivers the connection to entertainment,” Allen said.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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