Intel Partner Alliance has just added 2 benefits to make your membership even more valuable and appealing: expanded access to training, and public access.
As you may know, Intel Partner Alliance unifies Intel’s older partner programs under a single umbrella. Members enjoy access to Intel resources that include online training, certified solutions, marketing help, expedited support and valuable rewards.
Here’s your update on the 2 enhancements.
Expanded training benefits: for all levels
Intel is getting even more serious about training. The company is investing in Intel Partner Alliance training resources that help not only Gold- and Platinum-level partners, but also those at the more basic Member level.
Intel’s aim: to help partners enhance their skills and knowledge. Given today’s fast advances in technology, a partner’s technical knowledge can quickly become outdated. Keeping current is important.
“Education is the best shortcut to success,” says Sri Manivannan, president and CEO of Starmétier Corp., a business solutions provider based in Austin, Texas, and an Intel partner.
He adds: “Through the Intel Partner University Competencies, I was able to quickly grasp new concepts and technologies in areas such as AI and IoT, and quickly turn that knowledge into a competitive advantage.”
With that kind of benefit in mind, Intel has also made Competencies in Intel Partner University available to Partner Alliance members at all levels. Previously, Competencies were available to members at the Gold and Titanium levels only.
Intel Partner University is the training component of Intel Partner Alliance, and its Competencies are deeper learning curriculums. You’ll find Competencies for both techies — engineers, architects, developers and the like — and solutions people, including those who work in sales, marketing and business development.
Competencies are currently offered in 5 broad technology areas: client computing; storage and memory; data center; FPGA; and Internet of Things (IoT). They cover 18 topics, with more coming regularly.
Complete a Competency, and you’ll also earn a digital badge you can display on social media for 18 months. Gaining new skills and sharing that knowledge with your customers has never been easier.
Public access: try before you ‘buy’
For the curious, Intel Partner Alliance will also soon add a “try before you buy” option. (Except there’s nothing to buy, since membership is free.)
Essentially, this means that if you’re not yet an Intel Partner Alliance member, you’ll soon be able to see snippets of the program, and without having to register.
Then, if you like what you see, you can join Intel Partner Alliance. Registration is easy, quick and free. And once you’re a member, you’ll have access to the entire Partner Alliance library.
This public-access benefit for Intel Partner Alliance is set to launch in the fourth quarter.
Are you a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Activate your membership or join here.
Mini PCs can bring big business.
Just ask Loop International. The solution provider, which offers compute devices based on Scandinavian design, powers some of its All-in-One PCs with the Intel NUC Compute Element and Intel NUC Assembly Element.
Intel’s NUC Compute Element is designed to make modular computing easy, and the most recent versions feature 11th gen Intel Core processors. The Intel NUC Assembly Element works with other NUC components for custom integrations.
A better way
With Loop’s All-in-One (AiO) PC, integrators can buy bare-bones systems from Loop at a low cost, then purchase the Intel NUC Compute Element from a distributor when needed for just-in-time integration.
That’s a big advantage over traditional PCs. For those, an integrator might purchase hundreds of units, each preconfigured with a processor and other specifications. The integrator would also pay full price.
Loop All-in-One PC: Intel NUC inside
Intel’s modular approach also made life easy for Loop. Originally, the solution provider was using Intel NUC elements based on the older 8th gen Intel Core CPUs. When Intel recently added the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Compute Element, Loop simply replaced the earlier Assembly Element with the latest board and compatible thermal solution.
“Intel has eliminated a lot of the hard work,” says Loop’s director of sales and marketing, Stephen Blomfield.
Customers benefit, too
Loop’s customers also appreciate the Intel NUC’s modular approach.
One of those customers is Centerprise International, a UK-based solutions provider. Since 2018, Centerprise has purchased Loop AiOs, including models built around the Intel NUC components, and resold them under its own brand.
“All the qualifying work is done for us,” says Iain Gillogaley, business manager at Centerprise, “which saves us a lot of time so we can get to market faster.”
