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In the Zone

Top IT market insights for partners

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by Intel on 07/01/2021
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By Jason Kimrey

I had a different introduction to this news update, but updated as I started seeing increasing news about internet outages impacting airlines and banks. This is on the heels of major websites around the world displaying 503 errors when “the internet broke.” This latest news is another reminder of just how important cloud computing has become.

According to IDC’s semi-annual cloud service tracker, the cloud services market grew 24.1% in 2020 and is expected to continue to show strong growth through the coming years. If you didn’t catch IDC’s semi-annual tracker presentation, it’s worth taking in the replay — there’s a lot of good data and commentary about the importance of resiliency, including support for remote work.

The pandemic removed barriers or resistance to remote work, and I don’t think we’re going back to the old ways. Reports out of the White House indicate remote work is being endorsed for U.S. government workers — a move that will undoubtedly have a ripple effect. Forrester is reporting 70% of U.S. companies will pivot to a hybrid work model post-pandemic.

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at David Allen’s piece on the new way of working and the tools your team needs for success.

But it’s not all good news on the remote-work front. Gartner is reporting workforce health has been adversely impacted. This is something we, as leaders, need to be aware of and address within our teams.

In other news highlights:

Accounting Firms Invest in Tech: PWC plans to invest $12 billion and hire 100,000 new people in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity by 2026.

Bright Outlook for IT Jobs: We’re seeing good news on the job front. U.S. IT jobs at the end of May were higher than before the pandemic hit, and salaries are rising.

PC Shipments Surge: The PC market continues to surge with expected growth of 18% in 2021. Research, though, is pointing to a growth drop in 2022.

Citizen Developers Are Here to Stay: By 2024, 80% of technology products and services will be built by those who are not technology professionals, predicts Gartner.

Expanding Demand for Storage: Solid growth is forecast for both hard-disk and solid-state drive markets to meet demand for storage.

What CIOs are Thinking: Although I try to avoid sharing gated content, this IDC roadmap shares insights from discussions with CIOs — and their priorities, the pressures they face to make up for lost time, and the push to reinvent IT. It’s worth a read.

Technology Challenges to Follow: Amid all the positive news about the economy, there are challenges facing IT. This CompTIA piece does an exceptional job highlighting the challenges we are facing as an industry including cybersecurity, privacy, skills gaps, supporting remote work, the impact of services and solutions and much more.

Top Supply-Chain Themes: With so many interconnected businesses, supply chain remains a top focus. Gartner looks at the top themes for 2021 including hyper-automation, digital twins, edge ecosystems and security.

Software-Defined Infrastructure Growing: The market reached $12.17 billion in 2020, an increase of 5% over the previous year, according to IDC.

AR’s Growing Importance: Nearly three-quarters of consumers expect augmented reality to be even more important in their lives in the next 5 years, according to Deloitte.

Small Wide Data Trend: By 2025, 70% of organizations will shift their focus from big to small and wide data, providing more context for analytics and making AI less data-hungry. It is also a reflection on how quickly data can become obsolete.

Cybersecurity & ransomware headlines

Once again, we’re seeing more and more reports of ransomware attacks and major security breaches.

On the good-news front, the U.S. federal government was able to track and recover a majority of the $4.3 million of the ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline to Darkside hackers.

New threats, technologies and business models are emerging because of increasing threats. See CRN’s top cybersecurity trends to watch.

CSO is reminding us that data breaches can’t be viewed in isolation. The stolen data doesn’t live in a silo so breach impacts could be more far-reaching.

Merger and IPO action continues

By 2022 mergers and acquisition activity involving technology providers will surpass previous highs, according the Gartner. We’re seeing evidence of these mergers all the time, including:

Private-equity firms Bain Capital and Crosspoint Capital purchased network-detection and response firm ExtraHop for $900 million.

Delioitte has acquired CloudQuest, a cloud security posture management company.

Microsoft is buying IoT’s ReFirm Labs to enhance its firmware analysis and security capabilities from servers to IoT.

