Lee Little, AMD's director of field marketing, recently met with CRN's Jeff O'Heir to discuss how AMD will increase share among white-box integrators.
CRN: IT sales are down across the board. How's the market right now for white-box builders?
'You had some companies that were thinly capitalized and didn't provide service and reliability, and they're starting to be weeded out. But the stronger guys are getting even stronger, and they're able to command more growth.' -- Lee Little, AMD
LITTLE: I see two key trends out there. Our tier-one folks are in turmoil. In the middle, you see the tier-twos, and they're virtually gone. Then you have the whole systems builder market, and that business is growing. Within that market you had some companies that were thinly capitalized and didn't provide service and reliability, and they're starting to be weeded out. But the stronger guys are getting even stronger, and they're able to command more growth.
CRN: Do you see more of your small-to-midsize white-box integrators getting into white books, or is the process still too complicated and risky?
LITTLE: I think the end-user demand for notebooks is continuing to grow and, with that, entrepreneurs and businesspeople are going to provide solutions for that in the notebook class, whether it's branded or unbranded product.
CRN: For white-box builders that want to start building notebooks, what are the challenges they face?
LITTLE: We've had some conversations with folks who offer platforms out of Taiwan, and one of the things they've asked for is training on the insertion of the processors, the hard drive and the memory, because they come out of Taiwan in a kit, and most are locally configured in a factory setting.
CRN: How much of its resources is AMD putting behind its white-book market?
LITTLE: Desktop is the horse that got us to the race, and the desktop is our flagship with both the Athlon XP and the Duron. With notebooks, we will capture market share. We have dedicated teams both for the notebook push and the workstation push.
CRN: On the whole, what are some of the biggest challenges your systems builders face today, and what is AMD doing to help?
LITTLE: One of the things they're asking for from us is more and more product. We're going to do a series of long-term planning meetings with our major systems builders in the next three months, and we're going to look at the business on an annual 12-month roll-in program. So we're going to support them and become more entrenched in their long-term viability.