As Government Tech Demand Spikes, Intel Shifts Sales Staff

The director of the company’s U.S. state and local government division says Intel is inviting domestic sales staff to focus on public-sector support, given the changing market and impending needs of government.

by / April 30, 2020

As state and local government demand for technology spikes in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Intel, the multinational corporation based in Santa Clara, Calif., is launching a voluntary program for its U.S. sales staff to shift some of their focus to the public sector.

In an email to Government Technology, Intel’s state and local government director, Gregg Descheemaeker, called it the Pandemic Rapid Response Team Framework, and described it as an invitation to their domestic sales team to get involved with sales calls and consultation for government customers. He said Intel implemented the policy in early April, and the company has already seen an increase in demand for technology and support in what he called the “ramp” phase of the pandemic. He said he expects government organizations will be working quickly to deploy digital services in what he referred to as the “recover and resilience” phases.

Descheemaeker said in a phone interview that where some sales categories will see an inevitable slump from the economic impacts of the virus, Intel has found a particular demand in technology for state and local government, federal government, health care and life sciences.

“We’ve implemented this flexible framework … that allows individuals, regardless of the vertical market they were previously focused on, to lean in and engage, for an extended period of time, in our areas of greatest need,” he said. “The people we have in the field is pretty small by comparison to a majority of our (original equipment manufacturer) partners like HP, Dell, Lenovo. When you think about … Microsoft, Google, et cetera, they have thousands of feet on the street, and we’re significantly smaller than that. However, with this extended reach, we think we can have a positive impact … with this massive channel that we’re so prominent in.”

To date, Descheemaeker said, Intel’s offerings for state and local government have consisted of hardware for networks, cloud, data centers and storage, communications, and AI-specific components underpinning some other technologies. He summarized the most pressing needs in recent weeks where Intel has been able to help:

  • Mobile technologies to support the massive, overnight increase of teleworkers and distance learners and teachers, and a significant demand in computing, storage and network technology for such things as virtual desktop infrastructure
  • High-performance computing clusters and AI solutions for accelerated research for a vaccine and modeling of the pandemic
  • Increasing capacity for eligibility systems that have been overwhelmed with claims for unemployment insurance, health benefits and other programs

Descheemaeker said these will remain a focus under the Pandemic Rapid Response Team Framework, and he doesn’t expect innovation to be focused on new products so much as new uses or advances of existing technologies. Intel, he said, will give special attention to individual worker productivity needs, such as telework; IT modernization, including scalable software and hybrid cloud solutions; and “smart government” solutions such as digital services to increase revenue, or advanced data analysis and AI tools for better predictions related to public safety.

“We can really help with IT modernization and the role that cloud will play in all of this, because Intel features so prominently across all of that IT infrastructure, and will for years and years,” he said. “The technologies that we would bring to bear for that sort of audience are not new. They’ve been in the industry for years. We just feel that we’re bringing resources in the moment to those discussions who have been doing it in other verticals, and we expect there to be new use cases. We expect that in all of this, there are going to be new use cases for existing technologies and innovation in public sector, but not necessarily brand new technology that Intel created just for COVID-19.”

On April 7, Intel CEO Bob Swan also announced the company was committing $50 million to an initiative to combat the coronavirus, including $40 million for a program to help their health-care customers with diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development, and $10 million for an innovation fund to support external partners and employee-led relief projects in their communities.

Andrew Westrope Staff Writer

Andrew Westrope is a staff writer for Government Technology. Before that, he was a reporter and editor at community newspapers for seven years. He has a Bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.

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