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Intel To Partners: Let's Embark On A PC Client-Device- Refresh Crusade

At this week's Intel Solutions Summit in Dallas, Intel highlights the 600 million aging devices out there, and promises technology that will knock customers 'off their chairs.'

It may be the most staggering opportunity facing Intel partners: the 600 million installed base of client devices that are 4 years old and older.

That potential gold mine will be a hot topic at this week's Intel Solutions Summit in Dallas, where the chip giant is arming partners with new technology and marketing muscle.

C.J. Bruno, Intel vice president and Americas general manager, told CRN that in the U.S. alone, there are several hundred million PCs that are 4 years old or older. He said Intel is providing partners with breakthrough technology to "knock business decision-makers and consumers off their chairs."

[Related: What To Expect From The Intel Solutions Summit]

"These things are literally revolutionary compared to the old 4-, 5-, 6-year-old compute devices that these businesses or consumers have in their homes or offices today," said Bruno. "The battery life, the designs themselves, the wireless display, the wireless data transfer, the wireless docking, improved security, best-in class-manageability … never mind the responsiveness and the graphic experience, the visual experience.
"I've been in this business for three-plus decades. I've not been this excited ever."

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based Intel system builder, said he is planning to pursue the PC upgrade market with his SMB client base by offering to refresh customers' PCs at the same time he is replacing Windows Server 2003, which reaches its end of life in July.

"This year, servers are reaching end of support for Windows Server 2003, and that is a bigger opportunity to also offer a PC desktop refresh," he said. "We can refresh our clients' servers and say, 'Hey, since we're doing all this, we should look at PCs simultaneously.' "

Among the promotions aimed at the installed base opportunity are additional incentive points for sales of select fifth-generation Intel Core processor-based 2-in-1s and Intel Core M-based systems. Intel is also providing a "first-time buy" promotion for new NUCs with up to 50 percent value back in points.

Intel is also offering marketing tools to help partners persuade customers to upgrade, such as commissioned reports and white papers on the effects of aging PCs on small businesses.

Intel says PCs that are 4 years old or older have 2.1 times more downtime hours and 30 percent higher annual repair costs.

That does not even take into account application productivity gains and other benefits that come from upgrading to new client devices. In the notebook market, according to Intel, new systems are two times faster for productivity applications, 50 percent lighter, three times thinner and have up to two times more battery life (eight hours) than 4-year-old systems.

ASI's Tibbils says his main selling points for PC refreshes revolve around security, compliance and additional productivity.

"Security is always an ongoing discussion with people, and when talking about PCs that are 4 years or older, there's other security issues related to maintenance of viruses," he said. "But there's also the performance, as customers value more efficiency."


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