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Join Intel at the Black Hat USA cybersec conference

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by Peter Krass on 08/05/2022
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Mention a conference for hackers, and Intel may not be the first company that comes to mind. Yet Intel will have a pretty robust showing at this year’s Black Hat USA, a hybrid event being held August 6-11, both in Las Vegas and online.

Founded in 1997, Black Hat is a cybersecurity event that offers training, research updates and lots of personal networking. This year’s Black Hat opens with 4 days of training starting on Saturday, August 6. The main event will be held on Wednesday, August 10, and Thursday, August 11.

Black Hat USA 2022

If you’re attending the live portion in Las Vegas, check out Intel’s booth #1460 on the show floor. The company will be giving demos on various security products and providing real-world use cases.

Among the security products Intel will be exhibiting at Black Hat this year are Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) and Intel Threat Detection Technology (TDT).

Theater sessions

Also, Intel will offer theater presentations featuring partners that include Anjuna, Fortanix and Grip Security.

Here’s a sampling of Intel's theater sessions at this year's Black Hat USA:

Project Circuit-Breaker: This community of elite hackers hunt for bugs in firmware, hypervisors, GPUs, chipsets and more. This virtual talk will be presented by Katie Trimble-Noble, director of product security and bug bounty at Intel.

Fault-Injection Detection Circuits: This virtual session covers the tunable replica circuit (TRC), a fault-injection detection circuit that has been integrated into Intel Converged Security and Management Engine in the recent 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs. This is Intel's first foray into active fault-injection attack detection in high-volume products such as CPUs and chipsets. The session will be jointly presented by Daniel Nemiroff, an Intel senior engineer, and Carlos Tokunaga, principal engineer at Intel.

Fuzzing: A Must-Have in Your Bug-Hunting Arsenal: Fuzz testing, aka fuzzing, is a dynamic software-testing mechanism. It's designed to detect a wide spectrum of bugs and potential security vulnerabilities ranging from memory corruption to deadlocks, from undefined behavior to exception handling. This in-person talk will be presented by Priyam Biswas, an offensive security researcher at Intel, as part of The Diana Initiative, an associated conference for the underrepresented in IT security.

Check out the full schedule of Intel's theater sessions at Black Hat USA 2022.

 

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Business transformation with SAP software: Get trained with new Intel Partner University Competency

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by Peter Krass on 08/03/2022
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If your customers include midsize to large organizations, you know how much demand there is for SAP skills. Now, with help from Intel and SAP, you can gain them.

SAP is where the money is. The company commands a leading 14% share of the ERP market, according to lntel. That’s an impressive number in a market with some 70 competitors. And SAP’s ERP products are used by nearly 33,000 companies worldwide.

SAP also offers products for customer relationship management (CRM), spend management, supply chain, HR and business tech — a powerful combo that has transformed SAP into an industry leader with annual revenue approaching $28 billion. Customers of SAP use these products for transforming their businesses.

There’s also a strong relationship between SAP’s S/4HANA relational database management system and Intel components. That’s particularly true for Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel Optane Persistent Memory.

In a recent report, market analyst firm IDC says organizations that upgrade their data center infrastructures with these Intel components to run their SAP S/4HANA environments can realize big benefits. On average, these benefits are worth $4.7 million a year, or a bit over $30K per every hundred users.

New joint training for SAP transformations

To help you get up to speed on using SAP products for business transformation, Intel has created a new training program that features their joint offerings. A Competency in Intel Partner University, the program is called Business Transformation for SAP Software, and it’s the first Competency jointly developed by Intel and a partner.

Like other Competencies, it’s an in-depth training curriculum designed to help you build your expertise in a specific technology or product. Complete this Competency, and you’ll not only be smarter and better able to sell SAP products, but you’ll also gain a digital badge you can display online for up to 18 months, demonstrating your new skills and knowledge.

The Business Transformation for SAP Software Competency is intended for professionals holding a wide range of job titles. These include business-development managers, technology solutions specialists, cloud solution architects, SAP sales and pre-sales specialists, and other Intel partners who recommend, sell and implement SAP solutions.

Competency components

The new SAP Competency includes a core set of required courses. They include The Value Proposition of Running SAP Landscapes on Intel Platforms.

