Exploring International Opportunities
Whats the client opportunity for AMD like overseas, such as in Asia? Its very big, and again, just because the markets themselves are growing. No question the IT market is maturing in developed regions and, less so, maturing in developing regions. For macro reasons, its an opportunity for us.So in these developing markets, you see a more level playing field with Intel? Increasingly yes. It used to be no, and the reason for that two and three years ago, again, because of our size, we didnt have the feet on the ground in these emerging regions. If you take China, for example. Two or three years ago, we did not have any material team of people in mainland China developing relationships with government entities, universities and so on. AMD and IBM tout chip performance gains. Click here to read more. We were largely participating in that market through the channel. Over the past three years, we got together a very large number of capable people in those countries and are growing those teams. AMD seems to have greater success in recent years hitting deadlines, something that had hobbled the company in the past. Can you talk about this? Im going to take your statement, which is hitting deadlines, hitting milestones, which is true, but Ill say it a different way, which is: meeting customers expectations. One of the things that [Chairman, President and CEO] Hector [Ruiz] had a little bit of a different orientation around as compared to [founder and former CEO] Jerry [Sanders] is, maybe its OK if were not absolutely the single best in every dimension in terms of product technology. Maybe what we to do is be the best at fulfilling out customers needs and expectations, part of which is taking some element of technology capability and leadership. But its a slightly different orientation, so it causes us to think a little bit differently about our development timelines, and think of them in terms of meeting our commitments to customers versus getting the fastest damn piece of silicon we can out on to the market next month. That distinction sounds subtle, but it has a profound effect on the way our organization operates. Theres no question that, culturally, weve rethought it all. How important is Dell to AMDs long-range plans? In the near-term, its not very critical for achieving the goals that we have in the next year or two, and the reason for that is, if you look at the two big business opportunities that weve defined for ourselves, one is commercial, which is a gigantic existing marketplace where we are way underrepresented. The other is so-called consumer digital media. In the commercial space, were still just so small that we have lots of opportunities for growth inside of our current customer base, so near-term we dont need Dell to grow substantially. Obviously, weve been saying our goal is to break Intels monopoly, and they do have a monopoly. Our goal is to break it, and change for the better the whole dynamic in the industry. In order to do that as fully as we want to do that, it would sure be better to have Dell. The other part represents not so much a growth opportunity unique to AMD, but a growth opportunity for the industry, and that is based on the fact that entertainment content is increasingly created in digital form, distributed in digital form, consumed in digital form, which is going to drive just a lot more electronic stuff worldwide, both in developing regions and developed regions. Increasingly, as we see it, the fact that these devices have a huge amount of software content on them, the people who develop those devices actually care about their software development productivity. AMD and Intel ready security and virtulization technologies. Click here to read more. It turns out, they develop all their software on x86 platforms and have to port their software to other platforms. As weve been investigating the space, weve seen an opportunity to take x86-based devices into these other form factors that are either PC-like or adjacent to the PC or maybe not even PCs at all, and provide some value. Thats a completely new area for us. In that space, Dell really isnt huge anyway. As you move into the new year, what are going to be the key challenges? What could trip you up? I always worry about our execution. There could be terrorist attacks, recessions, something our competition might do to us. Honestly, weve got to do some things that are hard. Weve done them before. Weve got to ramp our fabs, get our products into the market, continue to improve the capabilities of the people we have worldwide who interact with customers and our customers channels so that we do a more effective job of both selling to end users what exists today and understanding what we should do in the future. Its just blocking and tackling, its not rocket science. Its hard execution. I think the ecosystem is finally waking up to the fact that they live in an Intel-dominated world, and maybe they have the power to do something about that, and were the answer. So I see we have a great opportunity. We just have to not screw it up. Editors Note: This story was updated to add Dirk Meyers correct title. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
The other thing Ill say is that, as some of the ways these countries and governments think about IT, they see the IT monopolies that have been built up in the developed regions. Theyre not so inclined to want to see that built up in their countries.