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


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News & Articles

October 20, 2020 |

Unified Intel Partner Program to Debut in January

During a virtual partner conference today, Eric Thompson (pictured) and others offered details on the new Intel Partner Alliance and extolled the advantages it will offer over previously separate programs for solution providers, OEMs, and ISVs, among others.

After three years of effort, the massive unification of Intel‘s previously separate partner programs for solution providers, cloud service providers, OEMs, and others is finally in the home stretch.

“It’s right around the corner. We’re in the final steps to deliver this. At the beginning of the year in early January, we look forward to starting a new year together in the new Intel Partner Alliance,” says Eric Thompson, Intel’s general manager of partner enablement, referring to the industry giant’s new channel program.

Thompson spoke this morning at Intel’s Partner Connect virtual event, which presented information about the new program alongside updates on Intel’s supply chain and business performance during a year of pandemic-driven uncertainty.

When it formally launches a few months from now, the Intel Partner Alliance will combine the Intel Technology Provider, IoT Solutions Alliance, and Cloud Insider programs, plus dozens of other partner organizations, into an all-new, all-encompassing entity designed to make working with Intel easier for companies with multiple specializations.

“We certainly recognize that the program landscape that we bring to the market today was fragmented, and that creates inefficiency and confusion for you, our partners,” Thompson said in his keynote. The new program is also designed to help the more than 50,000 members of Intel’s channel collaborate on joint go-to-market ventures, he continued.

“The industry has evolved. It’s changed fundamentally. There’s many new business models that you’ve deployed in order to continue to grow your business and you’re collaborating across the ecosystem more than ever before to put the kind of solutions together that are necessary to reach the demands of your end customers,” Thompson said. “We wanted a program that kind of reflected that.”

The basic structure of the new program, which Intel first disclosed in broad outline a year ago, is built around roles, such as integrator, ISV, distributor, and manufacturer, that are designed to steer partners toward the most relevant resources for their function. 

“We needed to construct a core value proposition that’s really oriented around your core business model, knowing that what, for example, a software vendor, an ISV, will find most helpful in your relationship with Intel will be quite different than what, for example, a local OEM would find most different or most valuable,” Thompson explained.

Across roles, program members are slotted into three tiers—member, gold, and titanium—with varying requirements and benefits. Unifying Intel’s earlier programs into the Partner Alliance, Thompson noted, will give the company a more holistic view of all the ways it engages with members, enabling partners to get more credit toward requirements than before.

Intel will tell partners their initial level in the Partner Alliance before the end of the year, Thompson said.

Benefits in the Partner Alliance will fall into two categories, automated and managed. Automated benefits are awarded to all partners in a given role and tier. Managed benefits are incremental perks available to partners with strategic expertise or especially high-volume sales capacity.

All Partner Alliance members will enjoy higher caps on how many points they can collect, and new ways to earn points. “In addition to the traditional transactional ways, we’re also looking at more activity-based ways,” Thompson said.

The new program’s portal will provide access to sales and technical resources, product support, membership status and benefit details, and real-time measurements of progress against requirements, among other topics. The site will also feature a personalized, AI-driven interface specific to each user’s role, interests, and geography.

“We want to make it very easy for partners to get what they need and what they want, and then get onto the next thing,” says Todd Garrigues, director of partner sales programs at Intel.

Three other important elements of the Intel Partner Alliance are already operational. The first, called Intel Partner University, is a centralized training and education portal filled with competency-based course material. Introduced last October, the site has been used by thousands of partners in the U.S. alone already, according to Garrigues.

“Adoption’s been really good,” he says.

There are currently 700 classes available in Partner University. “We’re going to be expanding that curriculum as well as we roll into 2021,” Thompson says.

The Intel Solutions Marketplace, another key component of the Partner Alliance introduced last year, is designed to help partners find complementary products and services for building and marketing solutions. At present, only a few thousand IoT partners have storefronts on the site. All gold and titanium level Partner Alliance members will have the opportunity to post offerings when the new program goes into effect next year.

The third previously introduced Partner Alliance resource, called the Partner Marketing Studio, provides access to a library of ready-to-use marketing assets and campaigns.

Intel is encouraging partners to use the time between now and the official Intel Partner Alliance launch to logon to the new portal, review and update their company profile and contacts, commence the process for setting up a storefront in the Solutions Marketplace, and begin rolling out the program’s new membership badges.

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