IBM is buying Turbonomic’s AI-powered application resource management software for a reported $1.52 million.

CIO’s report of the biggest enterprise technology M&A deals is a great summary.

Softchoice successfully completed its IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with 17.5 million common shares sold for gross proceeds of about $249 million. It’s positioning itself as Microsoft’s largest cloud-deployment partner.

Sales and marketing to tech decision-makers

As a follow-on to my last blog about the changing routes to market, these research findings are showing how marketing and sales strategies are shifting.

Buying scenarios are getting more complex. Forrester reports more than 80% of purchases involve complex buying scenarios, and 75% of B2B marketing efforts now focus on customer retention and enrichment activities.

Gartner suggests digital experiences aren’t having the impact on purchasing decisions we think. Nearly 60% of customers say it doesn’t impact buying, and more than half say they can’t tell the different between brands’ digital experiences. The article also offers key lessons. This research could be seen as running contrary to the AR research released by Deloitte mentioned above.

IDG’s 2021 customer-engagement research finds 90% of IT decision-makers struggle to get enough high-quality information on IT products.

One of the most interesting elements of this study was: When considering a new technology from an emerging vendor, tech decision-makers would like the vendor to provide case studies/proof of concept (cited by 51%), show evidence that the product/service stands out from the competition and provide direct comparisons (48%), and offer reassurance/proof that the new product easily integrates with existing technology (49%).

Companies that focused on customer experience and engaged empathetically with customers during the pandemic built goodwill and outperformed the competition, according to Forrester’s U.S. Customer Experience Index, 2021.

Gartner predicts net promotor scores will be abandoned by 2025 as companies move to customer-experience metrics.

That’s all for this round of market insights. There can be no doubt that change is continuing a rapid pace. I hope this helps to keep you in the loop of changing market conditions and trends.

Jason Kimrey

Jason Kimrey is general manager of U.S. channel and partner programs at Intel.

 

 

 

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In the Zone

EdTech heats up with Chromebooks, PCs, more

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by Peter Krass on 06/29/2021
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The school year now wrapping up was tough for educators, parents and students. But the term starting this September should be a whole lot better for all — including tech providers serving the K-12 market.

While many K-12 schools are moving back to “live” classrooms after a year of teaching online, there’s no turning back the widening use of education technology (EdTech). Just as Zoom and other conferencing systems have become everyday tools for business during the pandemic, so too have Chromebooks, tablets and smart whiteboards for education.

A big, lucrative market

The EdTech market is huge and growing quickly. Last year, total worldwide sales of education technology approached $90 billion, according to Grand View Research. Looking ahead, Grand View predicts that EdTech sales worldwide, from this year through 2028, will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 20%.

To be sure, the K-12 EdTech segment accounted for only about 40% of the target market, Grand View says. Still, that’s about $36 billion. (Other sectors include, preschool, colleges and universities, and professional training.)

And of that, North America sales represented 37% of the total. I calculate that at about $13.3 billion. That’s still plenty of money.

One particularly hot sub-segment is gamification. In the context of K-12 education, that means using computer-based games to teach math.

EdTech 101

All this may sound exciting—and it should—but the K-12 tech market requires that you have some fairly specific skills and knowledge.

For example, what are the best devices for hybrid classroom learning if kids have to head home unexpectedly? How do you ensure there’s enough processing power to handle the coursework, but not go over budget? How about security—physical and virtual? What’s in school district’s budget, and how do you get on the short list as an approved provider?

Clearly, there’s a lot to learn. Fortunately, help is just a click away.

Through Intel Partner University, you can access several online training programs to get ready to capitalize on the EdTech market. Intel offers nearly 20 courses on K-12 technology, all ready and waiting for you now. Courses include:

The right Chromebook for K-12 virtual learning in the U.S.

This course will familiarize you with the resulting data and recommendations from Intel’s August 2020 study, “The Right Chromebook for Virtual Learning.” It focuses on how Chromebook processor performance helps both students and teachers, especially in virtual environments.

