Six-months into a fresh stint at Intel, Andrew McLean is passionate about how the Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) region will contribute to the semiconductor chip manufacturer's global growth.
McLean, who was with Intel for 18 years in various sales and channel positions before leaving in 2016, rejoined the business in July as its’ first A/NZ leader in four years.
He shared with Reseller News his positive outlook for growth in the A/NZ region, community investments, and settling back into life at Intel.
Touching on Intel’s heritage and continued growth, McLean is enjoying the opportunities that come from leading the business in-region.
Mentioning CEO Pat Gelsinger, who also recently returned to the business, he said “something he often quotes is that Intel’s the company that put the ‘silicon’ in Silicon Valley. It’s the technology that pretty much underpins our communities, our lives and our work environment now.”
“A leadership position with Intel just puts me in a great position to be part of that, which is pretty fun.”
McLean is positive about continued appetite for tech investment in 2023, particularly within the A/NZ region.
“We have a relatively unique position in the world – we’ve got a strong resources sector, strong services and education sector, we’ve got things like renewables that are really starting to happen as well. I think our economies and communities are really well positioned and all of that will drive opportunity for growth.
“Part of our [A/NZ team] role within Intel is to take creative ideas that come out of this region to the rest of the world. That’s something that I’m really keen on doing, and will involve working with the channels, the end customers, and government.”
McLean touched on global investments that Intel is undertaking, including the construction of two new chip factories in Ohio, representing around US$80 billion in potential investment.
“We’re taking the long-term view and building ahead – building capacity because we are totally in the belief that the capacity is absolutely going to be needed.”
His appointment as regional leader points towards Intel’s commitment to the region and to moving resources “to the edge” – having people on the ground where the customers and projects are, he said.
Investing in education and community projects is important for McLean, who is speaheading Intel’s community involvement and considering where Intel sits in the wider drive to foster tech skills in young people.
In a collaboration between Intel, the University of South Australia and artificial intelligence (AI) developer meldCX, an educational program dubbed the ‘AI Playground’ has been developed, giving school students a safe space to experiment with AI through play.
Using the AI, students build a ‘Mars Rover’ which they can take for a virtual tour of Mars and will be available in Australian schools in early 2023.
On the future of Intel’s channel, McLean points towards the shift away from traditional resell of CPUs towards integrated services, dubbed next unit of computing (NUC).
“NUC’s are essentially very small systems that can be integrated in everything from digital signage through to airport baggage handling and medical devices. The market has changed fairly significantly because a lot of it is now focusing on those sorts of embedded-type applications of Intel technology.”
“Our focus for that part of the channel is really helping them to be able to go after those innovative uses of technology and building ‘compute’ into more and more things.”
For partners, remaining flexible by adapting to the market is key, he said. Reshaping offerings based on market need is what will define a successful organisation.