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  • Intel Handles Most Taiwan Clients via E-Commerce Links
  • December 23, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Intel Corp. is paving the way for an even larger electronic-commerce infrastructure by handling purchase orders from 80 percent of Taiwan clients through e-commerce links.
    The microprocessor giant is applying the practice of e-commerce to other Asian countries as well.

    In July 1998, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based microchip company started implementing business-to-business e-commerce in 30 countries, with 200 major distributors and OEM contractors. The new mechanism is expanding rapidly, according to Intel.

    In addition to handling transactions, Intel's Web site is accessed an average of 1.2 million times a day.

    Taiwan is an early adapter, with more than 80 percent of Intel's Taiwan-based clients dealing with the company through the Internet. Among those companies are Acer Inc. and Synnex Technology International Corp. Acer is Taiwan's leading brand for PCs and related products, and Synnex has the largest IT product distribution network.

    Synnex president S.W. Du said that e-commerce helps solve the inventory problems that had plagued Taiwan's industry in recent years. With speedy product data from component suppliers, system vendors and manufacturers, Synnex can quickly allocate resources and respond to market needs, Du said.

    In addition to business-to-business features, Synnex's utilization of the Internet enables customers to track items sent for repair. Also, transaction descriptions at various retail points are available for consumers to compare and shop.

    In the early stage of its project, Intel conducted an evaluation of the Internet's performance, including Taiwan's infrastructure and local connectivity issues.

    Monitoring systems were installed to identify which part of the data route suffered jams. Also, Intel analyzed PC limitations, LAN firewalls and ISP access issues to identify and resolve major bottlenecks.

    Intel teamed with the Institute for Information Industry (III) to promote e-commerce awareness, and collaborated with Hinet and SEEDNet (major ISPs) to bolster the backbone bandwidth. In addition to a 155mbps ATM network, Hinet plans to increase its 60mbps backbone to 80mbps in February 1999.

    "Hinet and SEEDNet are competitors, so it's amazing that they are willing to work together to resolve problems," said Soohaeng Oh, director of Electronic Commerce, Asia Pacific, Intel Semiconductor Ltd.

    "Local IT managers are willing to invest in bandwidth expansion and make such decisions quickly," Oh noted. That's a big jump from the days when IT firms focused solely on cost-reduction in manufacturing processes.

    She said that the experience in Taiwan is valuable, and can be applied to other Asian economies.

    Oh's next project is in India, starting in January 1999. Intel seeks to implement its e-commerce infrastructure in all parts of Asia by the middle of the year, except for Vietnam and Pakistan where electronic communications are tightly regulated and not sufficiently advanced.

    Dell Computer Corp. recently announced that its sales over the Internet exceed US$10 million a day, and that such sales surpassed US$3.7 billion in the initial 11 months of 1998.

    (Charlene Huang, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Tue Dec 22 21:19:24 1998 PDT