The right Windows device for K-12 virtual learning

Learn from “The Right Windows Device for Virtual Learning” study. The focus is how processor performance on Windows PCs affects teaching and learning, especially in virtual environments.

Learning while multitasking in hybrid and virtual U.S. K-12 classrooms

This course explains how powerful Intel processors help educators and students to experience and participate in a seamless, synchronous virtual learning experience.

Upon completing each of these 20-minute courses, you’ll earn 5 training credits.

> Discover more courses tailored to your professional development. Check out Intel Partner University now.

> Are you a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Activate your membership or join now.

 

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In the Zone

Infographic: 8 things you need to know about Intel Partner Alliance

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by Peter Krass on 06/25/2021
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How much do you know about Intel Partner Alliance?

Announced earlier this year, Intel Partner Alliance unifies Intel’s older partner programs and offers partners like you a long list of valuable benes. If you’re not participating yet, you really should.

To help, our team has created an infographic. It lists the top 8 things you need to know about Intel Partner Alliance.

Intel Partner Alliance infographic

To view the full infographic, click on the PDF link below:

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In the Zone

Video podcast: Get ‘In the Zone’ with QLC storage for PCs, VPNs for home workers, ‘extreme partnering’ for everyone

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by Peter Krass on 06/25/2021
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Join Ed Hannan, senior digital content manager at The Channel Co., and me, Peter Krass, editor of Tech Provider Zone, in our latest “In the Zone” video podcast.

In this installment, Ed and I discuss QLC 3D NAND storage devices your customers can use in their PCs, the rise of VPNs for work-from-home security, and 7 new trends for tech partnerships.

Catch up on the IT channel with Tech Provider Zone. Watch our new In the Zone video now:

 

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In the Zone

Intel reorgs to strengthen execution, innovation in critical business areas

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by Intel on 06/24/2021
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Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger this week announced the addition of two new technology leaders to its executive leadership team, as well as several changes to Intel business units.

Current Intel executives Sandra Rivera and Raja Koduri will each take on new senior leadership roles, and technology industry veterans Nick McKeown and Greg Lavender will join the company.

“Since re-joining Intel, I have been impressed with the depth of talent and incredible innovation throughout the company, but we must move faster to fulfill our ambitions,” said Gelsinger. “By putting Sandra, Raja, Nick and Greg – with their decades of technology expertise – at the forefront of some of our most essential work, we will sharpen our focus and execution, accelerate innovation, and unleash the deep well of talent across the company.”

As part of these changes, Intel’s Data Platform Group (DPG) will be restructured into two new business units.

Sandra Rivera will take on a new role as executive vice president and general manager of Datacenter and AI. Rivera will lead this organization’s focus on developing leadership data center products for a cloud-based world, including Intel Xeon and field programmable gate array (FPGA) products. She will also drive the company’s overall artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. Rivera has a deep history in data center technology and a track record of integrating Intel’s silicon and software portfolios to drive customer value. Prior to her role serving as Intel’s chief people officer, she led Intel’s Network Platforms Group.

Nick McKeown will join Intel full-time on July 6 as senior vice president and general manager of a new Network and Edge Group. This brings Intel’s Network Platforms Group, Internet of Things Group and Connectivity Group into a single business unit chartered to drive technology and product leadership throughout the network to the intelligent edge. Renown in the networking technology industry and recipient of the 2021 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, McKeown was previously a part-time Intel Senior Fellow who joined the company with its 2019 acquisition of Barefoot Networks, which he co-founded.

Intel will also create two new business units, one focused on software and one on high performance computing (HPC) and graphics.

Greg Lavender has joined Intel as chief technology officer (CTO) and senior vice president and general manager of the new Software and Advanced Technology Group. This group will drive Intel’s unified vision for software, ensuring it remains a powerful competitive differentiator for the company. As CTO, Lavender will also be responsible for driving Intel’s technical innovation and research programs, including Intel Labs. He brings more than 35 years of experience in software and hardware product engineering and advanced research and development to Intel, most recently serving as senior vice president and CTO of VMware. He has also held key leadership roles at Citigroup, Cisco and Sun Microsystems.

