Intel's Greg Baur On Positioning Partners For Growth And The Opportunities In IoT

How Partners Factor Into The New Intel

Greg Baur, vice president of the sales and marketing group for Americas' regional sales group, tells CRN that Intel picked the technology segments it's expanding in for a reason -- and that reason is because they provide 'huge potential' for the company and its channel partners.

Get more of CRN's coverage of the 2017 Intel Solutions Summit, here.

Where does the channel fit into Intel's restructuring efforts over the past year?

Much like Intel's company wide strategy, we're really trying to expand and grow our business beyond the PC. So there's a lot of different initiatives, whether it's around the client and PC, the data center, our storage business, around the IoT business. Our technology is expanding into many different areas, and the channel is a big part of that.

How are you positioning partners to make money in these areas of growth, like IoT and data center?

We've been having discussions with our channel partners for a while now. As an example, with the traditional PC business -- the architecture and the components -- partners are evolving into things like digital signage. There's been an evolution of the traditional PC into new areas, and our channel partners have led that, so it's just a next step of that, where I see partners taking the technology and finding that sweet spot to drive sales.

What are the opportunities for channel partners to drive revenue with IoT?

[IoT is] complex for sure, just because of the magnitude of the different verticals and segments making it up -- it ranges from military equipment to smart buildings to smart cars -- there's all kinds of different embedded opportunities for our technology, and we're focusing on many of those. … It gives partners a new opportunity, whether it's a form factor or different product lines that the channel partners take and distribute into new customers. Partners know how to take products, get the feedback from clients, but we're helping them into new areas they may not have been in before, and it's a big growth opportunity.

What about opportunities for partners in the data center?

Certainly, the data center is booming for us, and a lot of it is centered around the overall company strategy. We talked about multiple edge devices -- the PC being most well-known -- but when you think about IoT, wearables, drones and all these other devices, they are all generating data. All that data needs to be processed somewhere, whether it's local because of the latency, or in many places up in the cloud. More edge devices are out there, and that means more servers, networking and more opportunities. That data can get monetized, and customers need new and improved edge devices. So this cycle that we see is the core for the future.

What is the future of the Client Computing Group?

PC is and always will be a critical part of Intel's business. Our strategy is to grow beyond it. In the client itself, with different form factors and different business models, it's an expansion within our own client business that was traditionally PCs. 2-in-1s are a good example; the gaming business has a number of customers that are channel partners playing in that space, they are seeing tremendous opportunities. As part of our Client Computing Group, there's also connected homes. Think of inside the homes themselves -- there's so many devices being connected, whether it's a refrigerator [or more], it's been an evolution of what was traditionally the client.

What are your goals in the coming year for Intel's channel?

Our CEO has three goals for us, and it's growth, growth and more growth. We're focused on growth in all of the segments. We've made some pretty big bets through acquisitions recently -- even a couple of years ago with the Altera acquisition -- and all of it is centered around accelerating our technology, and how do we get it into the multiple vertical markets out there. We see more technology, better, stronger, faster devices out there -- so our goals are growth, sure, but growth in all the segments. We have a baseline where we're growing in client, or data center, or our new technology devices. All the segments we picked, we picked for a reason -- because there's huge potential for Intel and our channel partners