Intel expands partner engagement assistance

Intel expands partner engagement assistance

Vendor keen to give partners more tools to engage customers through the recession.

Intel is tweaking its channel offerings in order to give partners the necessary tools to engage with customers and maximise business opportunities.

Speaking at the Intel Solutions Summit, Intel vice-president of sales and marketing group and general manager of the worldwide reseller channel organisation, Steve Dallman, reaffirmed the vendor's commitment to investing in its channel, despite the economic conditions.

"The channel is doing pretty well, considering the economy has stabilised somewhat," he said. "We see the channel as doing well when partners have lots of options to talk to customers about."

Dallman highlighted new Intel products, such as its solid-state drive (SSD) technology and motherboards, as allowing partners to engage in new discussions with customers.

"With that in mind, we're really committed to training – what good is it if they [partners] don't know about it, or how to use it and put it together?" he said.

Intel is also expanding its Flex+ program and Reseller Centre, Dallman said.

"The Flex+ program has become very successful for us," he said. "We're adding new things to it and ways for partners to earn points. The goal is to put benefits in for partners to grow business, such as consultancy hours, travel vouchers and demo units. It's not like an American Express system, and the rewards change from country to country – it's a tool for us to help our partners engage their customers in a way best for them.

"As for the Reseller Centre – we've had it for a long time and continue to improve it. What we're trying to do now is improve sell through collateral and offering things such as marketing material, brochures, demos and banners."

One area Intel is especially focused on is helping partners with Web presence to take advantage of the vendor's online marketing initiatives, Dallman said.

"We've moved our advertising to the Web. When a consumer wants to find a product and clicks on ‘where to buy?’ the search reads the IP and shows them their area, and where the nearby premire providers are located. It's averaging 4000 leads per month around the world.

"We have found channel partners have been most successful in going into rural communities – they know their community and how to sell into it."

- Matthew Sainsbury travelled to Intel Solutions Summit as a guest of Intel.

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