We have been a part of the Intel Partner Program since the incorporation of our company so many years back.
We have maintained the required Intel product purchase levels via proper distribution channels over the years as that enables us to speak with front-line support technicians when we run into a roadblock.
We have all experienced “support” calls where we are dealing with someone reading from a script.
With the Intel product support line however, it has been a very rare experience for us to connect with a technician that has not in some way worked with the particular product we are calling about.
We prefer to work with Intel “white box” servers for our regional clients as opposed to Tier 1 because we have a pretty good working knowledge of the server products we support.
The other benefit of having our own servers in play is the fact that we are essentially the front line for support, and if there is some sort of software conflict, we do not end up getting caught between Tier 1 support that blames the software and the software vendor that blames the hardware.
The other benefit, when it comes to desktops, is the ability to put together some pretty neat systems that are not available from Tier 1.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book