Car giant Fiat is deploying Linux running on Intel Itanium 2-based servers to support its European sales and support network, which will link 17 countries by 2005.
The system will allow Fiat's sales outlets to provide continuously updated product and market information, and let sales staff check stock availability and examine payment and financing options.
The technology behind the sales support network is built in three layers.
The database server is powered by Intel Itanium 2 processors running Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 and Oracle 9i Real Application Cluster. A single central database ensures that all data is regularly updated across the network.
The system's application server is based on Intel Xeon processors, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Server 2.1 and IBM WebSphere Application Server 4.0 to manage and integrate a range of e-business applications.
The front-end layer is powered by Intel Itanium 2 processors running Linux and Apache Web Server for web-hosting and intranet applications.
Nunzio Cali, IT director for Lancia and light commercial vehicles at Fiat, said that the new sales support system will be rolled out to 1,800 dealers and 4,000 authorised resellers over the next two years.
"We expect real return on investment from this initiative in terms of impact on profits," he added.
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