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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


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December 4, 2019 |

Intel Launches Multi-Channel Solutions Marketplace

The new site, which is designed to help end users find Intel partner solutions while also helping Intel partners forge relationships with one another, is an important step in the company’s ongoing effort to combine and modernize its various partner programs.

In a further step toward consolidating its multiple, stand-alone partner programs, Intel has introduced a website designed to help end users find partner solutions while helping the makers of those solutions forge alliances with one another.

The new Intel Solutions Marketplace, which has been quietly operational for weeks but officially opened its doors today, will ultimately offer integrators, solution providers, system builders, ISVs, OEMs, and every other type of partner Intel works with a variety of capabilities not available to most of them previously.

“What we are doing is creating the platform by which our partners can collaborate together, and customers can seek out partners for specific solutions that they may be looking for within our vast ecosystem,” says Eric Thompson, Intel’s general manager for global partner enablement.

Key features of the new platform include the ability to create individualized partner storefronts that display background information and key contacts; provide access to resources like white papers and datasheets; and list available products and solutions. Partners create those storefronts themselves using tools and templates provided by Intel.

“It’s fairly intuitive,” Thompson says. Solutions listed on the site must clear an approval process to ensure they meet clearly defined minimum criteria, he adds.†

The new marketplace also lets partners manage and report on the inquiries their solutions receive from end users and fellow partners. “They can manage and pursue leads through here and track the statistics associated with those leads,” Thompson says. Additional reports show partners how much user traffic and interest their solutions are generating.†

Enhanced search functionality lets users find solutions by keyword and attribute, among other criteria. A private chat feature that allows partners to message each other through the platform will be added next year.

By design, Thompson notes, the Solutions Marketplace is an informational resource but not a “transactional” one with e-commerce capabilities. “We’re not actually selling or taking orders on our platform,” he says. Visitors ready to place an order must contact the relevant partner or an authorized distributor. Intel plans to help partners collect leads, however, through search engine optimization and a series of demand generation campaigns.

At present, there are approximately 4,500 listings in the marketplace from roughly 650 partners. The new system builds upon and replaces the earlier Intel IoT Solution Directory, and is therefore heavily stocked with Intel IoT Market Ready Solutions and Intel IoT RFP Ready Kits as a result. A wide range of Intel Select Solutions for the data center are currently available too, and more offerings from a broader array of suppliers will be added over time.

Intel is rolling out promotional and onboarding efforts to help get partners running on the new platform. “We’ve got a series of campaigns going on that will go live this week to help our partners get up to speed quickly on the features and functionalities, and a series of different tours that have been enabled through online and video,” Thompson says.

Today’s launch is an interim step in an ongoing strategic process aimed at combining Intel’s Technology Provider, IoT Solutions Alliance, Cloud Insider, and other partner programs into a new offering to be called the Intel Partner Alliance. Set to debut in the second half of 2020, that program will include resources for roles such as reseller, system builder, and developer, as well as communities in areas like cloud computing and the Internet of Things. Those affiliations will ultimately be represented in the Solutions Marketplace’s catalog and search tools as well.

The Intel Partner Alliance will have three tiers. According to Thompson, entry-level “Member” enrollees will be welcome to engage in “online matchmaking” through the marketplace, but only Gold- and Titanium-level partners will be authorized to open storefronts and list solutions. “Our intent is not to bring many tens of thousands of partners in,” he says.

Intel was inspired to make the Solutions Marketplace a resource for partner-to-partner relationship building by feedback from attendees of its annual Partner Connect conference.†

“One of the things that they value most about that event is the formal matchmaking for partner-to-partner collaboration that we facilitate,” Thompson says. “We felt very strongly that if they find that is one of the most important elements of the face-to-face event that only happens once a year, we needed to have a way to facilitate that kind of collaboration year-round.”

That’s especially true in the present era of IT, he continues, in which solutions are increasingly complex and likely to mix elements that few partners are equipped to create and integrate entirely on their own. Intel’s IoT Market Ready Solutions exemplify that trend.

“In almost every case, these include hardware, software, and services,” Thompson notes.

Microsoft is one of several other vendors to note the critical role of partner ecosystems in developing and delivering IoT solutions.

Intel took its first big step toward partner program consolidation in October, when it introduced a new cross-discipline training resource called Intel Partner University.

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