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Intel AI Builders Program Aims To Connect Systems Integrators, ISVs, OEMs With Enterprise Customers

Systems integrators are key to the ecosystem Intel is building because of the complexity in deploying AI solutions at scale within large enterprises, says Fiaz Mohamed, head of business development for Intel's AI products group.

Intel wants to make it easier for systems integrators, ISVs and OEMs to connect with enterprise customers to develop and deploy artificial intelligence solutions.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is making it possible through a new initiative called the Intel AI Builders Program. Under the same umbrella as programs like Intel Cloud Builders and Intel Storage Builders, the new AI program aims to provide members with technical enablement resources, as well as co-marketing and matchmaking opportunities. For early stage vendors that are part of the program, there are also opportunities to receive an investment from Intel Capital.

The move is part of Intel's efforts to build new ecosystems around the company's products as it continues to transition into a data-centric firm.

"We wanted to build a community and partner program that would bring both sides of that ecosystem together," Fiaz Mohamed, head of business development for Intel's AI products group, told CRN.

The Intel AI Builders Program launched this week with more than 30 partners, including solution providers like Accenture and Colfax International, AI software providers like DataRobot and Gamalon, and hardware vendors like Dell EMC and HP. Featured on the program's webpage is a solutions library that offers technical reference documentation for developing and deploying various AI solutions, including anomaly detection, computer vision, natural language understanding and speech recognition.

The goal of the program is to help scale AI solutions with enterprises, Mohamed said.

"If you look at what this is doing, it helps enterprises adopt and deploy AI solutions faster than they would normally be able to because they can utilize the ecosystem," he said. "It's not only great for Intel. It's also great for companies that are developing these solutions."

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing of Fremont, Calif.-based ASI, told CRN that Intel's new program is reminiscent of one the company used to have for notebooks, where Intel played the role of matchmaker to connect OEMs with other players in the ecosystem.

"They did a lot of that same matchmaking and participating in the logistics setup," he said. "It works really well, especially for new categories of products they're trying to build a market for."

As for how the matchmaking will work, Mohamed said it will depend on the use case. He said the company has a good grasp of the kind of use cases Intel's enterprise customers are trying to enable, as well as the kind of solutions that the program's "builders" are offering.

Systems integrators have an important role to play in the ecosystem as well, Mohamed said, because deploying AI solutions at scale within large enterprises can take a lot of work. He pointed to Accenture as a good example of a company that can aid with these kinds of deployments.

"One of the things they do really well is build out large-scale infrastructure deployments," he said.

While the AI Builders Program is starting out with a small group of members, Mohamed said Intel envisions this program becoming larger over time. "Very quickly, this will become a very large program where you see that sharing of ideas and product capabilities," he said.

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