At Authority, we’re energized by upping your game. So, it comes as no surprise that we were excited to connect with Barry Heller, Client Platform Specialist at Intel and esports specialist. Tune in as Barry discusses the burgeoning esports and gaming industry, and why it amounts to big wins for educators, students and all members of the channel.
Welcome, Barry! Tell us what drew you to a career in technology.
Thank you for having me! As a kid, I always loved technology. I went to college for Electrical Engineering and, when I graduated, needed a job ASAP because I had just become a father. I took a job testing computer hardware prior to release, and that opportunity set me on a path that has been both gratifying and rewarding.
Your role as a Client Platform Specialist links you with multiple partners and customers. What do you like best about your day-day?
Two things come to mind: first, I get to help customers solve problems and provide solutions for their customers, using the best technology on the market. Second, I frequently host trainings and enjoy being the center of attention. My role is a direct match to my personality, skills and interests, and for that I love it!
Tech Data and Intel have a long-standing, fruitful partnership. Why is it a success?
Teamwork is key. It’s really is a partnership and the success comes from the exchange of ideas that are mutually beneficial to all parties involved: Tech Data, Intel and Tech Data’s customers.
Talk to us about the burgeoning gaming and esports industry. What’s it all about and where is it headed?
I think the numbers tell the story. Currently, there are over 1.2B gamers worldwide! There’s an audience of around 500 million watching esports competitions (like Intel Extreme Masters). It’s an incredible entertainment industry and is projected to grow at about seven percent yearly.
Moreover, there are no geographic or physical boundaries to participation. It is truly a form of entertainment and competition available to anyone. In 2018, more than $150M in global prize money for esports competitions was awarded to gamers. Cloud Gaming is also growing at an incredible rate. In short, gaming and esports are worldwide and evolving rapidly!
How is Intel partnering with Tech Data to support this exciting industry?
Intel and Tech Data have held several trainings to raise awareness around gaming and esports. Intel has led the industry in gaming technology, while Tech Data has a dedicated team of subject matter experts to build solutions using Intel. Together, we’re a winning combination.
Education is quickly adopting gaming and esports. Tell us why.
High schools, colleges and universities are creating curriculums around gaming and forming teams to compete. I think one of the most compelling reasons is because the skillsets required for gaming and esports lend themselves to many industries and careers. They require teamwork, problem solving capabilities and strategic thinking. The hand-eye coordination developed in gameplay is critical to multiple industries such as medicine, robotics inspection (e.g., bridges, underwater structures, buildings), city planning and more.
Also, many surgeons use gameplay as a way to exercise the skills needed for intricate surgeries. As technology continues to enhance the way we work and live, the skills acquired in successful gameplay will take on greater importance.
How are Tech Data and Intel enabling reseller partners to support gaming initiatives for end users in Education?
Intel has done significant research into the benefits of integrating gaming and esports into both K-12 and higher education curricula. From schools reporting greater attendance and student participation to increases in overall grade point averages, students, parents and faculty alike stand to gain tremendously by implementing an esports program. Tech Data has specialists not only in gaming but more broadly within Education/Public Sector who can assist in everything from grants to pre and post bid support. These specialists can also provide contacts to assist with integrating esports into school curricula.
Barry, is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d just like to express my gratitude for all the reseller partners, integrators and end users who are critical in helping us deploy world-changing technology that enriches life. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of something so grand!
About the Author
Dena Koklanaris joined Tech Data in 2018 and leads the company’s in-house team of copywriters and content strategists. She’s proud to hone her craft for one of Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.” When she’s not writing, you can find her on the beach or riding her bike.