Intel introduces supply chain management package

Intel Corp. this week detailed a turnkey package that combines components from several vendors to provide retailers and manufacturers with a single Web interface for managing functions including marketing, customer information, and supply chain management.

The package combines products from Intel and products from vendors such as Manugistics Group Inc., and is intended to enable retailers to quickly deploy new, high-performance technology at lower costs, according to Intel. Called the Retail & Consumer Goods Solution, the package is the result of collaborative work at the Intel Solution Center (iXL) in Atlanta.

Customers can use the system to connect to retail outlets and manage supply chains. The Web-based system supports in-store execution functions such as merchandising, account management, product and service ordering, and data collection through wireless devices. With the use of these devices, in-store data can be synchronized in real-time to the Web solution to ensure that accurate data is given on the Web and client-side platforms, according to Intel.

The package is intended to provide an “open” solution for companies in vertical markets that may be using proprietary technologies, said Intel spokesman Seth Walker, based in Hillsborough, Ore. The five vertical markets Intel is concentrating on are retail, manufacturing, financial services, digital media, and telecommunications.

“Intel is working aggressively in a variety of vertical market segments to bring those same people who buy a lot of those proprietary technologies the option to buy Intel-based systems and software from third parties as well,” along with services. Walker said. Customers can pick and choose components they want to deploy.

Vendors providing components of the package include:

– iXL Enterprises Inc.: Consulting, interface design, project management, and integration services.

– Intel: Marketing, advertising and sales collaboration, and assistance with customer applications. Additionally, hardware for the applications will be based on Intel Pentium 4 processors. IBM and Compaq will be the primary hardware suppliers.

– Epicentric Inc.: Business portal software to serve as the common interface, for the deployment and management of Web services for a company’s business communities.

– Manugistics: Supply chain collaboration and pricing optimization applications.

– Mercari Technologies Inc.: Merchandising technology to optimize shelf life integrates with supply chain information processes.

– ProAct Technologies Corp.: Software to help employees manage work and career.

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