In addition, you can customize your learning journey by selecting solution industries that best support your business focus. These include healthcare, manufacturing, public sector, retail, supply chain and utilities. Here’s an example:

> Business Transformation with SAP: Industry Solutions: Utilities

Learn how to help your customers transform their business with SAP software and Intel hardware. Check out the Business Transformation for SAP Software Competency on Intel Partner University now.

 

Intel Partner University is among the many benefits enjoyed by Intel Partner Alliance members. Not yet a member? Learn more about IPA and register to join.

 

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The U.S. CHIPS Act: What’s in it for you?

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by Peter Krass on 08/02/2022
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That’s the U.S. Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors Act, better known as the CHIPS Act.

First proposed in 2021 and then almost left for dead, the CHIPS Act has now been approved by both the U.S. Senate and House. All that’s left now is the almost-certain signature of President Biden. Then this act becomes law.

So what’s in it for tech providers?  

In the short term, probably not much. The kinds of actions the act is intended to stimulate won’t happen overnight.

But in the long term, assuming the act’s incentives work as intended, you could be enjoying a lot easier access to the digital components you need.

Chips goals

Before explaining that, let’s take a quick look at what the CHIPS Act is all about. Here are its stated goals:

> Strengthen the United States’ position in semiconductor research, development and manufacturing

> Provide incentives to restore U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing

> Grow the U.S. ecosystem for microelectronics and semiconductor R&D

> Secure U.S. supplies for critical sectors

The value of the total package is $280 billion. That includes $52 billion in subsidies to encourage companies to manufacture semiconductors in the United Sates. And $24 billion in tax incentives and other provisions.

Chips chain

So how’s that going to help you? Mainly, by improving the supply chain. How? Mainly by moving manufacturing closer to you and your primary suppliers.

The supply-chain issues experienced during the early days of the pandemic (and to some extent even now) were due in large part to the adoption of what’s known as Just-in-Time manufacturing. The idea is that instead of amassing huge inventories, manufacturers can make products only after they’ve received an actual order. You build the product “just in time.”

It’s a great idea, as long as you have a reliable and fast supply of parts. Without that, your deliveries will be slow, leaving customers impatient, frustrated and looking for alternatives.

Alas, that’s exactly what happened in 2020. Something like 80% of all digital components are now made in Asia. And many Asian factories—notably those in China—reacted to the pandemic by simply shutting down.

So at the time, when a PC or server OEM needed more chips, they were told, “Sorry, the factory is closed.” So much for “just in time.”

The CHIPS Act should help. Intel, for one, has said the act’s incentives will allow it to build 2 new fabs in Ohio. All things being equal, a company building servers in California will get chips faster from Ohio than it would from China.

Chips ahead

Right now, that’s not much of an issue because demand is so soft. For example, PC shipments fell by 15% in the second quarter, according to IDC. And during Intel’s second-quarter earnings call with analysts last week, the company attributed its 25% downturn in client-computing sales to OEMs working off their inventory.

In other words, PC makers optimistically ordered lots of components, only to find the demand simply wasn’t there. Once PC makers realized this, they stopped ordering new components and instead focused on selling what they had in inventory.

However, there is the little matter of Windows 11. While plenty of older PCs were able to run Win10, many probably won’t be able to handle Win11. Earlier this year, Microsoft said any PC older than 4 years shouldn’t run Win11.

So users, especially those in business, will want new PCs.

Granted, this won’t happen overnight, either. Microsoft says Windows 10 support extends through Oct. 14, 2025. That’s more than 3 years from now.

 

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In the Zone

Partner market insights, summer 2022 edition

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by Intel on 07/28/2022
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By Jason Kimrey

Welcome to the summer 2022 edition of my Partner Market Insights!

We’re seeing some areas of the business heating up while others show signs of cooling.

PC shipment decline: Worldwide shipments of PCs are expected to decline by 9.5% this year. Gartner is attributing the decline to inflation, geopolitical unrest and supply-chain disruptions. Business PC shipments are expected to drop less than consumer PCs.

IDC is also projecting PC shipments will be down, but by 8% year-over-year, to about 321 million units. Tablet unit shipments are expected to drop roughly 6%. Despite the declines, IDC notes that shipments will remain above pre-pandemic levels and should return to positive annual growth levels next year.

IDC also reported that demand for PCs declined 15% in the second quarter. Despite the recent decline and weakening demand, total PC volume is still comparable to that at the beginning of the pandemic.

In the cloud: According to Forrester, nearly all (94%) U.S. companies are using at least 1 type of cloud deployment, and the majority are using hybrid or many cloud environments. Nearly three quarters (74%) are adopting containers within a platform as a service model.

