Innovation centre opens in Melbourne

A $1.5 million innovation centre has been launched to enable business executives to work hands-on with architecture consultants in proof-of-concept engagements.

The Intel and Microsoft Innovation Centre @ Oakton, located in Melbourne, is an initiative for private enterprise and government bodies in response to the accelerating need for the design, development, testing and optimisation of ITsolution applications and infrastructure, officials said.

Customers of the innovation centre -- built by Oakton Ltd with the support of Intel Australia, Microsoft and Dell Computer -- will be able to evaluate, enhance and scale IT infrastructure, identifying and creating solution stacks to reduce the risk of installing new applications and technologies on most environments.

Victorian Minister for State and Regional Development, John Brumby, said the innovation centre was essential in the on-going development of new technologies and supporting business growth in Victoria.

Steve Vizard, chairman of Oakton, said the industry-backed innovation centre is another milestone in Oakton's commitment to IT and its continued development in Australia.

The Innovation Centre is a fully equipped and staffed competency centre for the design, development and value-adding of applications and business solutions.

The centre's main focus areas include: enterprise application architecture, design and integration, business intelligence and data warehouse solution architecture, design, testing and optimisation, application optimisation andporting services, application migration services and a testing centre.

David Bolt, general manager, Intel Australia, said the centre will help Victorian companies accelerate the deployment of large-scale applications on Intel architecture.

"Intel's investment in and support of the innovation centre is part of our world-wide e-business initiative designed to promote and enable enterprise solution stacks optimised for Intel architecture," Bolt said.

Paul Houghton, managing director of Microsoft Australia, said the centre combines Micrsoft .Net architecture and services with some of the best available hardware, connectivity and simulation technology.

A spokesperson for Dell Computer said the centre clearly puts Dell, Microsoft, Intel and Oakton "out in front".

The innovation centre will also be used as an interoperability lab to benchmark, simulate, stage and test a wide range of integrated hardware and software solutions.

It has been designed and is fully equipped for flexible delivery of the project-specific loads and conditions required for extensive load testing, capacity planning and application optimisation engagements.

A growing list of other global IT industry vendors are also working with Oakton, Intel, Microsoft and Dell to provide technologies and services to Innovation Centre clients.

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