Discounted apps, advice and education on offer
Intel has opened an online applications store selling software to small and medium businesses. The site will also offer advice to SMBs looking for business-critical apps.
Intel Business Exchange Software Store (Intel BX) originally opened in the US last year and the service has now been extended to the UK, France and Germany. The company is also looking at bringing the store to Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe.
The store will offer software for a variety of business operations, including security, finance, developer tools and web development.
As well as offering software to SMBs the store will also act as a springboard for ISVs to bring their products to market alongside a trusted brand, Intel said. The store has opened with 250 software applications available and Intel is aiming to have 350 by the end of the year.
Wolfgang Petersen, director, developer relations division, Intel EMEA, told CBR that although the software is compatible with any computer set-up, the company wants to offer software that is optimised to run on Intel’s processors.
“We want the software industry to optimise their software so it runs perfectly on Intel’s technology, chips and platforms. When we introduce a new processor, we want to have software already available. Why would you buy a faster PC if you don’t have any benefits? You get the benefits from the software,” he said.
Research commissioned be Intel revealed that 71% of UK SMBs believe there is a lack of free, independent guidance when it comes to buying software. Intel is hoping the store will address those issues.
In addition to offering advice from Intel as well as other industry experts, users will also be able to leave feedback on the software they have purchased. “We’re encouraging Web 2.0 capabilities on the website and trying to build a community around it. It helps move people from awareness to preference to purchase and finally to loyalty,” Petersen said.
Intel has claimed that prices on the site will competitive and Petersen added that the company is manually searching through websites to compare prices on the software offered.
Although some of the software available on Intel BX is more expensive than other web-based stores, Petersen says that the advice and education offered by Intel should help the company attract business. “Customers are looking for advice, preferably from a neutral source so if we do it right, we can become a trusted advisor. It’s not just products, it’s also education,” he said.
Although there is a lot of software available on the site, there is nothing from the big software players such as Microsoft or Symantec. “Microsoft has little to offer regarding downloadable software, it’s much more boxed software sold through retail,” Petersen said. “But they are moving towards SaaS and as long as they have software available we will talk to them.”
Intel is offering an 10% discount on all software purchases made before June 30 as an added incentive.