Intel Launches Online Marketplace for Indian SMBs

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Intel has launched an online exchange for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in India that is intended to be a one-stop shop for procurement of business software and services around Intel technology.

The Intel Business Exchange for India is the third one worldwide, said Peter D. Elmgren, managing director worldwide of Intel Business Exchange, in Bangalore on Monday.

The company set up a similar online marketplace in China in December and in North America in May, with exchanges planned for other countries including Brazil and Russia, Elmgren said. "We will set up exchanges wherever there is a large SMB market," he added.

The India marketplace lists products from Indian ISVs (independent software vendors) with plans to include products from multinational vendors as well, said Narendra Bhandari, director of Intel's Software and Solutions Group for the Asia-Pacific region.

Intel does not expect software purchases to be completed online in the initial phase since customers are still more comfortable speaking with the vendor first, Bhandari said.

The exchange will more likely be primarily used by SMBs to search and evaluate software and service providers, Bhandari said. Purchases will more likely be completed offline, he added.

The exchange will help ISVs increase their geographical reach into smaller markets. Some of them will work in tandem with Intel's own channel partners to deliver their software to customers, Bhandari said.

A number of companies are targeting India's large SMB market. Cisco Capital announced earlier this month an interest-free financing scheme for SMBs buying services from the company.

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