Modern Computing Alliance: A Conversation with Chris Walker

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Intel joined other tech industry leaders to found the Modern Computing Alliance in December 2020. The Alliance is an ambitious taskforce of industry partners, focused on addressing the needs of enterprise and commercial customers from the cloud to the PC.

Question: What is the purpose of the Modern Computing Alliance and why did Intel join as a founding member?

Chris Walker: Our purpose at Intel is to deliver world-changing technologies that enrich the lives of every person on earth. One way we achieve this is by partnering to advance PC technologies and deliver innovative experiences for our customers where we deliver unique value. Today, this work is more important than ever, as people and businesses increasingly look to their PCs to help them connect, collaborate, and contribute during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Intel, as the founding silicon partner joined with this group of hardware, OS and software leaders in our ecosystem to found the Modern Computing Alliance because we share a common vision for a better integration of hardware, software and platform solutions for our commercial customers. By working with partners like Google, Box, Citrix, Dell, Imprivata, Okta, RingCentral, Slack, VMWare, and Zoom, we know collectively that we can make an even bigger impact.

Specifically, the Alliance will define an open collaboration approach for both hardware and software – from the cloud to the PC – that will bring new industry-level innovation to the market at-scale through Google’s Chrome commercial ecosystem. With Intel’s breadth of expertise and product leadership across compute, AI, and connectivity, we have an essential role in contributing to the success of this partnership.

Question: What value will the Modern Computing Alliance bring to businesses?

Chris Walker: Business customers often face one central challenge: they rely on a complex and fragmented set of technologies across the enterprise. While each of these solutions provides incredible value by itself, together they can create friction and inefficiency at the company-wide level. The Modern Computing Alliance aims to solve this challenge.

Initially, the Alliance is focused on addressing key pain points around security, productivity, collaboration, performance, and compatibility. This will allow business customers to simplify and accelerate their adoption of commercial technologies across the Alliance partners, at scale, and get even more value from Intel’s leadership products.

Question: What are some examples of innovations coming from the Modern Computing Alliance?

Chris Walker: The Alliance is focused on the areas where industry leaders can leverage their technologies in complementary ways to deliver greater value for businesses. For example, we know for many customers they are spending more time on video calls using software like Zoom or Slack. As people add in background blurring, noise reduction, and content sharing it can tax the system. By enabling software providers to utilize various hardware accelerators in the platform we can enable better performance and battery life. Intel plans to work with the Alliance to identify these opportunities, pursue the most promising solutions, and optimize technologies for the needs of commercial clients.

In addition, as more employees work from home, away from the corporate networks, they still need access to all the same applications and data. Businesses are looking for ways to enable that while still being secure. With the Alliance, Intel plans to put together a secure framework, utilizing Multi-Factor Authentication, that gives IT the security they need, while giving employees the access and ease of use they require.

Of course, we are still in the preliminary stages of collaboration, so these are just some potential examples. But we expect to develop cutting-edge capabilities that draw on the best technologies in the commercial space to solve real-world problems, which is directly aligned with Intel’s vision for the future of the modern platform.

Question: How can the Modern Computing Alliance influence the future of computing?

Chris Walker: I believe the Alliance’s most immediate impact will be to reduce barriers between the cloud and edge devices. Throughout the course of a workday, business users are increasingly using cloud applications like Zoom, Slack, Gmail, or Box, and they need these applications to all run seamlessly and simultaneously, without interrupting their productivity. This is the type of practical, yet essential improvement we’ll see from the Alliance and where our Intel Core processor performance adds tremendous advantages to the Chrome experience.

These kinds of opportunities will expand over time, and the Alliance can bring a holistic point of view that incorporates both hardware and software to help create important vertically-integrated innovations for commercial customers and their workers.

Question: When can we expect to see changes from the Modern Computing Alliance implemented?

Chris Walker: The members of the Alliance are currently laying the groundwork to deliver innovations starting next year. Through recurring meetings and a number of working groups, we are defining guiding principles for the ecosystem, discussing interoperability, and identifying customer priorities and wins.

These foundational efforts will enable the Alliance to begin launching new innovations and products later in 2021. From there, we expect to build on our knowledge and momentum to continuously raise the bar for what businesses can expect in the Chrome commercial ecosystem.

To learn more about the Modern Computing Alliance visit www.moderncomputingalliance.com.