Raja Koduri, a well-known innovator in GPU computing technology, will lead the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, a newly formed business unit that will increase the company’s focus in the key growth areas of high performance computing and graphics. AXG is chartered with delivering HPC and graphics solutions for integrated and discrete segments across client, enterprise and data center. Koduri previously served as Intel’s general manager of Architecture, Graphics and Software.

Rivera, McKeown, Lavender and Koduri will all report directly to Pat Gelsinger.

Navin Shenoy, who has been serving as executive vice president and general manager of the Data Platforms Group, will assist with the transition and leave Intel on July 6. The company is grateful to Shenoy for his 26 years of service, including his contributions as leader of DPG, as well as his previous leadership of the Client Computing Group and Intel Asia Pacific.

 

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In the Zone

Device as a Service offers savings for your customers, new revenue for you

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by Peter Krass on 06/24/2021
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How would you like to offer your customers the power and functionality of a full-fledged PC, but without all the complexity and capital expense — all while earning a pretty penny for your efforts?

If that sounds appealing, then you need to know more about Device as a Service.

DaaS is one hot market. Market Research Future estimates that worldwide DaaS subscription fees will rise over the next 5 years at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 56%. By 2026, the market watcher predicts, those subscription fees will total more than $190 billion.

How many of your current markets are growing that fast?

How DaaS works

Like its older siblings SaaS and PaaS, DaaS uses the cloud to provide centrally managed services that were formerly available on premises only. In DaaS’s case, the services are PC applications.

But users don’t need a PC to use DaaS services. Instead, they can use almost any internet-connected device, including inexpensive thin clients. And new apps can be deployed to hundreds or even thousands of virtual desktops in mere minutes.

Encrypted access works to keep their systems and centrally stored data secure and protected. If a computing device is stolen or lost, the account’s access can be shut down immediately, preventing a breach.

For your customers, DaaS can be easy and affordable. Instead of buying PCs and then having to secure, manage and maintain them, they just subscribe to your DaaS service.

Typically, a DaaS subscription fee is monthly and based on the number of users. It may also reflect usage patterns, storage capacities and more.

How Harlin does DaaS                                                                                                      

One tech provider enjoying the many benefits of DaaS is Harlin IT Services. The Seattle-area company has been in business for over 40 years, and it offers SMB customers a wide range of managed and supplemental tech services, as well as consulting.

Harlin logo

About 80% of the hardware Harlin provides its customers is under a DaaS contract, according to Manson DeGraw, the company’s CIO. What’s more, Harlin has purchased all the hardware without having to borrow money. It prices the DaaS service so that the average customer pays back Harlin’s initial cash outlay in 12 to 14 months.

“We’re making good money on DaaS,” DeGraw says, “and not just from financing, but also from having the latest Intel vPro platform-built PCs out in the field.”

DeGraw says those vPro PCs are so reliable, they keep Harlin’s labor and repair costs low. “We’ve standardized on a proven technology that we know works,” he adds.

How you can learn about DaaS

What do you do if you’d like to get into DaaS, but don’t know much about it? Well, Intel has your back, not only with powerful client-systems technology, but also with partner training.

Intel Partner University offers deep training curriculums known as Competencies, and these include DaaS.

Take this course in this competency and you’ll learn the basics of DaaS, its business model, the business problems this model solves for customers, and the different verticals and deployment types. You’ll also learn about the hardware software components needed for a solution and the corresponding client Intel hardware, software and solutions you can recommend when selling DaaS solutions.

Intel currently offers 20 DaaS-related Competencies trainings. Some can be completed in as little as 10 minutes, making the training easy to squeeze into your day.

Complete the DaaS Competency, and you’ll not only be a lot smarter, you’ll also earn a Solution Pro badge you can display online to promote your new area of expertise.