Compute & storage infrastructure spending rises: Spending on compute and storage infrastructure products for cloud deployments, including dedicated and shared environments, increased 17% year-over-year in the first quarter, to $18.3 billion, according to IDC. Investments in non-cloud infrastructure increased nearly 10% year-over-year in Q1, rising to $14.8 billion.

Infrastructure as a Service grows: The infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 41% in 2021, for a total of $90.9 billion worldwide. That was up from $64.3 billion in the previous year, according to Gartner.

Software sales surge: Software sales in the first quarter recorded a 14% increase, IDC says. March was the largest single month for software sales in the last 4 years.

IT spending trends: TechCrunch expects overall IT spending to increase nearly 7% this year. The energy sector is forecast to show the highest budget increases by sector.

Government IT spending: Worldwide, governments are expected to spend $565.7 billion on IT this year, up 5% over 2021. One interesting note in this report is the growing popularity of Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) across government organizations for its better ROI and the fact that it helps governments avoid the accrual of more technical debt. By 2026, Gartner predicts, most government agencies’ new IT investments will be made in XaaS solutions.

AI and business-process automation: Half of current finance artificial intelligence (AI) deployments will be either delayed or cancelled by 2024, Gartner expects. Meanwhile, the use of business-process outsourcing (BPO) for AI will rise from 6% to 40% in just 2 years.

Sustainability service spending: Environmental, social and governance (ESG) business services spending will grow to $158 billion by 2025, enjoying a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% as companies look to improve sustainability, predicts IDC.

Spotlight on Inflation

You can’t get away from news about the impact of inflation, and our industry is no exception.

CFOs are expected to look at cost-reduction strategies if high inflation continues, Gartner says. In addition, automation is seen as an important strategy to help CIOs combat higher costs.

IDC expects 18 to 24 more months of elevated rates of IT inflation of 7% to 8% across all IT categories. That should be followed by a moderation to slightly below-average rates in the following 2 to 3 years.

CIO adviser Marc Dowd shared some good thoughts in this post:

“If you have laid the foundation by becoming a partner in the growth and success of the organization and have led the charge as IT becomes integral to the delivery of goods and services to customers, chances are the budget will get approved, and the impact of IT inflation on your organization can be absorbed and offset by the increased value you are providing to customers.”

Sales, Marketing and E-commerce Trends:

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce sales are expected to exceed $2 trillion by 2023 and grow at a 5-year CAGR of nearly 11%, predicts Forrester. Last year, B2B ecommerce sales in the United States saw record-breaking growth. Looking ahead, Forrester expects ecommerce will account for nearly a quarter of total U.S. B2B sales by 2027.

More than 8 in 10 B2B buyers (83%) prefer ordering or paying through digital commerce, says Craig Riley, chief of research in the Gartner Sales practice. A new approach is needed, he says, one that combines digital and human engagements to help buyers feel more confident in their decisions and drives high-quality deals. Gartner’s B2B buyer survey found that close to three-quarters of B2B buyers (72%) completed a recent significant purchase transaction by ordering or paying online.

Marketing budgets are on the rise. They’ve increased to 9.5% of company revenue this year, up from 6.4% last year, notes Gartner.

Data matters: We’ve talked about how important data is to business. Well, Gartner reports that 65% of organizations are transitioning to data-driven decision-making.

Ecosystem summary

To wrap up this summer edition of Partner Market Insights, I wanted to share 2 final articles about our ecosystem:

Jay McBain of market watchers Canalys shared this article from Nuzoo’s Christine Horton about how and why the channel is increasingly being replaced by IT ecosystem. As McBain explains, “An ecosystem is 10X larger in size than a channel at most companies.”

What do customers want from their partners? We often talk about trusted advisors. In an environment that’s so complex and changing rapidly, expertise and proactivity are key. The Channelist highlights what CIOs want—proactive partners.

The article includes a quote from Heather Hinton, CISO of cloud-based communications provider RingCentral:

“We have to make decisions much, much faster. I am really reliant on my channel partners to make sure that they’re giving me the right information. For vendors, that means being able to solve a problem, not merely selling what they have in stock.”

 

Jason Kimrey

Jason Kimrey is vice president of U.S. channel and partner programs at Intel.

