AI Superstar Sterling Is Setting Up AI PC Demo Center

'This is a huge opportunity,' says Sterling Senior Vice President of Partner Alliances Steve Van Ginkel. ‘We feel like we’re well positioned to help our customers operationalize their AI PC strategy and contract and procure these systems efficiently.’

Sterling, a fast-growing solution provider powerhouse that has invested heavily in AI solutions, is setting up an AI PC Demo Center to assist customers in evaluating the new systems.

“We are building an entire AI PC demonstration area where customers can actually sit down and learn about these new AI PCs and get a feel for each one of them does,” said Sterling Chief Technology Officer Chris Cyr.

The new AI demonstration center – which will be located within Sterling’s new facility in Sterling, Va. - will include Dell Technologies, HP, and Lenovo systems outfitted with AI software. Sterling expects the AI Demo Center to open soon.

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The new AI PC demo center is going to place the AI PCs side by side with the current crop of systems that are not outfitted with NPUs so customers can see the advantages offered by the new AI PCs.

The new AI PC demo center is aimed at helping customers build out their AI strategy working hand in hand with Sterling, headquartered in North Sioux City, South Dakota, and No. 57 on the CRN SP500.

Sterling, which recently won Intel’s public sector growth award for demonstrating “outstanding proficiency” in AI transformational solutions for businesses, is working closely with both Intel and D&H Distributing on the new demo center, said Sterling Senior Vice President of Partner Alliances Steve Van Ginkel.

“This is a huge opportunity,” he said. “We feel like we’re well positioned to help our customers operationalize their AI PC strategy and contract and procure these systems efficiently.”

The AI PC opportunity comes with Windows 11 upgrades in the works and many customers looking to refresh their systems which were acquired in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, many industry analysts are predicting a big uptick in AI solutions in the government market, said Van Ginkel.

The AI PC blitz also comes with commercial customers looking for consulting services on their AI strategies , said Van Ginkel.

Sterling began exploring the AI solutions opportunity as far back as 12 years ago, but has been working in earnest on conventional AI opportunities over the last four years, said Cyr. “We’ve invested millions in AI,” he said.

In fact, Sterling has done pioneering work in AI based digital personalities with AI software maker Soul Machines’ patented AI technology.

That software, Cyr said, provides a “level of interaction that was previously unattainable” ensuring digital conversations in areas like customer service are “emotionally responsive, autonomously animated and hyper realistic.”

The AI PC will drive that technology forward in either kiosk mode or from users interacting with AI based digital personalities, Cyr said.

“We have been highly successful in the university system where several colleges are using it to allow a parent or student to ask about financial aid,” Cyr said. “It is allowing a parent or student to have a conversation rather than waiting in line at the university or typing into a chat-bot.”

The Sterling sales pipeline has been strong for AI digital personalities solutions from doing custom software development to designing kiosk-based industry solutions, said Cyr.

Cyr expects the AI PCs to have a significant impact on the digital personality solutions business. “It’s going to reduce latency with some of that work being done at the edge on these systems,” he said. “It is going to open the technology up, maybe being able to change the digital person’s appearance and language on the fly based on what they recognize at the edge. AI PCs are going to enhance the interaction and experience.”

In fact, he said, the AI PC is sure to lead to digital personality advances including more realistic and detailed experiences for digital personalities, said Cyr. “Their blinking and facial expressions will be more detailed,” he said. “There will be more movement. They are going to have legs and walk. Their clothing could change based on the geographical location. It’s really an amazing time to see where we are right now with this technology!’

Besides the digital personality technology, Sterling also has a strong partnership with AI GPU powerhouse Nvidia. In fact, Sterling was recently named Nvidia Public Sector Partner of the Year for its use of Nvidia’s Aerial RAN framework in Sterling’s breakthrough Skywave private 5G/6G network. “That is the first full open and programmable GPU accelerated research network for advanced wireless,” he said.

Cyr credited Sterling CEO Brad Moore and President Tim McCabe for driving breakthrough technology solutions in areas like AI. “They have enabled me and my team to learn about the technology, figure out a go to market and then to enable our sales reps to bring it forward,” he said. “This is really all about supporting our customers.”

Cyr sees AI impacting every nook and cranny of businesses of all sizes. “I think it is going to affect every aspect of our customer’s professional lives from storage to data center to networking to mobile device to laptop to software,” he said. “This opportunity is in the billions of dollars.”