To learn more about how Loop and its customers benefit from Intel NUC Elements, click the case study link below:
How do gaming systems keep their cool? What’s the latest in visual solutions for the Intel NUC Mini PC? And what are the top 5 takeaways from the recent “Intel Accelerated” online event?
To find out, join me, Peter Krass, editor of Tech Provider Zone, and Ed Hannan, senior digital content manager at The Channel Co., for our latest “In the Zone” video podcast. We discuss all of the above, and then some.
Stay current with the IT channel with Tech Provider Zone. Watch our new In the Zone video now:
Cloud services are big business. That’s good news for you — but also bad.
The good news: Tech providers and their customers can now get gigabytes of cloud storage and a suite of productivity apps for absolutely free. That’s thanks to tech titans like Google and Apple.
The bad? With so many major players offering so many must-have features, you and your customers can be forgiven for experiencing a little option anxiety.
So where should you start when choosing a cloud platform?
For many customers, the go-to metric is price. But a price point can be a red herring that belies the disparate features these services offer.
In fact, the value proposition is far more nuanced than just how much space for how much money. Other factors include application design, the price for additional storage, and capabilities for file management.
Applications: Rent a better workflow
Some of today’s best cloud service providers (CSPs) offer suites of thoughtfully designed productivity apps. These suites can help a user create and manage the files they keep on a CSP’s servers.
Providers like Apple and Google give away their productivity apps with any free account. Others include the apps as part of a paid suite that includes upgraded storage and support as in the case of Microsoft and Dropbox.
Typically, these suites include an integrated word processor such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Apple Pages. They may also offer cloud-based spreadsheets, email clients and presentation software such as PowerPoint.
Not to be outdone, relative newcomers including Dropbox and WeTransfer also offer productivity apps. Dropbox’s Paper, for instance, not only does word processing, but also integrates seamlessly with the Dropbox ecosystem.
Paste: a unique alternative to PowerPoint
To match PowerPoint, WeTransfer recently upgraded Paste, its above-average slide-deck app. Paste now provides better team collaboration as well as the ability to import and export PowerPoint files.
Additional storage: Be prepared to pay
How about storage space in the cloud? Well, anyone with an Apple device — and therefore an iCloud account — already has 5GB of storage, whether they need it or not.
Along the same lines, Dropbox gives you 2GB just for signing up. And Google carves out a generous 15GB of Google Drive space, at no extra charge, for the millions of people with free Gmail addresses.
Why all the freebies? Because these companies are thinking two steps ahead. They know their most likely upgrades will come from customers who have filled up the space they got for free. These users can’t help clicking that little button to get more.
It’s a smart play. By making it easy to relieve the pain of a full drive for the “low, low price of just $9.99/month,” the CSPs are practically guaranteeing an upsell sooner or later.
That common price tag of just under $10 buys you varying amounts of storage space, depending on your provider. With Apple, Google or Dropbox, that $10 a month gets you 2TB of storage. But over at Microsoft, OneDrive takes it three steps further; there, for the same price you’ll get 6TB.
If that’s still not enough, providers including Amazon and Microsoft also offer enterprise storage solutions. Prices for these expanded accounts are usually calculated on a case-by-case basis. But take heed: Fees can quickly reach into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month.
File management: Make it easy
All the free storage in the world won’t help if you have to deal with a poorly designed cloud system. That’s why the best CSPs also make it easy and convenient for you to search, sync, manage and share files — and with both your desktop and mobile apps.
Dropbox proves this maxim by constantly developing thoughtful features. One example is the company’s Smart Sync technology. It automatically identifies files you use only rarely, and then offloads them.
Dropbox Smart Sync: stores files locally or online
That saves you hard-drive space by ensuring only the files you use most often are actually stored on your computer. All other files will remain in the cloud, waiting to be downloaded whenever needed.
Better deals ahead
As good a bargain as cloud storage is now, it’s likely to get even cheaper over time. In part, because an ever-growing installed base will enable CSPs to achieve even greater economies of scale.
Bandwidth costs should drop, too. Especially as 5G ultra-wideband and fiber-optic connections become the norm.
