Things are looking more than a little shaky at the Intel Corporation with claims of pay freezes and vacancies left unfilled.
Last month the company announced that it had seen profits take a nose dive dropping 27 percent in the last quarter, net income stood at $2.5 billion from the $3.4 billion, a year earlier, while the company’s revenue took a hit falling three percent to $13.5 billion from $13.9 billion.
At the time the company claimed that it was striving to do better and award its stakeholders with fatter margins the next time round, but it seems clawing some of the cash back is falling at the expense of its UK staff.
Sources within the company told ChannelEye: “There’s been talk of pay freezes, while [vacancies] that have been left open for months have yet to be filled.”
Some departments were facing a losing battle as a result.
“There’s also been more pressure on both [sales and marketing] departments to perform better, which, without the right support and staff count has been hard, but that’s obviously the demons that we have to deal with rather than for the top level staff.”
The source also said neither marketing or sales departments were seeing any of the marketing budget Intel had promised to throw at this area when it announced its financials.
This year the company earmarked $18.9 billion on research and development, along with marketing and administrative costs, an increase from 2011 when it spent $16 billion in this sector, and up from $18.2 billion last year.
“When Intel said it would be spending more on marketing last month, I don’t think it really meant its staff in this sector and in sales,” ChannelEye heard.
“I think it was more for its products – namely Ultrabooks – and other shiny toys that would appeal to consumers.
“There’s however only so much we can do to promote the Ultrabook, and feed exciting, engaging info to resellers and consumers when we haven’t got all the tools to do it”.
ChannelEye, (channeleye.co.uk) is edited by industry veteran Mike Magee. The editorial team that launched another channel title this time last year, will upset the apple cart and provide hard hitting news, interviews and pithy comment that reflect the concerns of distributors, resellers and the rest of the community.
“It’s high time that stuffy, old fashioned channel magazines whether online or in print are consigned to the dustbin of history,” Magee said. “The supply chain continues to be essential to deliver vendors’ offerings to end users. We will break the mould and deliver essential information to the key players in the market.”
“This is a fantastic development for IDG” suggests Jonny Busse, head of the IDG Tech Network. “Commercially representing this website will now allow IDGUK a strong presence in this important marketplace with ChannelEye offering a clean and unique style coupled with hard hitting content”
In addition to news, ChannelEye will cover wider matters including reviews, interviews with key players, moves in the industry, product information, gossip, and sparky, solid information. Avoiding re-cycled press releases, ChannelEye will avoid business jargon that only marketers understand, and will deliver gritty and realistic depictions of stuff that matters to the channel.
About Prakasha Publishing Ltd. Prakasha, headed by CEO Mike Magee, already publishes well respected technology title TechEye. Founder of both the Register and the Inquirer, Magee was listed as the 35th most influential person in UK technology by the Daily Telegraph. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org He brings on board a team of journalists that has close contacts in the channel and the wider IT community.
However, that doesn’t seem to be enough for CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. According to Mobile Review, the chipmaker is planning to kick things up a notch, by directly entering the smartphone and tablet business with a bit of help from its partners.
Nvidia is said to be working on reference smartphone and tablet designs. The designs will be built by contract manufacturers, under Nvidia’s direct control. The partners are apparently small regional players, basically retail chains who already offered cheap Chinese tablets under their brands. It is unclear whether traditional Nvidia AIBs will also join the effort, but it seems more than likely, as some of them have already started making inroads in the tablet space, without Nvidia’s support.
The idea seems to hold water. Nvidia could control the feature sets and performance of reference designs, while regional players could take care of distribution and retail. Nvidia partners could end up with cheap, yet competitive devices capable of taking on first-tier devices with fancier brands. The drive is said to be scheduled for May and June, roughly Computex time, and Mobile Review’s Eldar Murtazin believes tens of 7- and 10-inch tablets based on Nvidia’s reference design could show up.
Nvidia already has extensive reference design experience and plenty of partners in the graphics market, so such an approach would be nothing new for the company. However, last year Nvidia also offered Kai, a reference tablet design based on the Tegra 3 SoC. It did not find many takers. Back at CES, Nvidia unveiled Project Shield, a Tegra 4 gaming console built under its own brand, but we haven’t seen any Tegra 4 design wins yet. The chip is apparently a couple of months behind schedule, due to some technical issues which necessitated a re-spin.