> Check out Intel Partner University’s DaaS Competencies (login required)

> Are you a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Activate your membership or join now

> Learn more about how DaaS helps Harlin IT Services. Download the full case study by clicking on the PDF link below…

The indispensable source for professionals who create, implement and service technology solutions for entrepreneurs to enterprise.

In the Zone

Infographic: 11 things to know about 11th Gen Intel Core

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by Peter Krass on 06/23/2021
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How much do you know about Intel’s most ambitious system-on-chip?

For that matter, what do you know about the Intel Evo platform brand?

If your answer is “not much,” don’t worry. A new infographic from Intel tells all.

This infographic lists the top 11 things you need to know about both the 11th gen Intel Core processors and Intel Evo.

Know 11 things about 11th gen Intel Core: Click the link below to open the infographic:

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In the Zone

Make digital transformation happen with the persistent memory

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by Peter Krass on 06/22/2021
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Your customers’ digital transformation projects not only generate a great deal of data, they also produce new data types. That’s for workloads such as AI and machine learning, real-time analytics and advanced business intelligence

These workloads require new hardware and software capabilities. These include the ability to deliver data with real business value (not just information), low latency for vital transactions, and highly parallel processing on large datasets.

And that’s where the Intel Optane Persistent Memory (PMem) 200 Series comes in. Thanks to recent releases, these devices now work with two-socket servers powered by the latest 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

Mind the gap

As the following Intel diagram illustrates, Intel Optane PMem aims to fill the gap between memory and storage.

Intel Optane PMem pyramid

Intel Optane PMem offers more capacity and persistence than DRAM. By filling the DRAM gap, this technology can help your customers extract more insights from their large datasets and lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) — all while automatically protecting their data.

Intel Optane PMem can also help your customers get more insights by expanding the memory pool in persistent memory, and by supporting near-real-time data analysis. Even better, these larger datasets can now reside closer to the CPU for faster processing and greater insights.

TCO gains come from the Intel Optane PMem 200 Series’ more affordable approach to keeping large datasets in memory; lower overall costs than comparable DRAM; and the ability to increase VM, user and application density. That last capability will empower your customers to meet important service-level agreements (SLAs) using fewer servers.

Data protection comes with how the Intel Optane PMem 200 Series secures all data at rest with application-transparent AES-256 encryption. This advanced encryption standard should be nearly unbreakable by brute force.

Real world, too

So how does all that work in the real world? Pretty well. According to Intel’s own figures, when the Intel Optane PMem 200 Series is used with VMware software, users enjoy up to 25% lower costs per virtual machine (VM), while still getting the same performance.

Also, the Intel Optane PMem 200 Series is already supported by a long list of ecosystem partners. There are too many to mention, but the list includes OSes from Microsoft and Red Hat, infrastructure from VMware and Hadoop, databases from Oracle and SAP, and AI and analytics from SAS and Spark.

The Intel Optane PMem 200 Series is available in 3 memory modules: 128, 256 and 528 GB. They deliver up to 32% more bandwidth on average than their predecessors, according to Intel. The new line also supports up to 6TB of total memory per socket.

Looking ahead, you can rest assured that Intel is playing the Intel Optane PMem game for the long-term. The company’s roadmap shows at least two new generations of Intel Optane PMem, which will in turn support future generations of Intel Xeon Scalable processors. When it comes to persistent memory, Intel’s got your back — and your customer’s back, too.

Learn more: Achieve greater insight from your data with Intel Optane Persistent Memory (product brief)

 

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In the Zone

Your guide to personal printers in the age of WFH

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by Kevin Jacoby on 06/21/2021
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Do people still print things? Like, on paper?

As it turns out, yes, they do. Sometimes it’s all about a stodgy government bureaucracy that demands printed forms (in triplicate). Other times the kids just want to print out a homemade birthday card for grandma.

