Intel VP: Workplace Transformation Drives Partner Opportunities Across Data Center, Memory, IoT And PC Segments

Intel is leading the charge toward tapping into workplace transformation by encouraging partners to look at opportunities on both the hardware side -- including small form factor PCs and servers -- and in the cloud, including data center and networking opportunities.

Americas General Manager CJ Bruno said that as businesses transform, that creates lucrative opportunities for Intel partners, particularly those with focuses in data center, the Internet of Things, memory and small form factors.

"Workplace transformation is a massive change we're seeing in the world -- it's not even [solely] in our industry -- it's a worldwide phenomenon," he said in an exclusive interview with CRN before the Intel Solutions Summit this week in Kissimmee, Fla. "We'll explore the opportunities that are not only for Intel but for all our partners in the room. Compute is exploding, storage is exploding and networking is exploding, and we have an awesome opportunity because of it. Those explosions are happening in reaction to those businesses transforming in front of our eyes."

[Related: Partners: PC Innovation, Data Center Opportunities Top Intel Solutions Summit Wish List]

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Intel's vision of workplace transformation includes a mobile, analytics and cloud paradigm as the new digital business platform, utilizing new technologies for advanced collaboration, and virtualizing the workplace to push business intelligence.

Bruno said data center -- which covers technologies under the server-networking spectrum, including cloud, high-performance computing (HPC), big data and enterprise servers -- has been a "significant growth engine" for North America channel partners.

"What we're doing is helping our partner community use our standard building blocks to tackle those compute, storage and networking opportunities. ... In every one of these transformations, we see a chance for partners to grow their businesses," he said.

The focus on data center this year will extend beyond Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel's Xeon server processors to revolve around software-defined infrastructure, as partners look to monetize the transformation of data centers into optimized cloud platforms.

Another data center topic in 2016 will be Intel’s Omni-Path architecture, an element of the company’s scalable system framework, which delivers performances for HPC workloads as another effect of workplace transformation. Also in the spotlight: 3D NAND products and 3D Crosspoint technology to fuel Optane solid state drives for partners with an HPC focus.

The Internet of Things is another way for Intel partners to monetize workplace transformation -- as more companies look to make their businesses safer and more efficient, Intel will be encouraging partners to look for specific use cases for IoT technology, Bruno said.

"We're very maniacally focused at encouraging our partners at getting very specific -- not just in the vertical, … but a specific use case, a business process that they'll apply technology ingredients to … to make businesses more efficient or more customer-friendly," he said.

On the hardware side, Bruno said, partners have opportunities to tap into businesses' transformation to more mobile-first, wireless environments with the introduction of Intel's sixth-generation processors. These Skylake processors, combined with Microsoft's new Windows 10 OS, are optimized for mobile 2-in-1 PCs, and give devices better battery life, performance and visual experiences, according to the company.

Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, a Kent, Wash.-based Intel system builder partner, said it was good for partners that Intel is releasing products that will match the needs of transforming enterprises.

"Intel has been great in being creative with the products they bring to market and in how they see products fitting into new needs of things," he said. "Intel's Xeon D lower-power processors, for example, are a great shift for Intel for specialty purposes. Despite being a big company, Intel is nimble in adopting to needs changing in the server business and offering more specialized targeted solutions."