In a desperate bid to break arch-rival Intel's stranglehold on the corporate market, AMD will bypass OEMs and target its marketing directly at corporate customers.
Richard Baker, regional marketing director of the PC products division at AMD, told PC Week that the vendor aims to "establish a direct relationship with corporate customers" to help eliminate its consumer-only image.
AMD hopes customer demand for its processors will cause OEMs to reconsider their Intel-only strategies for commercial lines.
The greatest hurdle to the plan is the lack of staff necessary for a door-to-door sales operation among key customers, but the strategy should be under way by the end of the year, Baker said.
"AMD has got a pretty convincing story at this point," commented Simon Pearce, senior director of personal systems at analyst firm IDC. He fully endorsed AMD's intention to use a hands-on approach to fight its way into the corporate market.
"It has not got the marketing muscle of Intel: it has to take a more targeted and cost-effective route," he explained. Armed with its benchmark tests for the K6 II chip and its beneficial price relative to Intel, AMD could shake off its retail-only image, he said, and OEMs would undoubtedly follow customer demand.
"If we cannot win customers at a commercial level, we can not win the market share we want," confirmed a US spokesman at AMD.
AMD has invested $1.8 billion (#1 billion) in its plant in Texas, and made an initial investment of $1.9 billion (#1.1 billion) in the plant at Dresden. The investments are crucial to AMD achieving its goal of 30% of the Windows x86 market by 2001.
AMD has a good chance of achieving this goal, said Carl Howe, director of computer strategy at Forrester Research.
Currently, AMD's chip business is worth $2.4 billion (#1.4 billion), compared to Intel's $28 billion (#17 billion).
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