Chrissie Harrison

Doug Woodburn
clock • 6 min read
Chrissie Harrison

Name: Chrissie Harrison

Role: Sales director, UK, Intel

Spirit animal: Wolf

Walk-on song: Titanium

How would you summarise Intel's channel philosophy?

The channel is the first to drive innovation and scale the ecosystem. The makeup of our channel is expanding and now includes software, solutions, embedded solutions as well as those that drive first-to-market designs on client. To enable the channel to keep at the front of developing and emerging technologies, and continue their pace of design, we need to enable them and the ecosystem with leadership products, software and optimisation tools. The channel has always been diverse, but today we see a rapid shift towards consultancy with customers that delivers business value and solutions that solve business problems.

Yes, we are in active recruitment mode, looking to onboard new partners into Intel Partner Alliance

Tell us about Intel's partner programme in 100 words or fewer…

Intel Partner Alliance is a platform to enable the collaboration and innovation through a more simplified program that pulled together all of our previous channel programmes. It is a single, simplified location for networking with other partners and ecosystem players through marketplace and connecting with new technology, as well as training and earning points for skilling up on Intel's product sets. It pulls together all of our industries and communities and covers all of Intel's portfolio.

How many partners do you work with in the UK?

In the UK we work with around 100 customers directly, either through local account management support or via inside sales based in Gdansk. However, Intel Partner Alliance provides a platform and always-on connection for thousands of partners across the globe along with great support from our distributors.

Are you looking either to expand or reduce that? If so, what partner profile does this apply to?

Yes, we are in active recruitment mode, looking to onboard new partners into Intel Partner Alliance, in particular system integrators, independent software vendors and cloud solution providers who we know can benefit from being part of this expanding partner ecosystem.

Have you made any major changes to your partner programme recently, or are you about to?

Yes, we revamped our programme and launched Intel Partner Alliance (IPA) in Q1 2021. Now we work on strategies to evolve the programme in line with the changing needs of the customer and the users. The programme covers all technology today and will continue to develop out as we see trends change and adjust to match what our customers tell us they need to continue to grow. For example, there is huge skill in the channel in designing and creating devices, but they also have skill and innovation in the cloud and AI space. The program allows for and creates opportunity for both.

Describe your perfect partner?

There are lots! Partners and customers who are identifying problems and creating solutions. This can be in any part of the business, client, data centre, FPGA, Internet of Things. The ones that are developing not just technology solutions but also the experience of technology and the impact that it has are very exciting to work with! We have customers today building across education solutions, aviation, automotive, robotics! That's the most amazing thing about working with the channel - every account is different, and every account has a different idea we can work together on.  

In which areas would you most like to see your partners invest over the next 12 months?

Creating an environment for our customers and partners that delivers business value and better outcomes for their end user whether consumer or business. Cloud, AI, 5G and networking are all driving rapid change across the industry. We see opportunity in client especially at the Edge. The ability to look across hardware, software and use software optimisation tools and codes will be key for all of our partners moving forward. Having the building blocks in place to offer designs across technology, and services will be the channel USP. This will be a business accelerator for the channel partner and support growth as the industry evolves. As Intel launches new technologies, for example Ponte Vecchio, Sapphire Rapids and 13th Generation CPU's, the ease of working across the technology stack will be critical to deliver the business value of tomorrow.

How do you see vendor channel programmes and channel engagement models evolving over the next few years?

I think it very much depends on the vendor and the customer. Our programme, like many others, evolves to align to the customer and market need and so, we could see more focus on solutions, or more focus on how we support our partners to go to market with multiple building blocks. As far as engagement goes, we have great relationships with our customers that look quite different to how they did five or ten years ago. A decade ago we would be developing strategies to maximise the volume of components sold via our integrators and resellers, or the laptops, desktops and servers resold our VARs. While we still do this, the considerations and support models have shifted towards addressing challenges within existing industries utilising technology or creating new opportunities within new industries utilising technology base solutions that our customers have already brought to market. The pandemic has shown us that we are very quick to adapt in the channel, taking solutions built for one need and adapting them to fix another.

What are your priorities for the next 12 months?

We're working through some big challenges in the channel on the back of recovery from the pandemic and macro-economic impact. We have a number of launches coming in the next 12 months that we still need to ensure we get the best technology out to the wider market, and we'll really focus in on this with our solutions builders.

We have a number of launches coming in the next 12 months that we still need to ensure we get the best technology out to the wider market, and we'll really focus in on this with our solutions builders

Name one trait you prize highly in partners?

Transparency in the relationship. If things aren't going the way we want it to, for a partner or for Intel, with the right partner we can have some really meaningful conversations on how we fix challenges and make changes to how we work together.

What's the most challenging aspect of being a channel leader?

In the channel we cover all product and solution types, all verticals and horizontals - wanting to fix it all and be involved in it all is my biggest challenge!

What is your spirit animal?

A difficult one to answer, so I asked my team and got a mix of spirit animals! I like the wolf - we hunt as a pack and we are a very strong team, we win and lose together

What would be your walk-on song, and why?

David Guetta - Titanium, I love the track and if you want it to be more than a great dance tune then it's about strength and bouncing back for me

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