Resellers should use the government's Home Computing Initiative (HCI) to move into the mobile computing market and boost sales, Intel has urged.
This was the message to delegates at the company's UK Channel Conference last week. The event, at the Hilton London Metropole, brought together more than 120 system builders to discuss new business development.
HCI entitles firms to tax breaks if they help their employees buy PCs. The scheme was launched in 1999, and relaunched this year.
Intel said it expected the HCI to have a huge impact on sales.
"Our goal is 500,000 new PC sales this year from HCI, and a significant number of those are in the pipeline already," said Jackie Anderson, UK, Ireland and Benelux channel manager at Intel.
Stuart Green, strategy director at system builder Centerprise, said his firm has been fully supporting HCI.
"It has been going for a long time, but the problem before was raising awareness among end-users, VARs and employees. Since the relaunch there has been some real marketing clout behind the initiative," he said.
"But marketing is one thing; closing deals is another. Intel has to have a target, and it is best to aim high."
However, Shaun Frohlich, managing director of VAR Teksys, said: "Only a minority of IT directors buy into the scheme.
"Our real-life experience does not reflect Intel's ambition, but we still believe it is a huge opportunity for the channel."
Intel is also pushing resellers to do more in the mobile market using its Centrino platform. The company warned that resellers that ignore the potential of laptops and PDAs will be in trouble in five years' time.
Green said he has seen big growth in the mobile market since the launch of Centrino. "The interesting thing for me has been people coming to us and specifying Centrino technology. That is the power of Intel's marketing machine," he said.
Green added that the key attractions of Centrino are its wireless and Bluetooth capabilities, and its extended battery life.
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