IBM, i2 Team to Offer Supply-Chain Packages

IBM and i2 Technologies are teaming up to develop industry-focused, pre-packaged supply-chain management templates as a way to make advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software more affordable to middle market customers, said Michael Martin, vice president of business development for i2.

At the IBM Global Supply Chain Management Executive Conference in Las Vegas this week, i2, along with Logility, announced it will port its APS applications to the AS/400 environment.

"Together we're focusing on certain industry segments," said Martin, who declined to be more specific because the effort is still in the preliminary stages.

The packages will be geared toward the individual needs of vertical industries and their features will reflect that focus. The pre-packaged offerings will also be aimed at providing the means for fast SCM implementations, Martin said.

The company will put its business partnerships to use for the mid-market offerings; i2 will draw upon its IBM relationship for hardware and IBM Global Services, as well as its recent agreement with Ariba and acquisition of Aspect Development.

"We'll bake components in [from these partners] if necessary," Martin said.

In an another announcement at the conference, Harbinger officials said the company will host IBM's WebSphere Commerce Suite, Pro Edition as part of, Harbinger's application hosting service.

Harbinger already provides catalog data rationalization, hosting, and publishing services to help buyers and sellers of supply chains. The link to WebSphere will allow Harbinger to provide catalog storefront services for small and medium-size companies on a monthly subscription basis. IBM will also provide financial support and will help Harbinger market this new offering.

"We have it up and running at six beta customer sites," said Fred Novak, senior director for enterprise market solutions for Harbinger.

Harbinger will also work with IBM to develop a repository of these XML-based storefront offerings for small to medium-size businesses, Harbinger officials said. IBM defines the middle market as those companies with 100 to 999 employees, a segment that is likely to aggressively embrace b-to-b e-commerce.

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