Intel could open a New Zealand office again as it tries to extend its reach to more channel partners.
General manager for Australia and New Zealand Philip Cronin says he is seriously considering reestablishing a local presence. “I am giving it more thought. It comes up every year when we do our planning. We had an office here before and are reaching a point where we would want to develop that again at some time.”
However, Cronin is not giving any specifics on dates, but says he is very enthused about the local market.
Intel New Zealand closed its local channel office in May 2002. All local activities have since operated out of Australia. At the time Cronin, then area channels and distribution sales manager, said the change was driven by the need for “better coverage” of the local market and that operating from Australia would actually create a broader range of engagement.
He now believes being back in New Zealand may enable Intel to engage better with local channels, especially value-added resellers who supply computer hardware from multinational vendors such as HP, Lenovo and Acer, and who can choose to include products from either Intel or competitors, such as AMD.
“The multinationals have their own channels and we want to be more effective in the VAR community. We need to see how we can influence decisions in areas where there is more competition with Intel.”
Distributors are also very influential in the channel ecosystem and Cronin wants to ensure the education and training it provides for VARs are mirrored at distributors.
Local system builders meanwhile remain a thriving business for Intel and are starting to hold their ground against multinational vendors, especially in laptop sales, says Cronin. “Over the past five to six years local system builders’ market share has declined to about 20 percent with the move to notebooks dominated by multinationals. Now they can offer locally built notebooks verified by Intel.”
New Intel technology, such as Centrino Pro and quad-core processors, will create even more opportunities for local assemblers, says Cronin.
Codenamed Santa Rosa, Centrino Pro will be released in June and will bring Intel’s vPro desktop management tools to Intel’s mobile products, he says. “It will enable resellers to bring to laptops the same value-added services such as manageability and security they have offered for desktops.”
Intel’s new quad-core processors will create opportunities in the high-end server and gaming sectors.