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SSD, NUC key areas for Intel and its channel in 2013

Intel is focusing on bringing even more opportunities to the channel in 2013 as it follows a "two hero" strategy..

Intel national reseller channel manager, V.R Rajkumar, who was promoted to the position last year, said it is because the channel will remain important for the vendor this year.

"We will be focusing our passion and excitement for the channel into continued investment through membership programs, marketing and education," he said.

Alongside new product launches, SSD and the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) will form Intel's key focus areas for 2013, which Rajkumar refers to as a "two hero" strategy.

The NUC, a bare bones system measuring four by four inches with the guts of an Ultrabook, is highlighted as just one example of a device that provides the channel with opportunity.

"You get responsive performance and high quality visuals in a pocket-sized solution," Rajkumar said.

Some potential implementations for the device include using it as an engine for signage, kiosks or home theatre systems.

"There is just so much potential for customisation with this one little device and we're excited about seeing what the channel will come up with," Rajkumar said. When it comes to SSDs, the goal is to continue to build on the momentum the vendor has generated so far.

"We've only scratched the surface with client, and then there's high end systems too," Rajkumar said.

"So we can really up the stakes to give the channel even more opportunity to sell across the board into a range of sectors." With a growing number of Ultrabook variations hitting the shelves, 2013 could also be the year where the consumer's view of the PC will start to blur with the Ultrabook, going from a device used for work to one for work and play. For that reason, Rajkumar said 2013 will be the "year to refresh".

"Innovation brings choice for consumers, which is fantastic, so our focus will be on educating our partners on how to translate this choice into the right solution for each of their customers," he said. Opening Windows

Rajkumar said Intel started 2012 prepared for a challenging year, knowing the tough macroeconomic environment was impacting global demand for PCs.

At the same time, the vendor knew that it wanted to provide solutions, components, branded systems, and support to give the channel opportunities to grow.

"At Intel, specifically in the channel, we are all about transitions, ensuring we have the innovation, resources and strategy to thrive through all sorts of shifts," he said. In addition to seeing SSDs take off in 2012, Rajkumar said Intel was impressed with the continued support for the Ultrabook category.

Then there was the excitement around the range of convertibles and tablets coming to market with Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 8.

"This year we had a great line up of enthusiast and small form factor components," Rajkumar said.

Intel "made headway" with its branded strategy in 2012, specifically working with the national OEMs, and expects further developments in this space in 2013, he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


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