Then there’s the over-40 crowd. They grew up writing and correcting on — gasp! — actual paper, and they just can’t get over it.

To be sure, the days of buying new printers, reams of white paper and endless ink cartridges may yet experience an ignominious demise. But as of mid-2021, we’re still pumping money into the printer market like it’s going out of style.

This must come as something of a relief to the folks at HP. Sure, the company’s printer revenue, which represents half its business, has been in steady decline for over a decade. But even at the lowest point in 2020, printers still brought HP annual revenue of $17.6 billion.

More recently, for HP’s financial quarter ending this past April 30, the company’s printer revenue actually rose 28% year on year. What’s more, those sales delivered an operating margin of nearly 18%. So much for the end of printing!

Killing trees the old-fashioned way

The pandemic-inspired work from home (WFH) movement must surely account for some of HP’s billions. When COVID struck, scads of cubicle-dwellers suddenly found themselves with shopping lists that included laptops, scanners, webcams and, of course, printers.

Were they disappointed to find out that the tech behind today’s printers has hardly changed over the last decade? Perhaps. But maybe they were mollified by today’s printers’ lower retail prices, easier hardware setups, and ability to print wirelessly from just about any device.

In most cases, WFHers chose between the venerable inkjet printer and its highfalutin’ cousin, the laser printer. Both types have been around for ages, and both continue to proliferate in a very if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it kind of way.

To each his/her own

Choosing the right printer is mostly a matter of determining the pros and cons of each type, then deciding which features you consider most important.

The pros and cons of an inkjet like the HP Deskjet 3755 All-in-One (around $90) look something like this:

Pros:

> Cheap hardware, ink, and paper

> Easy-to-find ink cartridges

> Produces relatively high-quality color photos

Cons:

> Ink runs out quickly

> Printing is slow

> Relatively low resolution

HP DeskJet 3755 printer

HP inkjet printer: cheaper printing, hi-quality photos

On the other hand, laser printers such as the sub-$200 Canon imageClass LBP6230dw have a different set of ups and downs:

Pros:

> Crisp, high-resolution printing

> Longer-lasting toner cartridges

> Fast printing

Cons:

> More expensive hardware

> More expensive replacement cartridges

> Subpar color printing with cheaper models / expensive high-quality color printing

Canon imageClass printer

Canon laser printer: a splurge to buy, but cheaper to run

Adding another dimension

Oh, the future of printing? Yeah, it’s 3D. But you already knew that.

3D printers have been around for ages; early so-called “additive manufacturing equipment” was developed back in the 1980s. But it wasn’t until recently that startups including MakerBot brought 3D printing to the masses.

Today’s 3D printers are readily available and downright affordable. For instance, you can pick up a Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer at Amazon for under $200.

Monoprice 3D printer

Monoprice 3D printer: at $200, that’s one low price

Modern 3D printers use various types of filaments, including ABS plastic, nylon, carbon fiber, polycarbonate and polypropylene. The filament is heated until it turns into liquid. Then it’s squirted out of a nozzle, not unlike the way an inkjet printer squirts ink.

However, unlike an inkjet printer, when the 3D printer’s filament dries, the result is not a picture on a piece of paper, but an actual three-dimensional object. Said object could be the prototype of a new cellphone, a hard-to-get replacement part for an engine, or even a life-saving heart valve.

Printing money for the channel

Printers represent an opportunity for the channel the same way they do for titans HP, Brother and Canon.

In many cases, the printer itself is a loss-leader. But the ink, paper, and maintenance they require is anything but. For example, a single ink cartridge for that $90 HP Deskjet printer will set you back $16.

3D printers are another opportunity. Here, channels partners can help their customers use 3D printers as rapid-prototyping devices.

It’s now feasible because prices for 3D printing hardware and filaments have come down far. The right setup could save SMBs millions in pre-fabrication costs while also providing channel partners with a burgeoning revenue stream.

The key to success is right there in black & white. (And color.)

