i2 Technologies Banks On B2B Information, Commerce

By Doug Bartholomew As i2 Technologies continues to expand the breadth of its offerings, the leader in supply-chain management software as well as in third-party electronic trading exchanges, is starting to look more and more like its competitor and former partner of a few years back, SAP AG. i2 earlier this month unveiled a plan to develop 14 "industry solution templates," something SAP launched a few years ago. i2's industry templates will differ, though, as they will be tailored to specific trading exchange processes to enable various industries to conduct business online. Among i2's goals are to provide collaborative e-business services and marketplace-to-marketplace connectivity. What all that means is that i2 sees plenty of promise in doing business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce. The software vendor is doing its best to cash in on the trend by enabling companies to exchange business information and connect different online trading exchanges through its TradeMatrix Network. In the burgeoning market for online trading exchanges, i2 is clearly the leader, with more than 100 operated by the Dallas-based software firm. Noting i2's success in "understanding how rapidly the (B2B) market will evolve in the next three to five years," AMR Research vice president Bruce Richardson says, "If i2 can execute, they will be the next $5 billion application vendor." Move over, SAP.

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