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"If you're not on the Internet, your company will be dead"

Craig Barrett forgets about sarnie bars and blacksmiths

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Intel's Craig Barrett spent an hour at the Dow Jones CEO forum yesterday iterating Intel's Internet strategy. He said that Intel will sell $15 billion worth of its kit through e-commerce this year, and that meant that predictions by both IDC and Forrester Research are likely to be underestimates. He added that 90 per cent of Intel business would be transacted via the Internet in two to three years time, and said that 100 per cent of the company's Taiwanese customers had already moved over to Internet transactions. "Tens of thousands of phone calls, faxes and paperwork have already disappeared," he said. But his next statement was a tad too enthusiastic for our liking. "In the next five years, every company will be an Internet company or it won't be a company." Having just eaten a delicious breakfast at the excellent Sunflower in Pollen Street, just round the corner from Szechuan Publishing, this is a trifle disingenuous. You certainly won't be able to get your hair cut, or shoe your horse on the Web although you might well get fleeced. Barrett, however, made some good points about the current method e-commerce is conducted. It was vendor centric, he said, and it should be customer centric. What he meant by that was that software should be smart enough to select exactly what customers need. Those considerations applied to customers too. At this point, Barrett snuck in one of the reasons why Intel is pushing the Net so hard. He said: "A lot of processing will be done offline, in the background, which means you will need more processing power." More processing power means more Intel-manufactured chips, of course. Barrett also believes that the cost cutting days where everying depended on the total cost of ownership are coming to an end. "Agility will replace efficiency will become the IT mantra. In the future, we'll be concerned about agility and speed in implementing applications." He said: "Over the next three or four years, effectiveness will be more important than efficiency." More later. Barrett said loads, as you've probably realised. ®

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