Intel Offering Software Suite for SMBs

This software Internet suite will offer RSS, blogging and wiki services for small and a midsize businesses and Intel will distribute it through its channel program and its OEM partners.

Intel, along with several software companies that specialize in Web applications, announced Nov. 7 that it will start offering a software suite mainly geared toward small and midsize businesses.

This business Internet suite, called SuiteTwo, has been assembled by Intel Capital, the Santa Clara, Calif., chip makers venture capital arm, and will include applications such as RSS, blogging and wiki software.

All of these applications are integrated to work on PC hardware.

This new software suite offering will eventually grow to include other features such as podcasting, mobility and business networking features, said Lisa Lambert, a managing director for software and solutions at Intel Capital.

These type of consumer products, Lambert said, have begun to find a place not only in enterprises, but also in smaller businesses that use these technologies to communicate to employees and consumers.

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"There has been more and more of a deployment of these practices in the enterprise space as well as with SMBs," Lambert said. "We are seeing companies using blogs to not only communicate with their employees, but with their customers as well."

The new software suite will be available through Intels channel partners, under its Intel Channel Marketplace program, as well as with OEMs.

So far, Lambert said the company has tentative agreements with Dell and NEC, and with distributors Ingram Micro and Tech Data.

By offering its own suite of business applications, it appears that Intel, in addition to differentiating itself from its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices, is looking to spur innovation in the hardware market, create revenue through the channel and drive demand for its products, such as its dual core processors, which will help to run these applications on desktops and notebooks.

Intel chose Socialtext, a Palo Alto, Calif. company, for its Wiki software. The company will also use NewsGator of Denver and SimpleFeed of Los Altos, Calif., for the suites RSS feeds.

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In addition, Intel will use blogging software from Six Apart of San Francisco and integration software from SpikeSource of Redwood City, Calif.

This suite will work both with a Linux operating system as well as Microsoft Windows.

Intel Capital executives said that SMBs and enterprises can start ordering the suite immediately, but it will not be ready to ship until the first quarter of 2007.

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