Ziff Davis Internet
News & Resources for the IT Reseller
NewsReviewsTech AnalysisCommentarySecurityLinux/Unix
My Account |  

Intel Enlists Channel for Home Automation Bid
By John Hazard


With the release of the Viiv entertainment computers this week, Intel Corp. will rely on its channel partners to deliver a market still new to them—home users.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Viiv platform, built on Intel's Yonah dual-core chip technology and Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, is designed to allow users to control music, video, streaming media and game technology with remote control.

Home automation is a growing market segment that has caught the interest of channel companies in the last couple of years. Many VARs and integrators formerly focused on businesses have been breaking into the emerging market, installing and servicing everything from flat-panel TVs and audio systems to computerized heating and alarm systems.

Intel is working with manufacturers such as MovieLink, Adobe Systems Inc., Napster and TiVo, to develop Viiv-verified applications and services compatible with the system. Channel partners will be integral in delivering custom configured packages of services and components, Intel executives said.

The technology presents a new opportunity for VARs now doing integration work in the corporate and government space. Intel is calling on its VARs and integrators to drive adoption of the technology, the company said.

PointerIntel execs say that its 2006 releases are channel-minded. Click here to read more.

"We think with Viiv and digital home in general the requirements are opportunistically ready for resellers," said Bill Davidson, Intel's digital home marketing manager.

"A lot more customization needs to be delivered. It's not just a box. There are pieces around it that need to be delivered. Whether wireless connectivity or streaming media, it takes the entertainment experience a lot farther along."

Intel plans to launch specific channel programs later this quarter to push the new products, in addition to a media campaign similar to the $100 million efforts behind Pentium and Centrino, said Frank Raimondi, Intel's Strategic Channel Alliance Manager.

Intel designed Viiv to be stackable but with plenty of opportunity for value-adds, Raimondi said.

Ace Computers, Inc., Arlington Heights, Ill, a custom system builder that outfits storage systems for the Department of Defense, has built a line of media center computers based on Viiv and launched a home division, Ace Digital Home, to capitalize on the opportunity.

The Channel Insider: Solution Builder

John Samborski, vice president at Ace, said he sees plenty of opportunity for system builders and VARs who make the effort.

"There's no way to buy this as a canned box and make a living selling with a $5 margin," he said. "Have to give it features, give it the cool factor, so customers get a premium for the box with touch screens and storage."

Samborski said he expects local resellers and traditional audio-visual installers to play a vital role in adoption and integration.

The technology has applications in both home entertainment centers and corporate media centers and conference rooms, and Samborski expects many VARs to be enticed by the potential crossover.

"A lot of people may get into this at first for the business aspect and then figure they'll do a couple of homes to pick up some extra business," he said.

"I'd like to see businesses adopt it for their use. There is a tremendous demand out there for all of these functions in an office setting. Businesses want more than just a conference room, they want corporate media centers."

     
Email


TALKBACK

MICROSOFT RESOURCE CENTER
Help boost your sales with BONUS PACKS.
Let BONUS PACKS help you sell more PCs—with up to $1,200 in valuable products and services. Visit
Buy Local Partner site >>

Join the Microsoft Empower program for ISVs.
A relationship with Microsoft allows you to compete with the big dogs. Learn more about resources, tools and training. Get the documentation >>

Test your licensing I.Q. and get a smart offer.
Take Microsoft's brief Windows® Licensing Pop Quiz and receive a free Windows Licensing Kit - only five questions. Take the quiz now! >>
Free Hands-On Training Lab
Find out how key features of SBS 2003 can help you open up a new line of revenue. Register now >>


SBS 2003 Sales Reference Card
This handy reference card contains features at a glance, sales objection handling, pricing guidelines & more. Get it now >>


Microsoft Empower for ISVs rewards your big idea with big benefits and support.
Access key development tools at a low cost to help you develop that idea into an innovative application. Learn more >>




 
FREE WHITE PAPER
Changing Business for the Better: A Practical Guide to BPM


This paper provides an overview of the benefits of BPM technologies and identifies the characteristics of BPM solutions that lead to successful BPM process-centric integration projects.


Download this free white paper to learn more!


>> brought to you by IBM

Attention Microsoft Solution Providers!



Want to gain a competitive edge? Try Microsoft Watch – FREE!



Each week you receive:
  • Microsoft News and Insider Information
  • Expert Analysis
  • Code Names of Upcoming MS Products
  • Year-Ahead Calendar, updated monthly



    Click Here to sign up now for your FREE 14 Day Trial to Microsoft Watch.

  • POPULAR TOPICS
    SPECIAL REPORTS
    White Boxes
    MS vs. IBM
    Linux in the Channel
    Network
    CHANNEL RSS FEED
    Stay in the Zone
    Put The Channel Insider on your desktop.
    FREE NEWSLETTERS
    Subscribe to The Channel Insider: Channel News, Reviews, Resources and more.

    Make your selections below:


    Contract Watch

    The Channel Insider Update

    Preferred e-mail format:

    Enter your e-mail:


    view all newsletters >>
    Channel Insider Quick Links
    Ziff Davis Footer Logo