Intel Solutions Marketplace Gives Partners New Ways To Grow
'It becomes a platform with which we can do a better job of featuring partners, bringing identified solutions to market and scaling our partner networking [efforts],' Intel's Eric Thompson says of the new Intel Solutions Marketplace.
Intel wants to give partners new ways to grow their business with the newly launched Intel Solutions Marketplace, the second pillar of the chipmaker's revamped channel program.
With Intel Solutions Marketplace, which launched Wednesday, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is giving partners new ways to list their Intel-based solutions on a digital storefront for lead generation purposes and to collaborate with other partners in a variety of fields, from IoT to artificial intelligence.
"It becomes a platform with which we can do a better job of featuring partners, bringing identified solutions to market and scaling our partner networking [efforts]," Eric Thompson, Intel's general manager of global partner enablement, told CRN in an interview.
The new marketplace is the second pillar of the new Intel Partner Alliance program, which will launch in the second half of next year and consolidate the company's Intel Technology Provider, Intel Cloud Insider and Intel IoT Solutions Alliance programs into one. The first pillar of the program, a new online training portal called Intel Partner University, launched in October.
The central thrust of Intel Solutions Marketplace is to give partners who qualify for Intel Partner Alliance's new Gold and Titanium tiers a better way to showcase their solutions in a digital storefront, whether it's software, hardware, a service or a bundled solution. At launch, the marketplace will have more than 4,500 listed solutions from nearly 1,000 partners, according to Thompson.
The new marketplace will bring together existing solutions directories, like Intel IoT Market Ready Solutions and Intel Select Solutions, Thompson said.
However, Intel Solution Marketplace will not facilitate transactions like an eCommerce store. Instead, it's meant as a way for partners to generate leads from customers as well as other partners who may need a solution to complement their existing business.
Partners can decide to set their solution listings as public, so that customers can find them through search or external web referrals, or as private, so that only other partners view them. Partners and customers can inquire about these solutions through a web form, which auto-fills the information for partners who are signed up for the marketplace. Next year, partners and customers will be able to inquire about solutions through a live chat feature that will be added.
Thompson said one of the ways partners can receive referrals is if their solutions use a new Intel product coming to market. In fact, the marketplace allows partners to pre-load information about the solution so that it can be published the day Intel makes a new product announcement.
"As we market solutions, we can direct that demand to our partner ecosystem," he said.
Another important way customers and partners can discover solutions is through a highly granular search feature that can filter by solution type, geographies covered by the solution provider, Intel products used and partner category, among others.
"The marketplace will be a great way in the future to match the OEM community with ODMs at the SKU level," Thomspon said as an example of how the search feature can help partners.
For Gold- and Titanium-tier partners who list solutions, they will also get their own profile page where they can feature solutions and list other key details about their business. Between the profile page and the individual solution listings, partners will have an online dashboard that tracks pageviews and leads.
Thompson said when a lead for a solution is generated, it will be emailed to designated contact at the solution providers, and Intel representatives will be informed as well for any follow-up.
Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based Intel authorized distributor, said Intel's efforts to centralize information for partners is a big win for the channel.
"Having it in the same environment and program will go a long way in making information easier to find and connecting other resellers," he said.