All this points to a likely increase in value for both you and your customers. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the cloud platform that works best for you — and to help your customers do the same.
As part of that, keep a careful eye on the market. Watch for the signs that inevitably precede a major shift in technology, features and pricing.
In other words, keep your head in the cloud.
Remote management has never been so important. With so many people now working from home, remote management has moved from a nice-to-have to a must-have.
This change has brought Intel’s vPro platform with Intel Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel EMA) into focus.
The Intel vPro platform is built for business. It offers high-performing processors, built-in security, and remote manageability of devices that are out-of-band, on-prem or off-prem.
And Intel EMA software lets you remotely and securely manage devices beyond the firewall via the cloud on known Wi-Fi networks.
Faster is better
One company taking advantage of all this Intel tech is Logically Inc., a managed services provider (MSP) based in Portland, Maine. Founded 22 years ago, Logically today operates in 9 states across the U.S.
Using Intel technology, Logically has reduced the average time it needs to resolve a hardware problem by 66%. Cut the average time needed to achieve patch saturation by 95%. And reduced its customers’ average PC downtime from 9 minutes a month to just 2, a 78% reduction.
To learn more, we spoke recently with Logically’s chief security officer and co-founder, Mike Williams. Following are edited highlights from our interview.
Mike Williams, CSO and co-founder, Logically
You’ve used Intel vPro technology and its remote-management capabilities for a number of years. How does Intel Endpoint Management Assistant make things even better?
We like the Intel vPro platform, and we’ve used it quite a bit over the years. For us, the standalone cloud version of Intel EMA is going to be really powerful. As an MSP, we’re set up to support 1,500 clients.
By leveraging Intel EMA in the cloud, we can easily manage all 1,500 of those clients and not need an onsite proxy. Any time we can centrally manage in a multitenant environment and access all of our clients, that’s very powerful.
How does Intel technology help you to better reach the growing numbers of out-of-office workers?
Especially now with COVID, we have clients working remote from their offices and we couldn’t connect to them. Having that ability to get to their system would save our clients a lot of frustration and save us time.
Now with the Intel vPro platform and Intel EMA, we can get down to the BIOS level on a workstation, no matter where it’s located. We’re not terribly big into digital signage or IoT appliances, but being able to have that remote control from anywhere could be a definite advantage.
How did Intel technology help you reduce hardware downtime by 66%?
Within managed services we’re always looking for efficiency. Anytime we need to roll a truck, that means we need to pull a tech and we lose productivity. It costs exponentially more to go onsite, and it can make us less responsive to other customers.
With Intel EMA, we can get in there remotely and fix the problem in a much shorter time frame, and that leads to happier customers. If an onsite fix is only 10 minutes, but we spend 90 minutes on travel time, a tech can’t move onto the next 10-minute fix — and then we’ve also lost an opportunity to support more clients.
How about resolving patching and customer power-downs?
Security is a primary focus at Logically. One of the fundamental tasks is keeping systems up to date on patching. These patches need to be applied and completed within defined patch windows. Being able to power a system on and off is very helpful.
You work with Kaseya’s suite of management, security and backup software. What’s the advantage?
The quicker we solve something, the more profitable we are — and Kaseya helps us with that. We’ve been diligent in sticking with Kaseya, and they’ve been diligent sticking with us.
Kaseya understands not only where we are, but also where we’re going. And as we grow, they’ve been great supporting us with additional resources.
The Intel NUC Mini PC is getting extreme. The company recently introduced the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit and Intel NUC 11 Extreme Compute Element.
Both are powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors. And both are designed for high-performance applications, including gaming, streaming and recording.
What’s the difference between them? Well, Intel NUC kits can be customized with discrete graphics, OS, memory and storage. These kits are designed for business users, students, educators, gamers and do-it-yourselfers. And they’re backed by Intel’s 3-year warranty.
Intel NUC Elements, by contrast, let tech providers deliver custom solutions with minimal R&D time. The components are flexible and modular, yet still offer Intel’s traditionally high levels of performance and reliability.
Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit
The Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit (codenamed Beast Canyon) is a modular desktop PC with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors (your choice of i7 or i9), support for discrete graphics cards of up to 12 inches, and a full range of I/O ports.
