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Intel Gaining Interest in the Extranet

Webridge Inc. (www.webridge.com), a provider of extranet solutions for channel and partner management, announced today that it has received an investment from Intel Corp.

Webridge develops Mainspan, an enterprise extranet application that uses the Internet to develop direct channels to partners for business-to-business e-commerce. Intel and Webridge will work to tune Mainspan to Intel's IA-32 and soon the IA-64 processors. The companies will also work on optimizing the performance and scalability of the Mainspan application server running on Intel Pentium III Xeon chips.

Webridge says it will use the cash to expand its sales and marketing activities. "To compete in the Internet economy, businesses need to embrace a new information architecture that makes partners full participants in a company's work and information flow," says Gary Fielland, Webridge CEO. "Integrating partner management processes with internal business processes and systems can help speed the information flow between companies, eliminating the barriers to productivity and contributing to lasting competitive advantage."

There's no word if Intel plans to invest in similar companies, who are providing these extranet solutions such as the main ERP vendors Baan Co. (www.baan.com), PeopleSoft Inc. (www.peoplesoft.com) and SAP AG (www.sap.com). Baan just announced its new E-Enterprise product line last week. Sterling Commerce Inc. (www.sterlingcommerce.com) announced a similar initiative with its Commerce:Webforms product on Monday. Although Intel hasn't made any similar investments, it's obvious the field is still growing. -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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