In the last couple of years Intel is pacing up to bring itself in handheld device market. With competition mounting, Intel is flooding the digital arena with countless new solutions. Mr. Zia Manzur, Intel's Country Business Manager, divulges how Intel sees the market and how Intel would be approaching the Bangladeshi market; to Shahriar Rahman from BYTES.
What sort of operation does Intel have in Bangladesh? Does Intel have any R&D center in Bangladesh?
Intel has been working since 1999 to develop and grow the local industry in Bangladesh through its channel membership program. In addition to the local reseller channel, we engage with the Multinational PC OEMs and work with them to bring new products and technologies to the market. We have also been working with the Government and other stakeholders as well.
Intel does not have an R&D center in Bangladesh. However Intel has invested to create a Social Business in Bangladesh that is engaged in developing solutions for agriculture, maternal health, and education.
What is the range of products that Intel has in Bangladesh?
Intel boxed processors are available for the DIY channel and enthusiasts to build their own PCs. Besides processors there are other products like Intel SSD, Desktop boards, Intel Xeon Processors, Intel Server boards, Next Unit of Computing (NUC), and McAfee Security products available in the market. Intel processors and platforms power multiple desktop form factors including traditional desktops, enthusiast PCs, All-in-One PCs, and Next Unit of Computing (NUC). On the notebook side, there is a wide variety of devices in stylish form factors with Intel inside providing industry leading processor and graphics performance, features, and battery life. Intel Xeon Processors are powering servers and datacenters in Bangladesh enabling great performance, energy efficiency, and lower TCO for clients.
What technology's are Intel thinking of bringing to Bangladesh via its partners and other OEMs? What is the future plan?
There are a number of new products on our microprocessor roadmap throughout the year, and we plan to bring some of those to Bangladesh customers through the DIY PC channel and the Multinational OEMs. Recently we launched our Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 v2 family for mission critical computing . The Intel Solid State Drive 730 Series was also introduced recently in the global market, and is expected to be available in Bangladesh in the coming months. We also plan to popularize new and exciting form factors like the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) and All-in-One PCs which is makes it possible to have very compact and stylish systems.
We are focusing on the tablet space and we expect a large number of Intel powered tablets to be available in the market on both Windows 8.1 and Android platforms. In addition to tablets, we want to bring attractive designs of 2in1 PCs to the Bangladesh market. The 2in1 is a unique product category that offers the end-user the best of both worlds, freedom to use in tablet mode and as a notebook.
Intel is focusing on mobile market too - but the market is seeing stiff competition already. So how does Intel plan to approach this emerging market?
We are innovating continuously to meet market demands, and at the Mobile World Congress 2014, Intel launched the 2.13GHz Intel® Atom™ processor Z3480 (formerly “Merrifield”), a 64-bit ready System on Chip (SoC) for smart phones and tablets. Also announced were multiyear agreements with Lenovo, ASUS, Dell and Foxcon to expand the availability of tablets and smartphones with Intel® Atom™ processors and communication platforms. We have a very good products and roadmap for tablets and have taken a goal to sell 40 million tablets in 2014 globally.
With the advent of cloud, more and more hardware is going online. How is Intel seeing that? Opportunity or threat?
Cloud is a big opportunity for Intel. Intel is a leader in server technologies and Intel® Xeon® Processors are widely used in servers in datacenter and cloud infrastructure all over the world. To further enhance leadership, Intel is also in the microserver space with entry level Intel Xeon Processors and the Atom C2000 product family. The cloud and datacenter growth is also fueling growth for other products like SSDs, software, and security solutions from Intel – so all in all, it is a very important and large opportunity for Intel.
What are the obstacles that we need to address to ensure the proper growth of ICT in Bangladesh, from Intel's point of view?
For an emerging market like Bangladesh, potential for growth is huge. However, we need to make it easy for people to embrace ICTs in a positive way. The main areas that we need to work on are: awareness, relevance, and broadband connectivity.
The awareness level around ICT and its benefits has improved, but still a lot work needs to be done, especially in cities or areas outside of Dhaka. A PC can be a very useful learning tool for children, under the proper supervision of parents and teachers. In some cases, the parent already has got a PC /device for his/her child, but it is not being used for educational purposes.
For small business, investing in the right ICT solutions can help them manage their business better and grow. But are they doing that? This is where Intel has played its role to create awareness by demonstrating the positive impact of technology. Also the industry, trade bodies, chambers of commerce have to play a role to amplify the discussion of faster economic growth for Bangladesh through broader adoption of ICT in the businesses.
Last but not least, broadband connectivity. Better broadband connectivity for citizens will make it possible for them to access content and learning tools available on the Internet. It will help them communicate better, collaborate and exchange ideas, create markets and opportunities. It will help the government deliver more services to the citizens, improve education and healthcare. We need to make broadband Internet available to a far greater percentage of the population at lower cost.