Intel's refocus on pairing up its partners to provide total solutions is one of the strongest indicators small dealers have a future, the company claims.
Intel's area sales manager, Philip Cronin, believes the company's partners must seek new ways to offer their services as an integrated package.
"Two years ago people were talking about the demise of the small dealer," he said.
The company last week launched its Intel e-Business Network, a Web portal that links over 50,000 independent solution providers together through one Intel certified network (ARN, May 3, page 8).
The site (www.intel.com/eBusiness/) underscores what Cronin believes is a shift in customer attitudes towards service providers. For example, Web developers increasingly offer network or integration solutions.
"We've recognised the emergence of influencers who are not traditional [customer] influencers," he explained.
Commenting on the Web site, Cronin said Australian resellers, Web developers, facilities management and service providers can use the site to seek new opportunities. "The place to do business is obviously the Web," he said.
Meanwhile, Intel itself is currently completing a national product training roadshow which includes presentations from some of its key partners.
In addition to expanding the channel's product knowledge, the objective is to support the Web site's strategy to matchmake partners and develop new customer solutions, he explained.
Tom Kilroy, general manager of Intel's Reseller Channel Operation and director of worldwide sales, explained last week that Intel certification and training is a key part of its business strategy.
"Say a business needs a Web strategy. They'd look through this portal, identify the competency they need, then break down the offerings city by city, all the time knowing each vendor is part of Intel's program," he said.