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New Intel CTO Greg Lavender Talks ‘Developer Reboot,’ Making ‘More Sophisticated Software’

In an exclusive interview with CRN, new Intel CTO Greg Lavender talks about the company’s ‘developer reboot,’ which includes an unprecedented persuasion campaign for independent software developers, and building ‘more sophisticated software’ to create new business opportunities for partners.

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I asked Pat Gelsinger (pictured) if Intel is looking into new paid software services or products, and he said yes, and I’m just wondering, when you're talking about going up the value chain, is that where the potential is for future paid software services? 

Let me give you a VMware perspective on where that potential is. So everybody’s talking zero trust [architecture]. So let’s take the last 24 months, [the pandemic happening during most of it], and the whole SD-WAN and the whole SASE model for the edge, with everybody going and working from home and companies that want to ship thin-client devices with [virtual desktop infrastructure] or laptops to maybe millions of workers. Everyone’s sort of racing to how you secure that edge, and lots of it is just cobbled together out of necessity. So companies like Zscaler took off. Zoom took off. All of this value was created in the market due to this immediate distribution of everybody.

But there are better ways to secure that edge at real zero trust, for example, with secure computing, trusted computing capabilities, which we can provide at the device level, let’s say in every laptop. We have it in servers, but [let’s focus] on laptops. And so these new ways of working have opened up new vulnerability paths. If you have a zero-trust model where you don’t have a bunch of bloatware running on your PC or Windows environment [in the corporate world], the IT guys—and I knew this because I ran cybersecurity engineering at Citibank. You have all this stuff running on your laptop to make sure that you’re not infected, but it takes up like 40 [percent to] 50 percent of your CPU just to do that, and so you only get half of the value of what you got there. But if you can unload all that stuff and you can actually have it ‘built in’ and, more importantly, you can be running [machine learning] inferencing models, detecting anomalous things happening at an edge, you can then provide that telemetry back to an IT department, to a service, VMware’s Carbon Black, for example.

And so again, because we have the platform and we sort of know everything that’s running, and we know everything about the power and the battery life and all this other stuff, we can serve that telemetry up into some SaaS service. It doesn’t have to be ours, but it could be somebody else’s or a partner’s, where they could potentially start to monetize that. Now we have those capabilities that [are] coming because it takes awhile for that to get into the ecosystem, whether it’s Chrome OS for Chromebooks and Windows for most of the laptop ecosystem. But those capabilities are in our platforms. We just have to work with our partners to bring them forward in new ways they can create new business models, and there [are] possibilities of revenue sharing there.

 
 
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