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Tech Industry

Intel looks beyond chips with services marketplace

The company tomorrow will unveil a program that will allow technology consultants, computer dealers and other service providers from around the world to find each other.

Intel tomorrow will unveil a program that will allow technology consultants, computer dealers and other service providers from around the world to find each other.

Under the e-Business Network, Intel will create a Web database containing information on qualified service providers, according to Sean Maloney, senior vice president of sales and marketing. Participants ideally will comb the database to market themselves or find necessary partners for various client projects.

A networking specialist, for instance, will be able to use the database to find a qualified Web site designer or hosting company.

International markets also will be a prime target of the program. "E-business is further ahead here than in Europe and certainly further ahead than it is in Asia," Maloney said. "There is a desire to catch up."

Intel will organize business development seminars in 250 cities around the world to promote its technology and local service providers.

The program is part of the company's goal to become the "building block" supplier of technology to the Internet. Rather than strictly producing processors for PC manufacturers, the company is selling communications equipment, server appliances and other products.

The company is expected to announce more strategic initiatives at its analyst meeting in New York on Thursday.

Many of these products are targeted at small businesses. The e-Business Network exists because small businesses largely rely on computer dealers, consultants and other members of the "channel" for their technology needs, according to Intel.

Many small businesses also are still in the early stages of adopting the Internet as a component of their operations, especially when it comes to managing classic "back-end" operations such as inventory management and supply ordering.

"They are going to be doing everything on the Web," Maloney said. "The problem is that the channel is not set up to do it."