“That’s a four core CPU, with 4GB of RAM, 16 gigs of flash memory, 802.11 wireless, Bluetooth, an even 4k video. It’s called the Joule,”Gaudreault, Intel Canada’s newly appointed country manager explains as he slides the sliver of metal across the table. “It’s for what we call the ‘makers’…it comes with a motherboard and sensors and they can build a robot or a weather station, whatever with it.”
The Joule is Intel’s system on module (SoM) developer tool which combines a 64-bit, quad-core compute engine with wireless connectivity, high-speed I/O, and power management services, Introduced early this year, the module runs a Reference Linux operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT) by default and is meant to boost rapid prototyping for enthusiasts and developers.
“This is what Intel is doing with IoT,” Said Gaudreault. “Traditionally, you had to be a big enterprise to get access to this capability. Joule is available for sale to anyone for US$360.”
Intel apparently is embracing the “maker culture” with an IoT twist. And Gaudreault, who was named Intel Canada’s country manager this September, said IoT is one of the key trends the chip maker is focusing on.
An engineering graduate from Université du Québec, Gaudreault is a systems engineer by training, but he has worked with Intel for the past 16 years on a number of managerial and directorial capacities. Most recently, he raised Intel’s presence in the global government sector as the company’s worldwide director for its Government World Ahead Vertical program.
In September this year, he moved from Montreal to Toronto to replace Graham Palmer as country manager for Intel Canada. Palmer is now director of industry sales partners for EMEA. He is now based in the United Kingdom.
Channel Partners need to evolve
“Companies of all sizes want to go of a massive digital transformation,” he said. “Intel wants to help them accomplish their goals…and our channel partners play a big role in helping us achieve this.”
Large enterprises, as well as small and medium businesses (SMBs) embarking on a digital transformation journey, will require three key building blocks, according to Gaudreault:
- A digital platform to enable IT functions to be migrated to the cloud.
- Digitized products and service
- Companies need to create a digital experience for customers and employees
“Organizations need to stop spending money on old stuff. They need to be thinking about being cloud ready, whether that cloud is onsite or offsite,” according to Gaudreault.
Customers, he said, are not just craving to “digitized” products and services such as Internet-connected coffee makers and thermostats. They now expect to be able to communicate with businesses as they do with their friends – via mobile devices, PCs, through voice, chat or video. The trend has moved into the workplace and prospective talents have grown to expect this digital experience in their office as well.
“As our customers evolve, the channel needs to evolve as well,” said Gaudreault.
He said a large part of predecessor’s work had been around educating the channel on this transformation. “He has done a very good job. I am following what he started,” Geadreault said of Palmer.
Device and data explosion
Intel Canada’s new country manager believes the IoT trend bodes well for Intel.
“Today 40 per cent of the population has access to the Internet. That means there are still 4.3 billion people without Internet,” said Gaudreault. But it’s no longer just about how many people have broadband access.
Analysts have forecasted that within the next few years there will be more than 150 billion connected devices. With each individual owning upwards of five connected devices, each system having several sensors, it’s now about how many devices are tapping into it.
“Imagine, a connected car produces 4TB of data/day, a smart airplane produces 40TB/day, and a smart factory generates 100TB of data/day,” said Gaudreault.
All those devices will be generating data. All that information will need to be processed, analyzed, and stored. And that will require data centres.
This builds on Intel’s strength. The company’s CPUs and other products can be found in 87 per cent of the world’s data centres, according to Gaudreault.
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