Intel's global channel organisation now boasts more than 160,000 members purchasing products from more than 1000 distributors around the world. But the humble origin of this huge global business was right here in Australia, where 80 resellers signed up to become Intel channel partners in October 1994.
"We started about a month before China and well ahead of Europe or the US, so we were the trailblazers if you like," recalled Ross Owen, now Intel's local OEM partner manager.
"The problem we were addressing was how local system assemblers could survive when technology was changing so quickly - especially when they were up against large multinational competitors with huge development and marketing teams.
"We realised we needed to provide product support but it was also necessary to offer training to keep the local industry competitive."
The first cab off the rank was the Genuine Intel Dealer program. This was quickly followed by Intel Premier Provider, which encourages partners to sell a broader range and greater volumes of the vendor's products.
The first boxed Intel Pentium processor was sold through Australian and Chinese resellers in 1995. The local market now includes about 30 Intel Premier Providers, 1200 Genuine Intel Dealers and 3000 resellers of Intel technology. Globally, channel sales now account for about 30 per cent of all Intel processor sales.
To mark the 10th anniversary of Intel launching its reseller channel program, the chipmaker is planning to hold dinners in Sydney and Melbourne as a thank you to some of the partners that have been part of the program since day one. These will include Ipex, Optima, ASI Solutions, TPG and Paragon Systems.