Intel gave the first demonstration of its forthcoming IA-64 processor, now named Itanium, to attendees at Internet Commerce Expo (ICE) in San Francisco this week.
After showing Itanium running Linux on an Apache Web server, Paul Otellini, general manager of the chip giant's architecture business group, hailed the processor as the "engine for ebusiness" and attested to the importance of high performance servers for ecommerce sites.
He claimed in his keynote speech: "Five years ago, IA-64 was conceived as the engine for ebusiness. Business to business sites need to be very responsive."
But he also urged the audience to use the Internet to transform their businesses and make them more efficient rather than just viewing the Web as an additional sales channel.
He claimed that while Intel used to deal with important customers in Taiwan using phones and faxes, all communications were now done over the Web. And although in the past, Intel salespeople had had to dedicate 56 days per year to distributing confidential documents about processor roadmaps, the advent of the Web had slashed this to eight days.
But Otellini also boasted about the chip giant's success in using the Web as a business channel itself, claiming that within a year of first introducing ecommerce facilities in 1997, some 20 per cent of its sales were made online, but this year the figure would hit 100 per cent.
He added that organisations should go through three phases when starting to implement Internet usage.
First, they needed to build a server based infrastructure, before modifying the business to the new world. "The worse thing is to bring in old code," he said. Lastly, they needed to exploit the data collected from customer communications and transactions.
"Modifying business processes leads to more than just [online] transactions. General Motors is transforming by using the Internet to change its business. It is now doing all its business over the Web and is using the Web to build cars in 12 months rather than 24," he claimed.
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