 

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In the Zone

Intel NUC Mini PCs: Where elegance and efficiency meet

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by Peter Krass on 06/17/2021
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Have you experienced the Intel NUC yet?

NUC rhymes with “buck,” and it’s a full-powered mini-PC that could bring you some serious bucks.

The Intel NUC is part of the larger PC market — which, as I’m sure you know, is absolutely on fire. Market watcher Canalys says U.S. PC shipments in this year’s first quarter rose year-on-year by a record-breaking 73%, for a total of 34 million units.

This fire isn’t going out any time soon. Canalys predicts that U.S. PC shipments will keep growing over the next year, albeit at a more moderate 5.4%.

What’s driving all that demand? Short term, supply constraints. But those should end soon, helped in part by the Biden administration’s planned $50 billion investment in semiconductor manufacturing.

Also boosting demand will be new post-pandemic “hybrid work” setups. That’s where employees work a few days a week from home, a few days in the office. Facebook, Apple and a few other companies have already mandated this for the fall.

One versatile mini-PC

The Intel NUC comes in whatever form your customers need. That could be a ready-to-run PC. A barebones kit for building your own. A NUC Board with soldered-in processor for creating custom applications. Or a NUC Element, a pluggable card that includes a processor, Wi-Fi and memory.

The Intel NUC also enjoys a full-fledged ecosystem of third-party products. These include cases, chassis, graphics cards, cables and cooling systems.

The Intel NUC Mini PC is indeed mini, measuring only about 4 x 4 inches. That makes this device ideal for use in the home, meeting rooms, classrooms, or (in the Rugged version) factory floors.

Yet Intel NUCs are also powerful. They’re equipped with the latest Intel processors, your choice of SSD or HDD storage, and a full range of ports — USB, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Ethernet and microSD. And all that is backed up by Intel’s 24x7 support and 3-year warranty.

Collaborate with Unite

One business application for the Intel NUC is powering conference-room collaboration systems. That includes the Intel Unite solution.

The Intel Unite solution is an easy-to-use videoconferencing system. It can be used in an office meeting room, classroom, faculty room, or any other space dedicated to collaboration. Intel Unite uses wireless tech to connect to displays, or interactive “smart” whiteboards. Meeting participants, regardless of location, can share and edit content in real time.

You can bring things up a notch by powering Intel Unite with the Intel NUC Pro. This mini PC fully supports conference-room solutions such as Intel Unite solution. The Intel NUC Pro can pair with cameras to create a complete videoconferencing solution, power interactive displays for web conferencing and screen sharing, and supply a conference room with the functionality of a full-powered PC.

Train to gain

Both the Intel NUC Mini PC and Intel Unite solution are easy to use, but you can get even more from these systems with some training. And who better to get that training from than Intel?

Intel Partner University, the company’s training program for partners, offers deeper curriculum-based trainings known as Competencies for both NUC Mini PC and Intel Unite solution. Complete these trainings, and you’ll not only know how to serve your customers better, you can also earn a digital badge to promote your skills online.

The two Competencies are:

> NUC Mini PC Solutions: With these courses, you’ll learn the basics of Intel NUC product offerings and product add-ons. You’ll get a deep dive into the greater NUC ecosystem. And you’ll explore the breadth of solutions enabled by a small form-factor PC, including digital signage, kiosks, rugged environments, collaboration spaces, gaming and creating.

There are a total of 15 trainings, each of which offers at least 5 credits. Some are as short as 10 minutes — easy to squeeze into your day.

> Intel Unite Solutions: These trainings will teach you the basics of collaboration solutions and how to successfully position, demonstrate and deploy the Intel Unite solution. You’ll also delve into the software platform that modernizes and unifies collaboration across verticals and organizations of all sizes.

There are nearly a dozen trainings, and they include getting started with Intel Unite cloud service, delivering immersive learning tech, and a safer return to work.

> Ready to get skilled? Check out client Competencies on Intel Partner University (login required).

> Are you a member of Intel Partner Alliance? Activate your membership or join now

 

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