 

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In the Zone

Webinar: Boost your as-a-service business

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by Peter Krass on 07/27/2022
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What’s the state of the as-a-Service market? What are the market’s top technologies and trends? And what resources are out there to help you scale?

Those were some of the topics discussed in an Intel Partner Alliance webinar held on July 26. Entitled “Level Up in Your As-a-Service Offering – Trends, Solutions & Financing Examples,” the webinar featured speaker Eric Townsend, Intel’s lead of U.S. SMB and MSP marketing.

“There’s a lot of opportunity out there,” Townsend told attendees. He backed that up with some compelling stats:

> Device as a Service (DaaS) sales are forecast by Grand View Research to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of nearly 40% through 2026.

> The pandemic has increased as-a-Service investments. In a recent Deloitte survey, over half the businesses (55%) say they’re investing more or a lot more on as-a-Service.

> As-a-Service is important to business growth. In the same Deloitte survey, half of businesses say as-a-Service will be strategically critical in the next 2 years.

Financial feedback

During the webinar, Eric was joined by a guest speaker: Ian Pugh, director of strategic programs for unified communications and IT at Great America Financial Services.

His company provides financial services, integrations, billing services and more for IT channel partners. Now in its 30th year of independent operation, Great America works with literally thousands of partners and manages some $2.4 billion in assets.

Ian Pugh of Great America Financial Services

Ian Pugh of Great America Financial Services

Pugh’s main point was that partners wishing to sell subscription-based services need to do as much work marketing to their customers as they do building as-a-Service bundles. “They [customers] won’t know unless we tell them,” he said.

That’s because as-a-Service involves cultural and behavioral changes, both for customers and partners’ sales teams. Customers need to shift from buying to subscribing.

And partner-side salespeople need to shift from simply selling boxes to offering multiple options. They also need to understand customers’ new consumption patterns, Pugh said.

The good news is, all that work can lead to a big upside. Among early adopters of subscription plans, Pugh said, over 80% are refreshing to new agreements within 6 months of renewal.

Resources for scale

Sound intriguing? Intel is offering several resources that can help you build an as-a-Service business that’s both profitable and scalable. They include:

> Intel Partner Alliance: Intel’s unified partner program, it offers benefits including partner training, a solutions marketplace and product marketing resources.

> Device as a Service Competency: Intel’s version of DaaS certification, this training course is free for IPA members, and the benefits can be extended to your entire sales team. It comprises 5 required courses and more than a dozen electives.

> On-demand webinar: Miss this webinar? Watch it now on demand.

 

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In the Zone

Selling back-to-school edtech? Get help from Intel

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by Peter Krass on 07/25/2022
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Sure, it’s only July, but the start of the new school year is coming soon. Many colleges and universities now begin their fall semesters in August. And your local K-12 school probably isn’t far behind.

To help you and other education technology (edtech) leaders, Intel has created Intel Skills for Innovation. It’s a framework for teachers and students, ensuring they have the tech today for developing tomorrow’s skills.

Intel is confident that these new skills will be needed soon. The company cites a report from consultants McKinsey & Co. predicting that by the year 2030, 30% of all work hours will be automated. Intel also notes the rise of remote work, as well as the new skills and practices it requires.

What exactly are these new skills? Intel says they’ll include analytical thinking, innovation, tech design, leadership, emotional intelligence, and even systems analysis. In other words, a pretty tall order.

That’s why using tech to merely access and consume information is no longer enough, Intel says. Instead, students need devices, tools and training that can help them do much more. That includes understanding and analyzing problems, as well as creating never-before-seen solutions. An even taller order.

Transformational tech

To help your local educators transform their programs, Intel offers them (and you) several valuable resources:

> Devices: Helping teachers and administrators select the right computers to help students reach their goals.

> Remote Learning: Intel’s Education Group has partnered with leading U.S. teachers to create guides supporting the transition to remote learning.

> School Tech: The right devices help make education relevant and timely.

> Virtual Reality: PC-based VR learning experiences can engage students in fully immersive, hands-on activities.

> Intel AI Academy: Training and other resources to educate tomorrow’s AI developers, data scientists, students and professors. These resources include self-paced courses, live workshops and webinars.

> Esports in Education: More than just fun and games, Esports is a new way to build skills. Those include math, science, engineering, technology and art.

Get edtech training

If you’re a tech provider looking to either enter the edtech market or expand your current edtech offerings, you can get help from Intel training.

