Business has been different, but also in some ways much the same since the COVID-19 pandemic began. I was recently reminded of this during the annual Intel Partner Connect event, which brings together an eco-system of partners and customers to propel their businesses into the future. However, this year the event was held virtually without the extensive stages, energizing music, and fanfare. What remained was educational and inspirational for all that is possible. This two-day event provided keynotes, breakout sessions, and a virtual showcase. As in past years, it delivered on leaving attendees energized and ready to take on their customers’ evolving needs.
Bob Swan, Intel CEO, speaks about COVID-19 and looking to their purpose for direction. Intel approached this unprecedented era by ensuring they were taking care of their employees, customers, and community as they are the driving force behind everything they do. It also brought them back to their purpose and fundamental drive to innovate and create enabling technology that enriches lives globally. Throughout the event were inspiring stories of how Intel technology and partnerships provided the foundation for critical needs like remote learning in the moments where most of us were trying to adjust to our new normal scenarios. They weaved a story of continuity and resilience across the technology landscape and their partner network.
In terms of market trends, or strategic inflection points, they spoke about the role compute plays in a digital society. Data continues to be generated at exponential rates and the need for it to be relevant in our everyday lives. We will continue to create, capture, analyze, and move data to find its true meaning and propel growth. Many things are accelerating this inflection point, including AI, 5G, and intelligence at the edge. This trend will continue as the partner community builds solutions and unleashes the power of the data. They shared stories of how partners evolved the channel by taking advantage of emerging technologies to be a disruptor, transform, and fuel growth, while tackling the world’s problems and challenges. They finished the keynote by reiterating the channel relief programs that Intel created to ensure partner stability and growth in challenging times.
Intel Business Segment Strategy and Directions
Leaders from the non-volatile memory, client, IoT, and datacenter groups shared insight and what they currently see in the market. In the wake of the pandemic, many groups are seeing resilience in their business. The consumer and commercial businesses are strong with demand for refreshes, work from home, play from home, learn from home, etc. proving that the strategies they have been utilizing are working and will get continued investment. Intel has worked through supply challenges, and are optimistic about the future even more so then some of the analysts are predicting.
The datacenter group echoes many of the same thoughts as the client group around work, play, learn from home needs. There has been a massive influx of activity around the cloud and across the infrastructure to support this need. The strategy remains the same and stays the course. They have seen a secure investment in business continuity and are adjusting resources to address growth segments. They speak of cloudification as an architecture, and how we will collectively need to adapt to meet the growing needs. The memory and storage group shared growth and accomplishments from 2019. They are continuing their investment in the channel, especially around innovation with Optane.
The IoT space is truly a collaborative effort to drive adoption and solutions. Efforts in 2020 are around accelerating adoption and usage with a series of tools and channel ready improvements that decrease development time and enable the ability to scale quickly. There is a bit of a pause in this segment as it tends to follow the GDP, especially as continuity is driving spending. However, it is also encouraging collaboration across the business units to address particular needs in areas like education and logistics and tracking. And, a final expectation of Digital Transformation initiatives to explode coming out of COVID-19 with transformation all the way to the edge with new use cases and verticals emerging. A uniting theme across the units is the need for partners to help drive innovation and growth.
The next two days brought a variety of breakout sessions spanning each of the solutions groups from client computing through storage and memory, data center, FPGA acceleration, solutions, and software, as well as enabling sponsors. We spent some time in the data center-specific sessions to understand the opportunity within the DSG portfolio. Throughout the portfolio, Intel is delivering the silicon foundation to move data faster, store more data, and process everything. As the market is changing, Intel DSG is evolving to solve complex problems with innovation. The portfolio of systems spans the needs of dense (HPC and AI), mainstream (HPC and HCI), and entry (SMB and scale-out cloud) categories and workloads.
Intel Optane technology was another area of interest to learn more and determine ideal use cases. They again confirmed that data is driving the market and will continue to explode while changing the technology landscape to address its needs. This specific session addressed the store more segment of the strategy. The most recent product to launch was Intel Optane Persistent Memory with 3D XPoint technology providing greater density than DRAM and much more memory capacity. Early adopters point out additional benefits of low latency and speed, with groundbreaking persistence. On the Intel Optane SSDs side, they shared performance improvements, low latency, and reduction in bottlenecks with the best performance seen in accelerating, caching, and tiering solutions.
Winning in the Data Center with Dell Technologies
To support digital transformation and modernization, Dell Technologies delivers a comprehensive portfolio. In terms of market trends, the mainstream server market still has increasing demands for data analytics and AI, business applications and databases, software-defined, hybrid cloud, and HPC workloads. Understanding these growth segments enables the partner community to follow the business value and maintain growth. They also shared their award-winning storage portfolio with the fastest-growing midrange segment. The newly launched Dell EMC PowerStore provides a data-centric design, intelligent automation, and adaptable architecture. Furthermore, PowerStore offers capacity and performance with scale-up and scale-out capabilities for the ultimate flexibility.
As the event name implies, Connected for Growth was the overarching theme. Intel is enabling its partner community, including UNICOM Engineering, with innovative building blocks and tools to help you deliver next-generation solutions. Together we are able to deliver world-changing technology and solutions that enrich lives globally. It was inspiring to see the things that we, as technology leaders, were able to achieve in a time of crisis, and we look forward to a more normalized reality very soon. To discuss any of the technologies discussed in this blog, please contact UNICOM Engineering at 972-633-3400 or contact us today.