At the Intel Developer Forum, which is taking place in San Francisco this week, partners told CRN they want to hear more about Intel's increased investments in the Internet of Things and the role the channel will play.
“I think the channel gets lots of focus from other manufacturers in the areas of [high-performance computing] and enthusiast, so the segment they need more guidance in is IoT,” said Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based Intel system builder. “This is not to say that Intel shouldn’t or doesn’t provide guidance for other categories, just that IoT is the one that is still more immature or open in terms of where the channel fits.”
"Intel is a significant partner to thousands of resellers so it plays a major role in helping these organizations develop a strategy for growth [in IoT],” said Tibbils.
Partners said they would like to see real-life use cases and new technology that will help them figure out how to tap into the many opportunities that IoT creates.
Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, a Kent, Wash.-based Intel system builder partner, said he hopes to learn more about Intel’s strategy around 5G – the next phase of the mobile telecommunications standard that could feed all the device needs as part of IoT – in addition to any high-performance computing news.
“On the IoT side, I'd expect Intel to talk more about their 5G plans,” said Bach. “The big one, across [high-performance computing] and enthusiast, is Optane [solid state drives]. There is a lot of anticipation for that, from everything from content creation to scientific computing.”
Intel over the spring outlined a future with more investments in data center, cloud and Internet of Things as it aims to lessen its dependence on the PC market. As the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company makes this shift in strategy, partners will have a more important role than ever, Maurits Tichelman, Intel's general manager, worldwide reseller channel, told CRN in June.
The shift in strategy is in part because of a stagnant PC market: Intel in the beginning of the year lowered its PC market expectations, saying it expects the market to decline in the high single digits in 2016.
Meanwhile, the company's data center segment, which grew 5 percent year over year in the second quarter, as well as its Internet of Things segment, which grew 2 percent year over year, are becoming increasingly lucrative markets.
"Looking at IoT and data center, there are many more new business models being developed where Intel technology can be at the core and heart of solutions," Tichelman told CRN in June. "But we want to make sure that our channel stays close to us so we can learn from our channel and can keep developing great products, not only for today but for the future."