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Nvidia names top US partners that fueled AI, accelerator hardware sales

Not just about revenue figures, we're told: Investment in staff and services matters, too

Exclusive While Nvidia is becoming a vertically integrated business by owning several core computing technologies, the GPU giant still relies on third-party companies to sell most of its wares, which is why it goes to great lengths to incentivize and recognize the contributions of these partners.

As such, Nvidia on Tuesday named its top 11 partners in the Americas for 2021, which consisted of a variety of IT service providers, consultancies and distributors that drove a "significant amount of revenue" last year for the chip designer's products for artificial intelligence and accelerated computing, Nvidia executive Craig Weinstein told The Register in an exclusive interview. That is likely a huge chunk of change, given that Nvidia brought in $10.6 billion in revenues for its datacenter business last year.

So let's get to the actual list of partners, some of which you may recognize for handling a variety of IT needs in the business world: Cambridge Computer, CDW Canada, Colfax, Deloitte Consulting, Future Tech, Insight Enterprises, Lambda, Mark III, PNY, Quantiphi and World Wide Technology.

"They're serving the largest customers in the world. They're serving, you can imagine, the largest cloud providers in the world, the largest healthcare providers in the world, the largest retailers in the world," said Weinstein.

He added that these partners also provide products and services to companies like Facebook, Walmart, and others that participate in Nvidia's twice-annual GTC event. "Our partners are involved in every single one of those opportunities," Weinstein said.

If we're to use Nvidia's lingo, these are the winners of the 2021 Nvidia Partner Network Partner of the Year Awards and they're not solely chosen for selling large amounts of Nvidia's GPUs, systems and software.

These partners are also investing a lot of their own money into building entire practices around Nvidia's products and related areas, which can mean hiring up and training employees, for instance, to build and manage AI systems and services, according to Weinstein, who said this is a primary factor in determining winners.

"There's an enormous amount of domain expertise that's required to serve data practitioners, data scientists, researchers, and obviously build a bridge between the IT organizations and the lines of business that are adopting these types of solutions," he said.

While these partners have traditionally sold Nvidia hardware, many of them are starting to sell and manage the chip designer's software products, such as Nvidia Omniverse and Nvidia AI Enterprise, which the company has recently said are key to future revenue growth goals.

"We believe that our relationship and the trust between our customers and Nvidia will be because of our software," Weinstein said. "Obviously, we'll provide world-class computing platforms, GPUs and networking, [plus Nvidia's upcoming Grace server CPUs]. But the material relationship between the world and Nvidia will be because of the software experience that they can have moving forward."

The AI key

Another important element of these partners is that they are actively collaborating with other vendors in the AI and accelerated computing space. We're thinking of companies like storage vendor NetApp, datacenter provider Equinix, virtualization giant VMware and a variety of server makers and cloud providers as examples of vendors that work with Nvidia.

"What we're realizing is with many large enterprise customers, multiple partners are involved in an AI accelerated computing opportunity," Weinstein said.

If you're wondering if these partners get anything from Nvidia for making such large investments into the chip designer's way of doing AI, they do. As part of the Nvidia Partner Network, partners can receive marketing dollars, rebates for products they sell, and other benefits.

Thankfully, Nvidia does not close off partners in the program from working with its rivals, according to Weinstein, which we were relieved to hear, given how the AI market is becoming more competitive thanks to companies like AMD, Intel, Graphcore, Cerebras Systems and other chip designers.

"It's an open ecosystem. We encourage them to deliver the appropriate solutions to their customers based on their business model," he said.

As for what Nvidia is actually recognizing these partners for, here's the overview:

  • Cambridge Computer - 2021 Americas Higher Education Partner of the Year
  • CDW Canada - 2021 Canadian Partner of the Year
  • Colfax - 2021 Americas Networking Partner of the Year
  • Deloitte Consulting - 2021 Americas Global Consulting Partner of the Year
  • Future Tech - 2021 Americas Public Sector Partner of the Year
  • Insight Enterprises - 2021 Americas Software Partner of the Year
  • Lambda - 2021 Americas Solution Integration Partner of the Year
  • Mark III - 2021 Americas Rising Star Partner of the Year
  • PNY - 2021 Americas Distribution Partner of the Year
  • Quantiphi - 2021 Americas Service Delivery Partner of the Year

Oh, and World Wide Technology is apparently very special, because it won two awards: 2021 Americas AI Solution Provider of the Year and 2021 Americas Healthcare Partner of the Year. ®

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