Advanced Micro Devices Inc. told solution providers that selling systems based on its processors is a way for them to compete against Dell, which sells only Intel-based products.

“”We want you to sell more AMD-based systems,”” said Rich Gerlach, partner marketing manager at AMD. “”AMD as a technology

is a differentiator to Dell.””

Gerlach made these comments to solution providers during AMD’s keynote address, kicking off this year’s CompTIA Canada’s Solution Provider Breakaway conference here. The 3-day conference attracted approximately 140 solution providers and vendors including Alternative Technology Inc., Phoenix Technologies Ltd. and Computer Associates International.

Ida Pereira, president and COO of Globalmaxx Technologies, said she never sees technology as a differentiator.

“”Technology is evolving, ongoing,”” said Pereira, who left Infinity Technologies to head up Globalmaxx in April. “”The differentiator is what’s new. Sooner or later (technology) commoditizes. We see AMD as an alternative and option.””

Partnering is one of the main themes at this year’s conference. On Sunday evening’s state of the market address, vendors stressed to solution providers the importance of working with each other to deliver complete solutions to the marketplace. Panelists included Mark Steiman, regional director, Canada, at Alternative Technologies, Kelley Bush, vice-president and GM at Interwork Technologies, Chris Devlin, vice-president of channel sales at Computer Associates, and Rick Gray, director of sales and strategic alliances at Decision One.

David Chow, president of Stoneworks Technologies Inc., an Ottawa-based firm that sells HP and Sun-based solutions, said he has leveraged his partnership with Access Distribution to find other partners to work with.

“”(Access) sees companies with good ethics,”” said Chow. “”They want to help partners grow by matching them up with each other.””

Chow, who co-founded Stoneworks, also said it’s important to set boundaries between partners in a written agreement so that each party knows what the other’s objective is.

On the vendor side, Gerlach said AMD is in the process of working with tier one companies such as IBM to leverage their partner programs to help “simplify things” for AMD partners. He didn’t provide any more details except to say that partners will see something along these lines in “”the coming weeks and months.””

Gerlach said benefits of being an AMD partner include a “”solid price performance message”” and the ability to build services on top of its products.

“”We have build-your-own type of partner all the way up to fully-configured systems,”” he said, adding that IBM, Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems Inc. are loyal AMD customers.

AMD’s 100, 200 and 800 series processors run on IBM’s eServer e326 2P/1U server, server cluster 1350, and IntelliStation A Pro Workstation; HP’s DL 585 4U/4P server, DL145 1U/2P server, and LC cluster series; and Sun’s V20Z 1U/2P server and V40Z 4U/4P server.

Paul Matthews, account executive of Xwave Corp. said he was surprised to learn prior to attending this conference that HP and IBM are putting AMD processors in their servers. He added, however, that he would like more information on how Xwave could benefit from partnering with AMD.

“”I’m not sure how (AMD) can help you,”” said Matthews. “”(AMD) is still in its infancy to compete against Dell.””

He also said that as AMD moves forward, it is becoming more and more of a viable alternative to Intel. “”Intel has slipped with their roadmap lately,”” said Matthews.

Globalmaxx, an IBM shop, said it is looking to AMD as an alternative to Intel as well.

“”AMD is coming out full force. We’re an IBM shop but we’re keeping our eye on AMD,”” said Pereira, adding that AMD has been growing its presence in the consumer market with its processors in HP boxes.

Pereira said IBM remains a strong Intel partner, especially on their high end systems. But she will be keeping her eye on where AMD is going with IBM.

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