We should see more Tegra 4 gear at the Mobile World Congress and Nvidia is also expected to launch a cheaper, A9-based quad-core SoC in the latter half of the year. The reference design approach could help Nvidia gain quite a bit more design wins this time around, provided it doesn’t flop like Kai.
The figures were lower than expected for the last three months of 2012 and have sparked fears that, if the economy does not pick up, the UK will enter an unprecedented ‘triple dip recession’ – although arguably, Britain never left the recession at all. Chancellor George Osborne has warned that tough times still lie ahead for the country, but shirked advice from the International Monetary Fund that he and the Coalition should ease up on the policy of austerity.
On the GDP figures, Osborne said: “We have a reminder today that Britain faces a very difficult economic situation”.
The figures serve as a “reminder that last year was particularly difficult” and that the country faces problems at home “because of the debts built up over many years and problems abroad with the Eurozone, where we export most of our products, in recession”. The opposition accused Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron of being “asleep at the wheel”, although the macroeconomic environment is unrelentingly difficult and both Labour and Conservatives differ on many minutae of policy – with the wider climate beyond their control.
GDP, meanwhile, was flat compared to the same time last year. Production output decreased by 1.8 percent for the quarter, negating a 0.7 percent increase between the second and third quarters. Service industry output was flat from Q3 into Q4, although that followed a 1.2 percent boost between Q2 and Q3 2012.
Britain enjoyed steady GDP growth from 2000 right up until the world markets crashed in 2008, and according to the ONS, the decline of economic conditions in 2008 and up until now has had a significant effect on construction and production – though the service sector wasn’t hit as hard, and is now slowly returning to 2008 levels.
In October last year, channel analyst house Canalys’ CEO, Steve Brazier, said that, despite the difficult economic climate, there is still opportunity in the channel. Although growth was not exactly meteoric, Brazier said that by carefully steering the ship, channel players could weather the storm, although the market will be tough.
Senior analyst at Canalys, Rachel Brindley, offered some thoughts to ChannelEye on just what channel players can do to push through the crisis. She tells us the situation isn’t exactly all doom and gloom.
“Some partners will struggle if this economy goes into a triple dip recession,” Brindley said, “but there is a chance that it could happen. That being said, a lot are well placed – those who focus on customer service, keeping existing customers very close, growing their services business an diversifying their portfolio into things like managed services and data centres, will rise to the difficult times we’ve been going through”.
“Generally,” Brindley said, “those that focus on their customers, and diversify their business away from traditional hardware and box shifting will come through OK, it will come down to careful planning and taking opportunities in spaces like the data centre and looking at what’s going on in the networking space”.
The company claims that other firms offer little or no support to as yet “undiscovered” vendors that have the potential to disrupt the UK market’s status quo.
It claims its new weapon will help it search out next generation networking and security vendors, which will complement its portfolio of disruptive technology products.
Davison has been appointed to seek out companies wishing to bring innovative networking and security technology solutions to the UK. The company boasts it’s best placed to offer these firms the best foothold as understands the market and “delivers real value-add.”
Davidson’s team has, according to the company, already begun to develop tools for the channel, which will help launch these products to the market. These include tailored vendor support launch packs, bespoke sales training, pre-sales and technical training, a virtual marketing team and an end user pipeline generation platform.
Apparently these have all been created to help VARs get up to speed with the new products and grow a network of qualified opportunities.
Adam Davison says he has first-hand experience of what it’s like as a start-up trying to break through. He added there was a real need for a “next-generation distributor” who was willing to put “evangelistic effort into less well-known, but high value proposition vendors.”
Adam’s appointment follows a series of new hires as Cloud Distribution expands and develops its team which has included James Ball, Technical Manager and Tracey Hannan, Sales Manager for the new Northern office.
Our advice, then, to anyone who got vouchers as part of a Christmas present is, to spend, spend, spend.
One source told ChannelEye that her twin boys could not redeem HMV vouchers yesterday. So a net loss and a disappointment, for the kids, by and large.
If you have a “voucher”, redeem it. And redeem it fast. Who knows which company is going to go down the tube, next?
There is somethimg very dodgy about this, and ChannelEye is watching it closely.