Intel Partner University now offers more than 20 training courses on K-12 edtech. Here’s just a sampling of what’s available:

> The Right Device for K-12 Education: Learn to equip today’s students for tomorrow’s skills.

> Multitasking in the Virtual K-12 Education: Get recommendations based on an Intel-commissioned survey.

> K-12 Esports Selling Strategies for U.S. Partners: Learn tips for qualifying leads.

> Maximizing Your Education-Selling Business: See how Intel’s framework and tools can help you win edtech contracts.

For members of Intel Partner Alliance, these training courses are free. Complete a course and you’ll also accumulate points you can apply to your IPA member benefits.

Not yet a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Check out the program and register to join today.

 

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Meet the refreshed Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit – now with 12th gen Intel Core CPU

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by Peter Krass on 07/21/2022
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Whether you’re looking to enter the laptop business or just add a new device to your existing portfolio, Intel has refreshed a cool laptop for you.

It’s called the Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit, and it’s designed to help you go to market quickly with a predesigned laptop. The NUC M15 features the latest Intel processors and features for productivity, entertainment, content creation and casual gaming.

Inside, you’ll now find a 12th gen Intel Core CPU on an anodized aluminum chassis. That enables a thin laptop (13.8 x 9 x 0.59 inches) that’s lightweight (1.6 kg / 3.5 lb.) and has a battery life of up to 16 hours. The display measures 15.6 inches diagonally.

While you can customize features including the Windows 11 OS and storage, these Intel laptop kits are already equipped with much of what your small and midsized business (SMB) customers want. That includes Wi-Fi 6E, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI port, an HD infrared camera, voice assistant support for Amazon Alexa with RGB Light Bar, backlit keyboard, glass click pad, and NUC Software Studio.

Intel NUC Laptop Kit

Intel NUC Laptop Kit: now with 12th gen Core CPU

Options include a touchscreen and your choice of 2 colors: midnight black or shadow gray.

The suggested retail price with Win11 Home pre-installed, 512GB of storage and 16GB of DDR5 memory is $1,175. And except for the battery, it’s all backed by Intel’s 2-year warranty. (The battery’s warranty is for 1 year.)

Under the hood

When it comes to processors, the Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit offers a choice of two: the 12th gen Intel Core i7-1260P and the 12th gen Intel Core i5-1240P.

The i7 offers 12 processor cores and 16 threads, an 18MB cache, P-cores (performance) up to 4.7GHz with Turbo, and E-cores (efficiency) up to 3.4GHz with Turbo. By contrast, the i5 also offers 12 processor cores and 16 threads, but with a slightly smaller cache of 12MB, and a slightly lower 4.4GHz max for the P-cores and 3.3GHz for the E-cores.

Either way, you also get Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics. On the i7, that runs up to 1.4GHz. And on the i5, up to 1.3GHz.

There are also SKUs available that have been built on the Intel EVO platform. That means the device meets a long list of requirements including fast charging, the ability wake from sleep in under 1 second, and high-quality audio and video.

This Intel NUC joins Intel’s family of NUC Laptop Kits and Elements (board components designed for easy integration). Other members of the Intel NUC Laptop family include the Intel NUC P14E Laptop Element and Intel NUC 9 Extreme Laptop Kit. The NUC M15 was originally introduced in 2020 with an 11th gen Intel Core processor.

Marketing assets, too

Intel also wants to help you market and sell these new laptops. The Intel Partner Marketing Studio now offers collateral and other assets to do just that.

There, you’ll find product images, lifestyle images, a campaign guide, product brief, channel messaging and one-pager. Check out the marketing assets now.

You can also watch and download a short video: Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit with 12 Gen Intel Core Processors

Ready to get to market fast with a thin, light laptop with all the features your SMB customers want? Then check out the refreshed Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit.

 

>> Intel Partner Marketing Studio is just one of the many benefits enjoyed by Intel Partner Alliance members. Not yet a member? Learn more and sign up to join today.

 

 

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Q&A: How Mobile IT Force keeps Hawaii systems rolling with Intel vPro

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by Intel on 07/21/2022
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Honolulu is a great place for a vacation, but a lot of work gets done there, too. Keeping the IT of local businesses up and running is the task of Mobile IT Force.

Founded in 2009, the company originally served local government and education customers. Today Mobile IT Force also resells computer systems and provides related services to small businesses and consumers.

Mobile IT Force has recently started deploying PCs based on the Intel vPro platform, and the resulting benefits have been impressive.

