Today Intel opened a Web-based storefront designed to provide small businesses with a one-stop shopping and education technology portal. Called the Intel Business Exchange, it offers SMBs hardware and software products plus stand-alone business applications and services all built on Intel technology by independent software vendors (ISVs) and sold through value-added resellers (VARs).
Understandably, Intel wants developers to write software and build hardware based on Intel chip technology. The company also has an interest in helping those developers take their product to market.
But as Peter Elmgren, managing director of Intel Business Exchange noted, "Ultimately it benefits small businesses when ISVs and VARs can market software and hardware products designed for them. We've created an online destination where people can find the products they need to run their businesses, and VARs and ISVs can sell them."
Currently the site offers four main product categories: security, storage, business applications and telecommunications. Elmgren said that they plan to expand the site and add more categories as they grow.
If you're wondering which software vendors are participating, here's the present lineup: AMI, Doculex, Everest, Fonality, Microsoft, Open-E, Salesforce.com, Symantec and Tripwire.
We have broken new ground with the introduction of the Intel Business Exchange, Renee James, vice president and general manager of Intels Software and Solutions Group, said in a company statement. Intel BX brings together leading resources and platform solutions built on Intel technology with best-of-breed solution providers to create a seamless, one-stop shopping experience for SMB customers.
Vistors to the site can research products and services, request quotes and find solution providers to help them choose and implement the right technology for their business. Elmgren said that the Exchange software offerings are tested through Spikesource and meet the standards of the Intel Certified Software Program.
The Exchange includes a social media aspect in addition to the sales component. It offers educational resources such as product descriptions, interactive demonstrations, whitepapers, case studies, blog entries and user-submitted product ratings and reviews.
"We plan to foster and grow the social aspects over time," said Elmgren. "You'll see podcasts, Web casts and an area where people can have their questions answered online."
Intel also announced a partnership with AllBusiness.com, an online media and e-commerce company and plans to replicate portions of the Exchange on the site.
"The Intel Business Exchange offers small business owners quality products in a one-stop shop and tech education to help them make more-informed buying decisions," Elmgren said.
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com
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