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Intel channel cabaret

by Scott Bicheno on 14 April 2008, 16:13

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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‘Breaking limits – creating possibilities’

Intel used its first keynote at ISS 2008 to congratulate the channel for being the key early adopter of its quad core processors and 45nm technology.

Apparently the channel delivered the majority of its EMEA quad cores and is out-pacing its direct sales operations in 45nm products.

It kicked off with a great, big music and lights show, with drummer-girls and a soprano singing a song a bit like that blue woman in The Fifth Element.

Intel then alternated speakers with the kind of high-budget corporate brain-washing videos you expect from events like these.

The first speaker was Maurits Tichelman, EMEA director of sales and distribution at reseller channel operations for Intel.

He gave delegates a recap on 2007, in which Intel achieved its best ever server product sales, best ever mainboard sales and had a recond Q4 for mobile products.

After a spot more brain-washing, we welcomed Steve Dallman, sales and marketing VP and GM of the worldwide reseller channel organisation, and Tom Rampone, sales and marketing VP and GM of the channel platforms group.

They were going for a sort of rapport-driven, buddy-movie approach so everything they said is attributable to both of them.

They congratulated the channel on being such a quick adopter of its new technology, for reasons already detailed. Also, in 2007 Intel apparently sold 1.5 million more CPUs than in any previous year – so hurrah.

They stressed how much Intel loves the channel and to prove it, promised to prioritise making all the Montevina-related gear that they will be launching later in the year as available as possible to the channel.

Coming soon will be Rich Creek 2 – a mobile mainboard platform that is expected to offer the level of mobo standardisation that has been so helpful to OEMs, SIs and resellers in the server and desktop space. MSI and Gigabyte appear to be key partners in this.

The Atom mobo announced earlier is apparently expected to go for under $65 an the system it was installed in is an example of what Intel calls a Nettop. A Netbook, by contrast, is typified by the Classmate PC.

On the topic of Intel’s online content offering, the outspoken 30-year Intel veteran Dallman said: ‘This is an area where so far we have frankly done a shitty job!’ Of course this admission was quickly followed by a vow to do better.

A wafer-thin nibble of brainwashing was followed by a Q&A session. Well, what actually happened was that they stood on stage and answered questions they had already received from delegates. There were some interesting answers despite that.

It was pointed-out that Intel Capital, a vehicle for investing some of Intel’s presumably plentiful spare cash, has made a big, fat investment in virtualisation software company VMWare, to the extent that it now has a seat on the boards od directors.

In answer to a question about why we should choose Intel over AMD, the increasingly entertaining Dallmer chose to focus on channel reliability. ‘We didn’t get a great, big order from Dell and then spend the rest of the time saying sorry for there being a shortage of product,’ he said. MIAOW!

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