Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel, says that he wants the company to be a "100 per cent e-business". With $US1 billion a month in orders being booked online today, his company is just shy of the halfway mark to that goal. He said he expects it to be 90 per cent there by year's end.
Making the plan a reality is the responsibility of Doug Busch, Intel's CIO. In the process, Busch said, "IT has changed the culture of the company".
For example, Intel is known for its global manufacturing muscle.
To help keep that edge, the company has added a Web cast to its traditional annual US conference, saving time for international and other travellers and cutting by three-quarters the number of Intel manufacturing employees - 3000 - who normally trek to the meeting.
Busch said he has also integrated parts of his organisation into the company's various business lines that are trying to exploit the Internet.
Members of Busch's staff work with line managers to determine how to design and implement business objectives around information technology capabilities.
"We have overlapping knowledge," he said.
Although Barrett said he considers Intel's "100 per cent e-business" plan a strategic goal, it's not part of his overarching goal to grow revenue 15 to 20 per cent a year to meet Wall Street's lofty expectations.
"It's not a new channel to get new customers," he said.
Rather, Busch said, "It breaks down the boundaries between business and technology settings".
He noted that customer service representatives who once took fax and phone orders from Intel customers are now trained to work closely with them, monitoring their online orders and tailoring product shipments to customers' inventory needs.
With more than 10,000 suppliers and customers accessing the online ordering system, Busch said, security is a top priority, but not just for Intel.
"Security should be viewed as a public health issue," said Intel's CIO.
"You need to protect your own systems so as to not be the launching point to infect others."