They include a 75% reduction in the average time needed to solve an OS problem, a 67% reduction in the average monthly PC downtime, and a nearly 70% reduction in the number of monthly deskside visits. 

Mobile IT Force logo

To learn more, we spoke with the company’s president, William Chang, and senior tech support engineer, Danny Weng.

William Change of Mobile IT Force

William Chang, president of Mobile IT Force

What’s your overall impressions of the Intel vPro platform?

William Chang: After trying it out, we’ll definitely be promoting vPro and EMA more to our customers. In fact, our customers are already requesting that they want vPro, so we don’t really need to be promoting it.

Danny Weng: Intel vPro is a game-changer for us.

How has Intel vPro helped you resolve OS problem faster?

Danny Weng: Being able to access the BIOS and the power-state options is a really big deal for us. We’ll use it at least a few times a day, and likely more than that. Having access to out-of-band KVM [keyboard, video, mouse] options was really useful, too, and it saved us a lot of time.

And how has Intel vPro help you lower you monthly PC downtime so dramatically?

Danny Weng: A major issue for us is when we leave updates and patches running overnight and an error occurs. The next day, the end user suffers downtime. In cases where we need to shut down PCs or enter the BIOS remotely, Intel EMA technology is very useful, cutting our time from three or four hours to just one.

And reducing patch saturation times?

Danny Weng: [With Intel vPro] some updates that used to require deskside visits are now fully performed remotely. We’re able to be more efficient with our updates and resolve any issues before end users get back in the morning.

Usually, the end users leave their machines on for us. But when they forget, we can turn the systems on and get the patches deployed without delay.

You like working with Lenovo. Why’s that?

William Chang: I really like the team we work with at Lenovo. We’ve been with them over 14 years, and they always stand with us to make sure issues get resolves. We’re also big fans of ThinkPads.

You’re also fans of D&H?

William Chang: I like D&H as our distributor because of the pricing. Plus, I had a great sales rep who was very responsive. We have a new person now, and they’re great too.

Explore further:

> Learn how the Intel vPro Platform can activate your endpoints

>  Discover the many benefits enjoyed by Intel Partner Alliance members

 

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In the Zone

Tech Explainer: How eReaders let you read, even in bright sunlight

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by Kevin Jacoby on 07/20/2022
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Is the modern eReader a technological anachronism — or the best-kept secret of diehard bibliophiles? It depends on who you ask.

Fans of cutting-edge tech will likely have little use for a dedicated eReader. Who needs a single-purpose, monochrome device?

After all, they’ll crow, my iPad handles eBooks just fine! And I can check my Instagram between chapters without changing devices.

But our diehard bibliophile will sing a different song. When asked to extol the virtues of eReaders, they’ll point first and foremost to the e-ink display.

E-ink, also known as electronic paper, enables your average Kindle to provide a decidedly book-like reading experience. Like a printed book — and very much unlike a standard tablet — it’s easy to read in bright sunlight.

Kindle fans also enjoy the lack of features in a dedicated eReader. They’ll tell you it eliminates distractions and removes the temptation to check your email one last time.

All about the screen

At its core, an eReader is a tablet. It’s got a touch interface, Wi-Fi connectivity, a processor and some memory.

But unlike your average tablet, eReaders present content via e-ink. This unique screen technology requires very little power, mainly because it doesn’t produce any light by itself. The overall impression is that you’re reading from a printed page.

Amazon’s latest Kindle Oasis, for example, uses what’s known as electrophoretic e-ink to produce high-resolution monochrome text and images.

The Kindle’s screen is made up of 2 conductive plates separated by a gap of 10 to 100 micrometers (1,000 micrometers equals about 0.4 inch). Between those plates sits a layer of dark-colored oil. And floating in that oil is a mass of titanium dioxide particles, each just 1 micrometer in diameter.

 

eReader diagram

eReader under glass: The pixels have it

To produce text and images, the Kindle applies positive and negative charges across the plates. A positive charge brings negatively charged particles to the surface — and vice versa.

Particles drawn to the top plate appear white. And particles drawn to the bottom plate appear black. The shapes created by these so-called electrophoretic migrations appear on the screen as text and pictures.

By way of comparison, the image on your iPad is produced by millions of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Each LED is given an electrical charge that produces a brief flash of light.

