Intel Initiative Helps System Builders Tackle Small Business

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker plans to unveil a channel-focused effort Monday dubbed the Intel Channel Small Business Solution Campaign, which will provide new marketing resources, sales tools and training for partners.

"We've always tried to make our resellers--our Intel Product Dealers--stronger, improving their time to market with the latest technology," said Steve Dallman, Intel's director of North American distribution and channel marketing. "[But] we haven't given them pass-through collateral or training that would improve their ability to sell and support and understand the solutions needed by small [businesses]."

As part of the program, Intel will provide a technology assessment tool in the form of a step-by-step questionnaire. Solution providers can either post the questionnaire online or use it via CD-ROM to determine customers' technology needs such as servers, PCs, wireless devices and software. Intel also will provide a series of low-cost training boot camps for solution providers, which will focus on selling to small businesses, as well as provide customizable marketing collateral.

The timing of Intel's move to boost small-business sales through the channel is coming at an opportune moment.

Sponsored post

According to CRN research, 64 percent of solution providers questioned in August said they expected near-term growth in the small-business segment of at least 6 percent. Most solution providers were more bullish on small-business opportunities than either midsize or large enterprises, according to the results.

By next year, Intel may tweak its Intel Inside program for the channel to permit solution providers in small-business engagements to attach their own company logo to Intel-based PC servers and notebooks systems they sell, Dallman said.

"They've had pushes into small business before," said John Samborski, vice president of Ace Computers, an Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Intel partner. "Usually it's been that they've told system builders, 'Go after small business.' If they're going ahead and doing this, I welcome it and hope it would be successful. If Intel is giving us a better tool, that's certainly good."