This is Intel’s highest-performing NUC yet. Although the case is a relatively small 8 liters (approx. 7.4 x 4.3 x 14 inches), the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit is loaded with features typically found in larger gaming rigs.
These include 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports; Wi-Fi 6; a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port; 3 fans; customizable RGB “underglow” lighting; and 4 M.2 slots for additional memory and storage. And this little box can drive up to three 4K monitors.
Not included are the OS, memory and storage. For the OS, you have a choice of either Windows 10 or the various Linux distributions. For memory, you can load up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4. And storage options include Intel Optane SSD and Intel Optane Memory.
Shipments will begin in this year’s third quarter. Retail prices start at $1,150 for kits with the i7 processor, $1,350 for the i9.
Intel NUC 11 Extreme Compute Element
The new Intel NUC 11 Compute Element (codenamed Driver Bay) is part of Intel’s family of modular, ready-to-integrate computing components. This Element is designed to help you quickly add extreme gaming rigs to your product offerings, while lowering inventory costs and reducing waste. Plus, it’s backed by Intel’s 3-year warranty.
Some cool features let you flexibly build the right systems for your customers. For the processor, you have a choice of 11th Gen Intel Core i9 or i7 H-Series CPUs. These have up to 8 cores and 16 threads, are able to power systems that multitask, and provide exceptional performance for gaming.
Support for PCIe 4.0 x16 lets you include the latest NUC 11 Extreme Element – Channel and Ecosystem Copy 2 discrete graphics cards for extreme gaming.
Connectivity is high-end, too. Two Thunderbolt 4 ports increase high-speed peripheral choices. And Intel Wi-Fi 6E on an M.2 2230 key E slot delivers fast wireless connectivity as an option. It can be easily removed for wired-only or no network connectivity.
For even more ways to connect, the Element also includes Bluetooth v5.0 and dual internal antennas.
The Intel NUC 11 Compute Element will ship in this year’s third quarter. Retail prices will start at about $690.
> Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kits – Legends Start Here (product brief)
> Introducing Intel NUC 11 Extreme (YouTube video)
Fixing apps is a pain. Phishing attacks aren’t going away. 5G is expanding. Shopping on social media probably isn’t safe. And public-cloud infrastructure spending is growing fast.
That’s some of the latest from leading IT market watchers and industry surveys. And here’s your tech provider’s research roundup.
Fixing apps: a time-consuming pain
More than 40% of IT decision-makers in the UK spend 2 to 3 hours a week fixing issues related to productivity applications, finds a new Intel survey. And 1 in 3 of them spend the same amount of time troubleshooting videoconferencing applications.
When asked whether a more powerful or upgraded device would enable them to be more productive in their roles, nearly half of hybrid employees answered Yes. And about a third (37%) said that with better PCs, they could recover more than 6 hours a week of lost or unproductive time.
The Intel-commissioned survey was conducted by Sapio Research, and it reached people in 2 groups: 1,002 UK hybrid employees (people who work at home at least once a week); and 250 IT decision-makers employed by small and midsize companies (those with 26 to 1,000 employees).
Phishing: not gone yet
IT leaders at nearly three-quarters of organizations (73%) say they suffered a serious breach due to phishing in the last year. And over half of them (53%) say that in the last year, the number of phishing-related attacks they’ve suffered has increased.
That’s according to a new survey commissioned by Egress Software. The survey reached 500 IT leaders and 3,000 employees across the United States and the UK.
Working from home isn’t helping, either. Half the IT leaders polled believe full-time remote or hybrid working make it more difficult to prevent data breaches caused by phishing.
And be careful what you click on. In nearly a quarter of the organizations polled (23%), employees who were hacked via a phishing email were later either fired or left voluntarily.
5G: on a tear
Revenue from 5G network infrastructure will grow 39% this year, for a total of $19.1 billion worldwide, predicts Gartner. Last year, the research firm estimates, that revenue totaled $13.7 billion.
