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Partners must think beyond the computer

As the demand for more PC-like devices grows, Intel says the channel must be ready

Las Vegas – Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) executives used this year’s Solutions Summit to encourage partners to broaden their solutions offerings so that they extend beyond the PC.

Tom Kilroy, senior vice-president and general manager of Intel’s sales and marketing group, said computing has evolved over the years from a focus on the hardware to a more personal user experience.

With more than 1 billion more users expected to be connected to the Internet by 2014 on 15 billion devices, channel partners should be prepared for the “great opportunity that lies ahead,” Kilroy said. “We expect growth in PC-like devices and more companion devices such as handhelds and tablets that expand the user experience.”

Kilroy said we’re surrounded by more and more embedded devices. Since the conference was held in Las Vegas, Kilroy gave the example of slot machines that use Atom and Core processors and digital surveillance cameras. And there are many Intel-based other solution offerings partners can build, he said.

Intel executives showcased anonymous video analytics in conjunction with digital signage. The idea is to gather anonymous information about a person who stops to look at a digital sign. Using gesture-enabled capabilities, the viewer’s face is scanned and analyzed based on metrics such as gender and age. This information is used to provide the viewer with more relevant ad or product information.

“With anonymous video analytics, customers can have a better experience and vendors can better target customers to help them with their shopping experience and to bring them back in (to stores),” Kilroy said.

What’s required to make this happen? Processors such as Intel’s 45nm, 32 nm and 22nm products, sophisticated software and infrastructure, Kilroy said. He added the more society immerses itself in the world of computing, the more opportunities will arise behind the scenes on the infrastructure side. When it comes to embedded computing, most of the architecture starts with Intel’s Atom processor. Services also play a key role too, he added.

Kilroy said the Intel channel remains the company’s largest customer, representing over 20 per cent of its overall business.

“We achieved US$43.6B at Intel last year and our sights are set a little bit higher this year,” Kilroy said. “We couldn’t exist and wouldn’t be delivering what we are without you, our partners. So thank you.”

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.