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Intel's Lisa Spelman: Why Optane DC Is Winning Over Customers

'The part that's been interesting has been—and I feel good because I said this before launch—was once we get the product in the hands of customers, they will do things with it that we didn't think to do,' Intel Xeon and Memory Chief Lisa Spelman tells CRN in an interview.

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For Intel's channel partners, systems integrators, value-added resellers, anyone who's either selling servers or building servers or both, why should they care about CXL?

I think they should view it as just another opportunity to increase performance for their customers and remove complexity. There's so much opportunity in the industry still as workloads grow and proliferate, as everyone needs to go from edge to cloud and back again. Nobody's just doing their one stand-alone data center thing; it's all connected. For those systems integrators, for the channel partners, all of them, to help people that just don't have the resources themselves to do it.

So I traveled through Europe for the end of the year, and I spent time with some of our major customers over there. Some of the automakers, all of that. And I was again reminded and astounded by at times how small the IT departments can be, even [at] major corporations. You're talking to people, and they're like, ‘No, I'm the person for this. Like, I'm the department of this.’ Whether it is performance or security or modeling or whatever. So there is a ton of opportunity to help them stay on top of all of it and really differentiate themselves, for the channel partners, on their value-add.

AMD's ramping up their efforts with EPYC Rome. To the channel partners, what is your message to them as to why Intel is still their most important data-centric partner?

I just look at what we're doing across that data movement pipeline from moving, storing and processing, edge to cloud and back. I just don't know that there's another partner besides Intel that has the capability to address more of their business and more of their customers' needs. And you've seen us. We've committed for over 20 years in the data center space, network space and in driving the solutions, driving the software, driving the hardware, make it all happen, get the ecosystem ready, drive the industry, and then deliver that workload performance. And sometimes we get wrapped up in these benchmark wars and things like that. But at the end of the day, what we're trying to do is make sure that what the customers need gets resolved in the simplest, easiest, cleanest fashion possible. And I don't think you'll find anyone with more capability and history and forward potential in that space than Intel.


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