Intel aims to reach broad partner base

Sven Beckmann, sales manager, Middle East at Intel explains recent changes to Intel’s partner programme.

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Intel aims to reach broad partner base Intel has developed a program to reach more of its diverse partner base, says Beckmann.
By  Mark Sutton Published  July 13, 2011

Sven Beckmann, sales manager, Middle East at Intel explains recent changes to Intel’s partner programme.

CME: Can you tell us some more about the  changes has Intel made to its partner programme?

SB: We kicked off at the Solutions Summit in April, and launched worldwide changes to our current programme. The key message was taking more of a holistic view, in terms of looking at all our resellers. The reseller community, in essence is not just customers that sell components. The channel partner programme has evolved over many years. The programmes and the business have transitioned and evolved, and there are so many different parts of the business in the reseller community that we need to touch, to be involved with the reseller community overall.

We have partners that are doing embedded solutions, like smart screens; our traditional component business is evolving into more and more niches; we have launched solid state hard drives and then there are customers that are part of the reseller community that are selling complete PCs from the likes of HP and Dell.

We looked at the differences, and decided we need to have a more holistic programme that touches everybody. The value proposition around it was all of these customers are interested in technology, they need to have skills, so we need to do skill transfer, so they know what Intel is doing on our roadmaps, and what technology is coming up.

We also looked at how these customers go to market, whether, from a marketing point of view if they are positioning themselves correctly as a trusted advisor to their customers, and how we can help with that; and we looked at it from a support perspective, and how we can help them when they have issues, help them with supply chain etc.

This is the over arching vision of our partner programmes, and the mission is to make sure we can reach all of those customers within the reseller community and provide value to them.

CME: Is this intended to be a one-size-fits-all programme?

SB: Absolutely not. Our customer portfolio is so diverse, it can be a customer that is still building PCs in the back of their garage, or large brands like Casper in Turkey, Sky Electronics or Quality Computers in Dubai, the customer’s range and focus are pretty diversified. The programme needs to be holistic, but we can service those different needs.

CME: Will existing partners automatically be qualified for the new programme?

SB: There are changes to membership status and new branding. There is a criteria threshold, so that everybody that is on the existing programme today, we will do a transfer with them through 2011, but there are certain criteria they need to meet, there is a formal process that they need to go through. Each status of partner, from registered member, then Gold status and Platinum status, each of those has requirements they need to meet.

CME: What sort of requirements are there for partners to qualify?

SB: One of the key things we focused on is skills and training, that is a major element. That is done online, we recognise the modules that the individuals complete. Depending on where you are in the programme, there is a dollar value whether you are doing components business or indirect business.

CME: Are many of the Middle East partners having to increase their skills to get into the parts of the programme they want?

SB: I think we are probably at an inflection point in the industry in terms of change, and everybody has to look at their skills sets. I believe some of our customers won’t be there in two years time. Some of the customers will adapt and change with the pace of the industry, but skills are going to be key. Being able to see the trends in new technologies and how they are coming to market, and see how they can adjust, take ownership and really drive change is key. Ultimately we want to make sure that customers have access to the best-in-class technology, we will do a skills transfer so they know how to take this to market.

CME: What has been the reaction to the programmes so far from the local markets?

SB: Everybody that I have spoken to has been saying why has it taken us so long? Overall it has been positive. There are customers that need to evolve, and I feel from the partners a sense of urgency about the rate of change that is coming in the industry, and the partners are looking at how they can take advantage of it.

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