Otellini: Intel, Vignette, Team on E-Solutions

Intel has teamed with Vignette to optimise the software company's V/5 software suite for Pentium, Xeon, and Itanium-based servers, said Paul Otellini, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the chip giant's Architecture Group, at a keynote speech here Wednesday.

Otellini's address opened the exhibit portion of the InternetWorld trade show, which runs until Friday. Intel and Vignette will team to ensure that the V/Series will be optimised for servers based on current and future Xeon, Pentium III, and forthcoming Itanium processor technology.

The Vignette suite of products are designed to facilitate high-volume transaction exchanges tying suppliers and "e-tailers" running Web-based businesses, and to cut down deployment time for those systems, Otellini said.

"We are launching an alliance with Vignette to essentially develop cookbooks for solution stacks across industries ... with little consulting fees," Otellini said. The idea is that Intel and Vignette will work to ensure that the V/5 series is optimised to run on the Intel processing technology, facilitating the development of industry-specific applications that use, as a back-end platform, V/5 software together with Intel-based servers, he said.

The announcement capped a keynote in which Otellini pitched Intel processor technology as key to re-engineering businesses to incorporate back-end transaction applications powering e-commerce systems.

New processing power capabilities, coupled with e-commerce applications now let companies, for example, do real-time Net updates for bid requests from suppliers, Otellini noted.

"There is a fundamental opportunity to re-engineer our businesses from the bottom up ... using the Net to help automate ordering processes that bring suppliers and their buyers together," Otellini said.

As part of the keynote, Intel executives demonstrated a live scenario, in which an online bicycle retailer used a bid request and transaction processing system incorporating Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk and SAP AG's MySAP.com business software, and Pentium III client PCs, Pentium III Xeon-based applications servers and Itanium-based transaction servers. The e-tailer got an order that would make his stock run low, and automated business rules processing in the MySAP.com software sent out a request for a bid to two different suppliers. The suppliers were able to check their own stocks and put in bids to the e-tailer.

The demonstration, according to Otellini, was in part devised to show how Intel, with its 64-bit Itanium architecture, would be able to power servers capable of running industry strength real-time transaction systems and databases.

"Itanium is a dramatic departure from Pentium architecture," said Alex Tuzhilin, a professor of information systems at New York University's business school and a showgoer here, after the keynote. "It's totally different architecture, totally different principles. What stood out to me was the push for e-business process automation."

Otellini in his keynote addressed concerns that Itanium would require businesses to scrap their current "solution stacks," saying that systems developers would be able to mix and match Xeon- and Itanium-based servers with appropriate software, as needed -- running mission critical back-end databases and transaction processing systems on Itanium to allow them to respond to real-time requests.

The ability of e-commerce systems to scale up to being able to deal with heavy real-time demand would allow the IT industry to grow from its current $US800 billion a year to $US8 trillion in 2020. He noted that 80 percent of Intel revenue is generated by customers communicating with Intel over the Web.

Otellini's pitch turned some listeners off, however.

"He was pushing an application that demands more processor power," said Peter Lindel, a senior partner with venture capital firm ITP in Sweden. "(The demonstration) did a request for bids over the Web. The request part is new, but not difficult. The only thing that's new is the need for Itanium processor power."

Still, he and other observers said that Otellini's presentation was a good overview for general trends.

"The main thing is, customers aren't using this technology yet," said Magnus Soderstrom, a consultant for Kentor AB in Stockholm. "There's a lot to learn."

Intel can be reached at http://www.intel.com/.

Vignette can be reached at http://www.vignette.com/.

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