Plenty of business opportunities exist for entrepreneurs who focus their efforts on extending the application of Web 2.0 technologies for personal and workplace use, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said Thursday.
Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Otellini said that businesses, especially large ones, need next-generation, Web-based enterprise collaboration tools that offer employees social networking, blogging, wiki, online meeting and syndicated feeds capabilities.
For people's personal lives, there will be new broadband mobile devices that deliver Web information intelligently based on the context of the user, providing things like on-the-fly translations, product reviews, video blogs and animated demonstrations.
"These are huge opportunities, and in this period of uncertainty I remain very optimistic about our collective future," Otellini said.
Intel, with its about 86,000 employees spread around the world, needs so-called Enterprise 2.0 tools to empower its employees to better collaborate with each other, obtain training and education, and find the data they need to do their jobs.
Otellini offered the hypothetical case of a new Intel employee in China who, in her first day on the job, logs into an enterprise social network where she has a profile with all her contact and background information.
Through that system, she can also communicate with co-workers in various ways, participate in Web conference meetings, search for information in enterprise databases, and sign up for training and education sessions.
Unlike similar social-networking services in the consumer space, a workplace system must have strong security and control features for IT departments. In Otellini's view, the opportunity for enterprise software developers is wide-open right now in this segment.
"I don't see any company really addressing this," he said.
An Intel employee joined him on stage to demo a mobile broadband device for personal use that, when pointed at signs, menus and product boxes in Chinese, provided instant translations, called up product reviews from the Web, and broadcast video blogs and photos of menu items.
"This is using the technology to give you the information you need where you need it," Otellini said.
Otellini estimates that Intel will have the necessary technology for a device like this one in three to four years.