“The COVID-19 pandemic spiked demand for optimized and ultrafast broadband connectivity,” says Gartner researcher Michael Porowski. That includes demand for streaming video, online gaming and social media.
5G is now the fastest-growing segment in the wireless network infrastructure market. In fact, Gartner says 5G is the only significant opportunity in that market for investment growth.
Supply is expanding quickly, too. Last year only 10% of communications service providers (CSPs) offered commercial 5G services. By 2024, Gartner predicts, that figure will rise to 60%.
Social-media shopping: sure seems insecure
Social media may be fun, but it’s no one’s idea of secure.
In a new survey by PCI Pal, fewer than 7% of respondents said they feel very confident about their data security when buying a product or service over social media.
Last year, when PCI Pal conducted a similar survey, 70% of respondents said they would stop shopping with a brand, either for a few months or permanently, if it suffered a data breach ahead of the holidays.
Public-cloud infrastructure: 29% growth forecast
The combined market for public-cloud IaaS and PaaS is big and growing fast. (That’s infrastructure and platform as a service.)
For this market’s revenue, industry watcher IDC predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 29% through 2025. That year, IDC says, the market will deliver revenue of $400 billion worldwide.
IDC expects the 3 largest workload segments by revenue in 2025 will be application development and testing, structured data management, and structured data analytics.
Adds IDC research manager Andrew Smith: “We expect all workload segments to grow in double digits.”
Intel’s Xeon W-1300 processors aren’t playing. They’re designed for professionals who demand high-end performance, graphics, security and reliability.
So how do you sell workstations based on these Intel CPUs? The answer depends on what your customers are talking about.
> If they’re talking about cores, threads and render times, that’s a conversation about performance.
> Do your customers have CAD, game design or advanced content creation on their minds? Then that’s a conversation about use cases.
> Maybe your customers care about manageability, security, downtime and remote workstations. In that case, it’s a conversation about business.
> New technology and peripherals what they want to talk about? That’s a conversation about novelty.
> Finally, maybe they want to talk about compatibility and supply. That’s really a conversation about brand trust.
Get help selling
Whichever of these conversations your customers want to have, a new infographic from Intel can help. For each topic, it provides talking points and supporting evidence.
Don’t get caught without anything to say. Download the “How to sell Intel Xeon W-1300 processors” infographic now — just click the PDF link below:
by Gina Merjanian
Earlier this year, Intel unveiled our bold vision for a new era of innovation and technology leadership. A big focus of the event was Intel’s new IDM 2.0 model, which is our strategy for driving manufacturing, innovation, and product leadership. In addition, our CEO, Pat Gelsinger, introduced Intel Foundry Services (IFS), our plan to become a major provider of foundry capacity and serve customers globally.
Last week, we built upon that vision at Intel Accelerated. During the event, Pat and Ann Kelleher, our head of technology development, shared one of the most detailed roadmap updates we have ever provided for process and packaging technologies in the history of the company.
Among the highlights, they unveiled our new node naming, shared our strong process roadmap through 2025, and introduced the world to Intel 7. These announcements are meant to provide you — our trusted customers and partners — with clarity, transparency and insight into our future products and technology.
I would like to take a minute to unpack these three key announcements.
New Node Naming
To provide you with better clarity, Intel will be renaming its process nodes to better align with the technology industry. Previously used node names (e.g., 7nm) no longer represented an actual distance or feature in the silicon, and instead became more of a marketing tool. Intel will rename its process nodes to remove both the distance reference (“nm”) as well as to realign with the industry approach. The new naming will serve as a consistent framework and more accurate view of process nodes for the industry as we enter the Angstrom era of semiconductors.
If you’re wondering why now, allow me to explain. As we transition our corporate business strategy to IDM 2.0, it became increasingly clear that our IFS goals needed a node name change to help customers fairly compare Intel silicon offerings to other foundries. After careful analysis to align with the industry approach, we were ready to introduce you to the new Intel node naming.
