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Pat Gelsinger: Intel Will Be ‘More Ecosystem-Friendly’ Than Nvidia

In his exclusive interview with CRN, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger talks about how Intel’s recent reorganization will give more attention to Intel’s “under-focused” graphics and network businesses, how Intel plans to win market share from Nvidia and why Intel is looking at building new paid software services and purpose-built systems in the future.

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Earlier, when you said these new paid software services under consideration have to be ecosystem-friendly, do you envision this being an opportunity that channel partners could eventually partake in?  

Oh, absolutely. Oh yeah, absolutely. Very much so, 101 percent, exclamation point! And by the way, I do think in that regard, and I don‘t want this to sound denigrating, but I think many channel partners got too comfortable with the sheet metal-oriented business models. And the ones that I have the most respect for have, at a minimum, started to deliver more of the software, SaaS and additional services on top of it and, in many cases, built entirely new business practices.

Sheet metal. Can you just elaborate on that? 

Way too many of the channel partners have been, “Hey, I‘m delivering the hardware components, the innovations wrapped in sheet metal right associated with it. And if I do any software and services, it’s largely to support the sheet metal underneath it.” As I poke some of my Intel colleagues now, I’ve said in many cases [these channel partners] view software and SaaS almost like wood filler: “We have this perfect piece of furniture that we’re building [with Intel’s] silicon. Oh, we to fill a gap, let’s stick a little software in it to fix it.” It’s like, no! The software is the value! And now we have to enhance it, and that has to be this pretty major shift for many channel partners as well.




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