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Intel’s John Kalvin On How New ISV Investments Will Boost Partners

Dylan Martin

In an exclusive interview with CRN, Intel Global Channel Chief John Kalvin says the chipmaker is increasing investments to ensure a broader range of software is ready for new processors as soon as they launch to help channel partners deliver Intel-based solutions faster and with greater confidence.

Can you provide any examples of how ISVs are benefiting from the work Intel’s doing?

We have a great partnership with VMware that existed while Pat [Gelsinger] was at VMware [and continues to exist]. [This involves] working with [VMware Global Channel Chief] Sandy [Hogan] and her team on how we accelerate with resellers the deployment of VMware on Intel hardware for particular applications. That’s one example.

In the data gravity, data pipeline space, obviously these are huge, growing areas. Everyone’s trying to figure out how to harness the power of their data. There’s a huge amount of work going on with ISVs in that space — names you know, names you may not know. We’re trying to make sure that we’re optimizing and doing a lot of workload placement, because a large part of what’s happening is, [ISVs] are trying to figure out, “Where do I land this specific workload in which cloud on which instance?” And Intel is the ubiquitous architecture of the cloud, and so whether you want to go to [Microsoft] Azure or you want to go to Amazon [Web Services] or you want to go to Google [Cloud] or the other many other clouds out there, there are a lot of different kinds of instances with different combinations of Intel technologies, old and new. And so we work with a lot of those data gravity ISVs to figure out where’s the optimal place to land that workload in.

And then another example I think is great is I was meeting with one of our large [global systems integrators] a few days ago, and we were talking about more of the edge-to-cloud scenario, and some work that we’re doing in quick service restaurants. And here’s a different combination of problems: They’re trying to figure out how much of the workload to deploy at the edge in the quick service restaurant, how much of the workload to put into the cloud. And the same thing applies there: Intel architecture exists in the cloud. Intel architecture, we got lots of technology to play out at the edge, and so that gives an incredible level of flexibility to write software once and then be able to decide where is the optimal place to land that. So that’s another example of the kind of work that’s going on.

I’ll tell you another one. There’s a lot of work going on with SAP Cloud migration across the ecosystem. I’ve sat in a lot of meetings with a lot of partners talking about same [issues]: Where do we land this in the cloud? Where do we land this particular workload in which cloud with which instance of Intel hardware to deliver the best outcome for the company that wants to consume that?

This new organization that Greg Lavender is heading up, the Software and Advanced Technology Group. You spoke a little earlier about the possible ways in which the partner organization and the software group is working together, and you’ve also talked about how you’re trying to break down barriers across the company to better help Intel’s partners. Have there been any conversations yet on how the partner organization is going to work with the Software and Advanced Technology Group?

Absolutely. And let me just first add that Greg’s a great addition to the Intel leadership team. He brings a level of depth of expertise in technology broadly, especially in the software space, so I’m excited to see what he’ll do over the coming years. It’s only been a couple of months as he stands up his organization and starts to unify [the company’s software efforts] across Intel, so I’m excited about that.

But yeah, I’m engaged with Greg and Greg’s staff to really start to understand how we can bring more value to our partners. It extends across the same thing I talked about earlier, which is how do we bring the work that they’re doing, support the tools that they’re developing or that we have today — access to dev clouds — bring that to the get to market” and then, again, put that together with the go-to-market, so it’s still early. But I think having a unified organization that exists, especially under Greg’s leadership — he’s got a really talented staff who can look across the whole of Intel — it gives our team a focal point to go engage with, so that we can try to do that integration and make it a bit easier for our partners.

 
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