At the 11th EMEA Intel Solutions Summit (ISS) in Prague, the theme has been heavily influenced by the global recession and how to do business in this environment.
In deference to current realities Intel told us it had dramatically cut the budget of its ISS events, and the sopranos and drummer-girls were conspicuous by their absence. Having said that, Intel still took over an entire Hilton hotel for half a week, so it's obviously still got a bob or two.
The most senior speaker at the keynote session was Greg Pearson (pictured below), who is GM for worldwide sales at Intel. As is traditional at these kind of events, Pearson was introduced by a corporate video. This one focused on the navigator Magellan, the parrallel apparently being that the IT industry faces similar challenges with respect to visibility and uncertainty as he did.
"In today's environment many of our instruments aren't working and we're not sure where we're sailing. We, like them, need determination and commitment," said Pearson. This was a call to action for the channel to redouble its efforts in these trying times.
Pearson chose to focus on the money being put into the world's economy by the various government stimulus packages. "Our job is to ensure as much of that diverse spend will involve ICT as possible," he said.
It's telling that Intel has chosen to focus on public money as a principal was of navigating through the recession, and it makes sense. Corporate spend has plummeted and consumers are more price-conscious than ever. The only increase in expenditure is coming from the state, so that should be where the channel goes looking for business.