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The Intel IDC Tour and Effectively Correcting an Expensive Misconception

By Rob Enderle September 16, 2022

Often people tend to put Intel’s competitors into the same class as Intel and, increasingly, that is a mistake. I was reminded of that this week when I toured IDC Israel Development Center (IDC) Intel's and FABs. It reminds me of touring Panasonic’s hardened factory and then touring what was represented as a comparable effort by Panasonic’s most powerful competitor. Panasonic’s capability was more comprehensive and not only larger and far better equipped, but it also made the competitor’s effort look like the difference between Mercedes-Benz building a car and some guy building a kit car in his garage. But Panasonic didn’t market that difference so the competitor, which was cheaper, more powerful and far better penetrated into the segment effectively outperformed Panasonic in a market where Panasonic should have been preeminent.

Intel has a similar problem in that most don’t understand just how different Intel is and, unlike Panasonic, IDC event this week (which has significant press and analyst attendance) was designed to reset perceptions so that investors and customers understand just how much more reliable Intel is, which is critical in this age of growing conflicts and logistics nightmares.

Let’s talk about both the power of perceptions and what is turning Intel into the more reliable choice when choosing a supplier.

Perceptions

One of the big problems with the tech industry is that it is run by engineers who, with very few exceptions, don’t get the power of marketing. Generally, the CEOs who have stood out in the industry understood the power of perception because they aren’t engineers, like Louis Gerstner at IBM and Steve Jobs at Apple. Gerstner is credited with saving the otherwise terminal IBM and Steve Jobs for turning the rapidly failing Apple into one of the biggest successes in technology.

Perception is our reality and if you can convince someone that something is true, even if it isn’t, you can accomplish amazing things. False perceptions, much like the example of Panasonic above where their competitor made the market believe that Panasonic had no strategic advantages, can become a company killer.

Intel is facing a similar problem. While it has impressively reclaimed some of the losses it took to companies like Qualcomm, most don’t get just how unique Intel is.

What makes Intel and IDC unique

Intel’s Israel Development Center is a unique property. Highly diverse, highly collaborative and able to resist some of the endemic problems like forced ranking that crippled the technology industry. You don’t find that at IDC, largely due to Israeli culture. IDC is a unique property in the segment.

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Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst at Enderle Group

As President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, Rob provides regional and global companies with guidance in how to create credible dialogue with the market, target customer needs, create new business opportunities, anticipate technology changes, select vendors and products, and practice zero dollar marketing. For over 20 years Rob has worked for and with companies like Microsoft, HP, IBM, Dell, Toshiba, Gateway, Sony, USAA, Texas Instruments, AMD, Intel, Credit Suisse First Boston, ROLM, and Siemens.