This is according to Intel’s UK director, Graham Palmer, who CRN chatted with last week. Whitebook builders and integrators, he believes, have been the “least able to take advantage” of the move by businesses into the mobile world.
This is why the chip vendor, which has had a busy month refreshing its entire product line and launching three new architectures, is introducing a scheme to push VARs into selling more notebooks and wireless products.
The idea behind the Intel Integration Initiative is that sales will be encouraged by helping VARs build notebooks to their own specifications and with their own mobility platforms, which can then be sold under their brand-name. Intel will help by providing the chassis and warranties that white-box builders find increasingly difficult to source.
While the muscle of Intel pushing integrators up the steep slope
of custom-build notebook sales will give a helping hand to some, for others it is simply a case of too little, too late. This applies not just to Intel, but other vendors too.
For most system builders and integrators, the whitebook sales slope is now looking more like Mount Everest. While Intel might be applauded for trying to help its channel, surely it should have made such a move several years ago, when the analysts were already predicting that notebook sales would outstrip those of desktops.
The problem is that by the time all of the components, software and accessories are sourced, and the machine is actually built, it is likely to cost the integrator 10 per cent more than if they had bought a tier-one vendor’s notebook through distribution.
Furthermore, the most crucial element – the end-user – is unlikely to pay 10 per cent more for an unknown brand. With no sourcing power to bulk buy, no brand-name and insufficient marketing spend to create a brand, system integrators may need more from vendors to help them climb that mountain.
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