Wintel Duo Readies Whitebook Channel Program

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Intel and Microsoft are teaming up to accelerate whitebook business through a specialized channel program for Intel Premier Provider partners.

Steve Dallman, Intel's director of distribution and channel sales and marketing, and John Ball, general manager for Microsoft's U.S. System Builders Partner Group, told attendees at the Intel Solutions Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., that the Wintel duo is hammering out the details of the initiative.

The announcement, slated to come in the next several weeks, is the first time Intel and Microsoft have paired on a joint channel program for Intel Premier Providers, according to Dallman. "Both Microsoft and Intel want you to be successful in this [whitebook] business, and we are going to put something together for you for the first time ever," he said, drawing loud applause from attendees.

In part, the Wintel program for Premier Providers came at the urging of the Microsoft Premier Partner Board of Advisors, said Steve Bohman, vice president at Columbus Micro Systems, a system builder in Columbus, Ohio. "It sounded like a financial commitment to me," Bohman said of the announcement. "I think it is phenomenal. We have been asking and asking for this."

Sam Sanchez, vice president of Coastline Micro, an Irvine, Calif.-based system builder, also welcomed the news. "It's a good thing whenever Intel and Microsoft get together to promote a solution for us [Premier Providers]," he said, adding he’s anxious to get the program’s details.

The Wintel intiative could help Coastline Micro double its whitebook business this year via higher margins, Sanchez said. The standardized parts and first-line Intel service will allow him to start offering his own extended two-year warranties at about $80. "We're going to make a lot more money on warranties that we weren't able to offer before," he said.

Ball said the Microsoft-Intel channel initiative is critical to helping system builders transition to the explosive whitebook market. "There has been a massive shift to notebooks," he said. "Without a shift to give these guys a vehicle to compete in that marketplace, we are just not going to be successful. The channel needs to have the right tools and assets to take this and drive it."

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