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Building bridges is part of Shirley Turner’s job, something she did effectively in 2006 as Intel’s director of North America channel marketing. When it comes time to educate distributors, system builders, integrators and VARs about Intel’s platform products, Turner is the one to call.

But of those four groups, her work with VARs can be counted among her biggest successes. This year, Intel reached out to VARs as part of its go-to market strategy instead of simply OEMs, as the company had done in years past.

It meant making presentations like the one she made to a group of VARs this summer to promote Intel’s dual-core processor technology, as well as being the face of the company’s efforts to show Intel cares about the channel as a whole.

None of this happened overnight, Turner said, explaining that it took more than one and a half years to get to this point. Because Intel was out of the loop for so long, VARs told her they wanted to know where the company was going so they “could be there too,” she said.

“We realized we were ignoring half the channel basically,” she said.

It was this revelation that has led Intel to bring marketing resources to bear to help ensure its partners are all on the same page and pursuing the same general technological goals.

“We feel successful,” she said. “This past year, focusing on platform brands had become a priority, and this played particularly well with solution providers.”

By talking to resellers about the technologies Intel platforms could deliver instead of white box components’ performance, Intel has been able to help many VARs focus on the overall solutions they sell to customers, she said.

“Centrino, ViiV and now VPro are all platform brands that package together key components and cultivates the entire ecosystem to deliver optimum performance for mobility, consumer experience and managed services,” she said.