During a post-Intel Solutions Summit press conference, channel marketing director Eric Thompson talks about SSD trends and the promise of a PC/server refresh taking place in the SMB channel this year.
By Geoffrey Oldmixon
March 31, 2010
They are words that every Channel Pro SMB reader loves to hear: “We’re looking to expand our customer space, especially in the SMB space.”
Those words were spoken last month by Intel’s director of North America distribution, sales, and channel marketing Eric Thompson at the end of the Intel Solutions Summit in Las Vegas.
At the close of the three-day Solutions Summit, Thompson sat down with Channel Pro SMB as part of a post-event press conference to discuss some of the chip-maker’s most recent news.
The Intel Solutions Summit is an annual conference for Intel’s premier partners, 300 of which were from North America.
Indeed, the event serves as an opportunity for Intel to introduce of its latest solutions (namely, the Xeon 5600 server processor series). More importantly, however, Thompson says the event provides Intel with the chance to affect change and growth in channel by discussing opportunities for its VAR and system builder partners.
Here are two biggies:
According to Thompson, Intel experienced quarter over quarter doubling of North America SSD technology sales last year, and he expects that trend to continue.
Thompson told the post-ISS press conference attendees that SSDs are being applied in storage arrays in “every category you can think of.”
“We have very high expectations through the year,” he explained. “The category is exploding ... They’re being used in the embedded applications, in standard PCs as a boot drive ... the opportunities are almost endless whereever performance, energy efficiency, and security are needed.”
PC and Server Refresh
The way Thompson explains it, the chance of there not being a “refresh” over the course of the next 12 to 24 months is almost zero.
To start, Thompson believes recent data shows IT equipment is a business necessity. “It’s pretty clear that in 2009 and late 2008, due to the recession ... business spending slowed down,” he explained. “But the PC industry grew in 2009 over 2008. Everybody shipped more PCs in 2009 than in 2008. That is a testament to the status of the PC as indispensible device.”
That being said, he added, “Businesses, small and large, have held off refresh purchases. As a result, there is a pent-up demand with old and inefficient PCs and servers in the space.”
Because of this “pent-up” demand, Thompson believes this is the year the channel can expect to see the refresh dollars. “We really think 2010 is shaping up to be a great year in the SMB space of the channel.”
Michael Siggins contributed to this report.