Strong process roadmap through 2025
You expect an annual cadence of products from us, and we are going to deliver. We are moving faster and more efficiently than ever before to deliver high-performing products, leveraging all the goodness we bring to the table — packaging, manufacturing and design. In the boldest way yet, Pat outlined our process technology roadmap out to 2025, where we expect to regain performance leadership based on industry-first technology like PowerVia and our RibbonFET transistor architecture. It was one of the most detailed roadmap updates we have ever provided spanning process and packaging technologies.
This enhanced performance and a renewed focus on innovation is already coming to life with 10nm now in high-volume production and Intel 7 set to deliver 10% to 15% performance per watt gain. As our partners, you can have confidence that we are already looking ahead at what our next milestone needs to be to help you meet yours.
Powered by new packaging and manufacturing, we have a whole host of new solutions and products headed to market. This includes Intel 7 featured on Alder Lake and Sapphire Rapids with approximately 10% to15% process performance per watt gain and enhancements to the transistor.
This incredible performance leap is made possible by Intel 7 through amazing innovations. These include using increased strain and more low-resistance materials to move electrons through the channel faster, utilizing novel high-density patterning techniques and streamlined structures to deliver better energy control, and enabling improved power delivery and better routing with higher metal stack.
We will begin shipping products on Intel 7 later this year, with the Alder Lake client family rollout set to start in 2021 and production of Sapphire Rapids for the data center in the first quarter of 2022. We already have many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) partners developing and in the design phase, many of which will be timed with launch. We will enable the entire ecosystem — from distributors to managed service providers (MSPs) as well as enterprises around the U.S. — to achieve even more with these innovations.
To sum it up, we’re accelerating our innovation and reinvigorating our execution engine to deliver the product and technology leadership you need and expect from us. We have put a concerted focus on schedule reliability throughout our development process and are moving to a predictable annual cadence of new process technology capabilities.
Thank you for being on this journey with us as we continue to find new ways to innovate. I hope this clear and consistent node naming system makes it easier for you to understand the technology that powers the products you know and love and that our clear path to process performance means you can continue to rely on us as your trusted innovation partner.
We are innovating and pushing forward not as one Intel, but as one ecosystem of partners and providers. Our quest to deliver the next generation of products you need from us is why we are reinvigorated and making bold declarations like those you heard last week.
Gina Merjanian is general manager of U.S. inside sales at Intel.
Last night Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and Ann Kelleher, Intel’s GM of technology development, led a webcast to highlight new developments at the company.
Here are 5 top takeaways:
1. The new Intel Foundry Service already has 100 customers in the pipeline, and it has just signed big deals with AWS and Qualcomm.
2. Intel has “crossed over” with its 10nm SuperFin architecture, meaning the company is now making more 10nm chips than it is older 14nm chips.
3. Intel is renaming its next generations of microprocessor chips. Gelsinger said the old node naming and numbering “didn’t tell the full story.” Here are the new names and the expected timings:
> Intel 7: Delivers a 10% to 15% performance boost over 10nm SuperFin. Will power the forthcoming Alder Lake for PCs, which ships later this year, and Sapphire Rapids for the data center, which will ship in Q1 of 2022.
> Intel 4: This goes into production in the second half of 2022 for shipments in 2023. Will appear as Meteor Lake (PC) and Granite Rapids (data center). Delivers an estimated 20% performance gain over Intel 7. To manufacture this chip, Intel will start using Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.
> Intel 3: Delivers an 18% performance boost over Intel 4. Will be manufacturing in the second half of 2023.
> Intel 20A: As Intel approaches 1nm, the naming changes to “A” for angstrom (1/10 of a nanometer). So this one will have a gate that’s 20A long. Ann Kelleher called this the “start of the angstrom era.” This chip is set for introduction in the first half of 2024. Also, it will use 2 new Intel packaging technologies, RibbonFET and PowerVia.
> Intel 18A: Targeted for 2025 and said to be in the works already.
4. Intel will announce major investments in fab plants later this year, both in the U.S. and Europe. These will be on top of the $20 billion the company already said it would invest in Arizona and $3.5 billion in New Mexico.
5. Intel is now the only major chip maker doing all its R&D and manufacturing in the USA, said Gelsinger — “from lab to fab.”