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AMD Is 'Aggressively' Incentivizing Partners To Sell Ryzen Pro

'We're really taking steps that are new and substantial investments on the AMD side, relative to what we've done in the commercial business historically, to go grow this market for us,' AMD's Matthew Unangst says of the chipmaker's new enterprise-level laptop processors.

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AMD Commercial Client Director Wants Big Wins For Partners

AMD said it is "aggressively" incentivizing channel partners to sell the company's latest Ryzen Pro processors that are bringing performance, high battery life and enterprise-level management features to dozens of ultra-thin business laptops this year.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced the new Ryzen Pro 4000 series last week, promising higher performance than Intel's 10th-generation Core U-series mobile processors and enterprise features that are competitive with the Intel vPro platform.

[Related: 10 Business Laptops That Use AMD's New Ryzen 4000 CPUs ]

In an interview with CRN, Matthew Unangst, director of AMD's commercial client business, said the chipmaker is deploying a variety of resources to educate and incentivize solution providers to sell laptops using the new processors, which are based on AMD's 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture that has helped the company gain market share in the x86 client and server processor markets.

"We're really taking steps that are new and substantial investments on the AMD side, relative to what we've done in the commercial business historically, to go grow this market for us," he said.

That includes AMD Arena, the company's new online training program that offers partners rewards for things ranging from merchandise to AMD-based laptops. The company has also ramped up direct training with partners, which will be done virtually for now due to the pandemic, according to Unangst. Then there's things like quick reference tools and marketing campaigns to target end customers.

Unangst said the company is also investing resources to ensure Ryzen Pro 4000 sales are a "win-win" scenario for AMD and its partners. He declined to provide more specifics about what kind of incentives the company is offering partners but said it's meant to be "a win for us in terms of growing the business but also wins for those partners in terms of seeing an opportunity to address their business goals."

"[It] incentivizes those partners more aggressively than what we've done in the past," he said. "And that allows us to aggressively go after growing that business in a way that's a win-win."

Unangst acknowledged that AMD hasn't had a solid track record on the commercial side in the past, but he said the company has overcome "historical concerns around AMD platforms," as demonstrated by its continued adherence to the Zen product roadmap that was established years ago and has since resulted in market momentum and big customer wins, particularly on the EPYC side.

"We're continuing to work through a long lasting perception in the market that we don't have the products that are capable," Unangst said, "but I think that absolutely, we have shown with the products that we've released over the last couple years and now coming this year that we have more than overcome some of those previous shortcomings in our product stack."

What follows is an edited transcript of CRN's interview with Unangst, who talked about the new opportunities Ryzen Pro 4000 creates for partners, how Ryzen Pro differs from Intel vPro, the company's commitment to providing a steady supply of CPU and how the company has convinced OEM partners to use AMD processors for more business laptop designs this year.

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