June 27, 2001, 12:00 AM

Intel inside—and now outside as well

Chip manufacturer Intel is making a play to provide computing services beyond chips to the retail industry.

Intel Corp. is best known for its microprocessors, which are found in 84% of all PCs. Now the $32 billion-a year chip behemoth is trying to expand its image. With its presence in the Retail Systems 2001 exhibition hall, it is communicating to retailers that it is more than just a chip maker, it is also a solutions provider that is a making a play for the web-based, retail-industry, supply chain market. The concept of moving into solutions from chips is simple, says Tom Gibbs, director-industry marketing and Intel’s most senior executive in the retail area. “For people to get the benefits of what we make, we have to focus on solutions,” he says. “We are working with industries to make sure they can take advantage of our processor features.”

Intel has spent $100 million and hired 1,000 people to push it into five target markets of computing, including retailing, that take the company beyond being a chip provider, Gibbs says. In retailing, Intel has hired managers with retailing expertise to help open doors. They include Jon Stine, strategic marketing, and Patti McGrath, e-business marketing manager, both of whom came from Pendleton Woolen Mills. “We know where the technology is going; our people with retail backgrounds can tell us how to bring our vision to reality,” Gibbs says.

Intel is also partnering with other providers to the industry to offer a full-service solution, including such companies as Microsoft, Red Hat, I2, Manugistics, Symbol, Kurt Salmon Associates, CommerceOne, QRS, Mercari Technologies and 17 others.

It hasn’t been easy to overcome Intel’s image as a chip provider, Stine says. “It takes about the first 15 minutes of every interview with a retailer to explain why we’re there,” he says.


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