Supply-chain-management leader i2 Technologies and Hewlett- Packard entered a partnership yesterday to create a supply- chain planning and collaboration Web portal for electronics distributors. The companies say the portal will let electronics manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers exchange trading information and execute transactions such as purchase orders in a shared, real-time, online environment.
The portal will run i2's Rhythm, the company's flagship advanced supply chain planning and optimization package, and Rhythm Exchange Services,a portfolio of shared services that enable an exchange of information between trading partners . HP will provide hardware as well as services including HP's e-speak, a Web brokering tool, WebQoS quality of service, Smart Internet Usage management, and Praesidium security technologies.
The portal, aimed at penetrating a new group of users that could not afford to implement a full suite of supply-chain applications in house, is delivered as an individual service on a subscription basis. It will be available in a beta version in November and generally released in the first quarter of 2000.
While initially focused on the electronics industry, HP and i2 are looking at portal solutions for other industries but declined to site specific markets. Analysts say the vertical approach is a good one. "Hosting lends itself well to vertical solutions," says Joshua Greenbaum, a principal of Enterprise Applications Consulting.