New programme for Intel channel partners

Intel launches new partner programme to provide online awards for channel at Intel Solution Summit

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By  Julian Pletts in Rome Published  April 14, 2008

Intel today revealed its latest strategy for driving engagement with the channel by announcing Intel Flex +, the next component of its channel partner programme.

Senior executives from the CPU manufacturer provided details of the initiative at the Intel Solutions Summit (ISS), which is currently being held in Rome, and outlined a series of comprehensive benefits for partners within the EMEA region.

Intel has 50,000 channel partner members on its books in EMEA, all of which will be eligible to join the Intel Flex + scheme. Steven Dallman, VP sales and marketing group and general manager of the worldwide reseller channel organisation at Intel, believes the programme - which acts as an online rewards system - will help the vendor to capitalise on the strength of its channel.

"What we have noticed in the past was that Intel Inside was very much a marketing programme - branding, running adverts and helping partners pay for events that they went to," explained Dallman. "One of the things that we found is that they were not able to get benefits for their business. So we said, ‘how can we adjust and do something that is useful for their business?' What we have been able to do is put in place this points programme, which allows them to earn points that they can exchange for other benefits Intel provides in the programme."

Channel partners that sign up to Intel Flex + will be able to realise a host of traditional benefits that will aid their business including provisions for demo equipment, promotions, consulting services and Intel merchandising.

The vendor also plans to afford assemblers and resellers the chance to redeem points on various ‘lifestyle' privileges such as travel, iPass WiFi access, priority entry to airport lounges and health and fitness memberships.

Intel - which admits its inspiration for the programme can be found in conventional air miles schemes - intends the new addition to be organic and non-stagnant. Dallman confirmed plans for a quarterly refresh rate, which would allow a partner to register their results in order to tally points earned, and said the eventual aim was to establish a weekly refresh period.

Although the scheme will largely be managed online, the implementation will be overseen by the vendor's local offices, allowing for local and geographical individualities.

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