If you thought the Internet was going to break all records, think again. The money-makers and marketing-hypers are already disengaging their dentures from the Internet in order to sink them into an even more succulent prospect - the intranet, which is predicted to outsell Internet products and services by a ratio of two to one.
An intranet simply involves applying Internet-type technology inside an organisation. Anyone who has been sold the idea of the Internet, the reasoning goes, can easily be flogged an intranet to run alongside it - or beneath it, or behind it, or linked with it, or even over it.
Like the Internet, intranets are supposed to provide on-demand access to information, email and discussion groups. Unlike the Internet, say their supporters, they actually work. 'An intranet is a method of extending the interfaces to your company's information systems,' explains Matt Reid, network business development manager at Sun Microsystems. 'If you give someone all the information they need, they'll make the right decision.' Or, as Unipalm Pipex representative David Barrett puts it: 'Someone has coined a fancy name that describes what people were starting to do anyway.'
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