Those millions of LED flashes produce a continuous glow. Their position and color are defined by onboard graphics software and hardware. The result is the kind of stunning, high-res graphics we take for granted.

eReaders: still relevant?

Sure, e-ink may be yesterday’s news. It was first produced by Xerox in 1970. But it’s not without its virtues.

To start, e-ink doesn’t produce any light. As mentioned above, that makes it easy on the eyes and easy to see, even in bright sunlight.

By comparison, an LED screen constantly bombards you with potentially harmful blue light. Studies show this can lead to both mild issues like fatigue and more serious issues like macular degeneration.

Also, eReaders boast an incredibly long battery life. Amazon’s Kindle Oasis needs to be charged only about once every 6 weeks.

 

Kindle Oasis

Amazon’s flagship e-reader, the Kindle Oasis

That’s thanks in part to its limited functionality. A Kindle doesn’t need the latest power-hungry M1 or Snapdragon processor. Nor does it require much RAM.

What’s more, an e-ink screen requires power only when it changes states. After a new page is loaded, the “ink” stays on the screen with no help from the device.

Features? Who needs features?

So is the eReader’s lack of features actually a virtue? A compelling argument could be made for its less-is-more approach. There’s something to be said for putting aside your devices — and the chaos that comes with them.

Getting lost in a great book is one of the splendors of life. It gives us a chance to forget our worries and become deliciously lost in a creative cosmos. The effect can reduce our heart rates, create new neural pathways and imbue us with invaluable empathy.

So, the next time you’re in the mood to plow through "War and Peace," cast a spell with Harry Potter, or invite a bodice-ripper to tickle your fancy, try reaching for a Kindle instead of an iPad.

In the digital pages of this one-trick pony, you might discover a brave new world.

 

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In the Zone

New Intel Partner Alliance webinars: Extend sales reach with Social Selling, level up your XaaS offerings

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by Peter Krass on 07/18/2022
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This month, Intel Partner Alliance is offering you 2 compelling webinars. The first will show you how to increase your sales reach with Social Selling. The second will give you examples for improving your as-a-Service (XaaS) offerings.

Both webinars are hosted by Eric Townsend, Intel’s director of small and midsize business and managed service provider (MSP) marketing.

In his role, Townsend helps Intel partners realign their operations to meet new business goals and stay competitive. He also helps partners communicate with key growth audiences, including Gen X and Millennials.

Eric Townsend

Eric Towsend of Intel 

Intel Partner Alliance is a membership program that provides business-building opportunities. These include technology training, a global marketplace and marketing support. Learn more about IPA.

Here are your Intel Partner Alliance webinars for July:

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Increase Your Sales Reach with #SocialSelling

WHEN: Thurs., July 21, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

SPEAKER: Eric Townsend, director of SMB and MSP marketing, Intel

The game has changed on how you engage with and sell to your customers. We all know it. It’s a scary idea to set aside outdated marketing printouts and dusty old hotel conference rooms, but those old ways are costing you money.

Social selling is a new way to engage customers that drives a larger reach to a targeted set of customers. Engage with this webinar to learn about the current trends in B2B social selling and the top 3 ways to deploy social selling within your sales team today.

All are welcome to attend this webinar. If you’re an Intel Partner Alliance member, you’ll also receive 7 training credits for viewing the webinar live, or 5 credits for viewing it on demand.

Attend the live session on July 21, and you’ll also be entered in a random drawing to win an Intel-branded mystery prize.

Register now to attend.

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Level Up Your As-A-Service Offering: Trends, Solutions and Financing Examples

WHEN: Tues., July 26, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

SPEAKER: Eric Townsend, director of SMB and MSP marketing, Intel

As-a-Service solutions are growing by double digits in the SMB community for channel partners in 2022. In addition, partners have multiple ways to utilize different financial resources to grow in this new technology subscription market.

Come to this interactive webinar to learn about the latest as-a-Service channel trends. You'll also learn how Intel technologies are helping partners grow their IT Services Solutions.

In addition, an As-a-Service #SuperStar participant will share best practices for growing revenue with Technology as a Service (TaaS).

But wait, there's more: One LIVE attendee will be selected to win an Intel Branded Prize Pack.

All are welcome to attend this webinar. If you’re an Intel Partner Alliance member, you’ll receive 7 training credits for viewing the webinar live, or 5 credits for viewing it on demand.

Register now to attend.

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Not yet an Intel Partner Alliance member? Learn more about membership and register to join.

 

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