Enterprise Solutions Briefs: Intel, NetApps, BEA, IBM

Intel, NetApps ink deal

Intel and network file storage and content delivery vendor Network Appliances announced last week they have reached a seven-year, $US1 billion agreement whereby the companies will gain from each others' technologies.

Intel, which has worked with Network Appliance since 1992, will purchase NetApp systems for use in data centre operations worldwide, the companies said in a statement. Network Appliances, meanwhile, will purchase Intel microprocessors, systems and other components for its NetApp filers for network storage and NetCache content delivery systems.

The agreement also calls for a broad technology cross licence, patent sharing and cross purchasing agreement, advanced technology development and joint standards collaboration.

Vendors in e-biz alliance

e-commerce software makers BEA and Vignette have signed an agreement to create a global alliance and collaborate in engineering and sales and marketing.

The agreement calls for the continued integration of Vignette's applications, which are aimed at making Web sites customer-friendly, with BEA's WebLogic e-business platform, which includes application and commerce servers. The goal of the alliance is to offer customers a complete e-commerce software platform, the companies said. Vignette's software is designed to provide data analysis that can be used by companies to improve their customer service.

BEA and Vignette plan to offer pre-packaged integration as well as selling each others' products to customers.

Under the specific terms of the agreement, the companies have agreed to continue integrating their technology, collaborate on sales efforts, support and market each others' products and create training programs and educational materials for implementation partners.

IBM's Gerstner touts middleware for e-businessPlaying to his company's software strengths, IBM chairman Lou Gerstner last week pronounced Phase I of the e-business era over and said that Phase II will see the rise in strategic importance of "integration and infrastructure" centering around robust middleware.

Speaking at the company's PartnerWorld 2001 conference in the US, Gerstner contended that if companies are to prosper in this phase, they will need to seamlessly stitch together end-to-end solutions by more tightly tying important applications and business processes together.

Taking a veiled swipe at Microsoft, Gerstner said that in Phase II, operating systems will no longer be the focus for tying critical business applications together. That task better falls to a variety of middleware platforms, he said.