Components & Peripherals News
Intel vPro Is Making Big Bets On Partner, Ecosystem Enablement, Exec Says
The chipmaker's remote IT management platform is making new investments in channel partners to support device-as-a-service models through a new ecosystem enablement team that is incorporating feedback into future product plans, Intel's Stephanie Hallford tells CRN.
Incorporating Partner Feedback Into Future vPro Plans
Intel's vPro business is making big investments in enabling ecosystem and channel partners to build device-as-a-service offerings and other kinds of services with the chipmaker's storied remote IT management platform, a top executive told CRN.
As the semiconductor giant sees a greater need for vPro's silicon-level remote IT capabilities due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has been working closer with channel partners to push vPro processor sales because they've "got the DNA" to translate the benefits of the platform into real-world value for customers, according to Stephanie Hallford, vice president of the Client Computing Group and general manager of business client platforms at Intel.
"We've tended to be very OEM design win-driven, and I think now we've altered our position because we understand how important the partners are and how important the ecosystem is to bringing the true value of the hardware," she said in a recent interview. "And so we've really upped our investments and communication and co-working with our ecosystem partners, like Accenture."
Intel is expected to announce the launch of its next-generation vPro processors, Comet Lake, this month as its rival, AMD, is preparing to challenge the 14-year-old remote IT management brand with new Ryzen Pro 4000 processors for enterprise-grade laptops.
With the upcoming vPro processors, Intel is making a new sales and marketing push for the brand that is putting a greater focus on what partners can offer and how they can use it to create new device-as-a-service models for their businesses, according to Hallford. But the company is also making a bigger effort to incorporate partners in the planning and development of future products.
Part of that effort includes a new ecosystem enablement team within Hallford's vPro division that is working with partners of all kinds, from solution providers to independent software vendors, to support new integrations and incorporate partner feedback into future product plans, according to Hallford.
"So, for instance, with [device-as-a-service], we're talking to one of the partners that's building out a particular capability that they want to put into their DaaS services," Hallford said. "We're trying to build that upstream into our product planning, so that we enable that in a future platform, all the way down to how do we co-sell and solve problems together."
In her interview with CRN, Hallford discussed her biggest priorities for vPro this year, why channel partners are primed to take advantage of vPro, how vPro is enabling partners to build new device-as-a-service models and how the vPro sales strategy is changing. The following is an edited transcript.