Dallas firm helps businesses meet customer demand.
For more than a decade, Dallas-based i2 has been delivering solutions for supply chain and dynamic value chain management. But what most don’t know is that what started as a software project in a two-bedroom apartment in Dallas has grown into a success story boasting more than $1 billion in revenues, more than 1,000 customers, and 9,000 installations worldwide. We recently spoke with Sanjiv Sidhu, i2’s co-founder and chairman, about the company.
What does i2 do?
i2 makes software that helps companies meet customer demand. Our solutions provide visibility into real business conditions, for the enterprise as well as all of its business partners and suppliers. This extended group of companies collaborating at high velocity is called a value chain, and i2 enables what is called Dynamic Value Chain Management. From production and supply chain management, to product design and sourcing, to high-volume order management and customer fulfillment, i2 has delivered almost $30 billion in audited value for customers, well on its way to achieving our mission of $75 billion by 2005.
The recession has not been kind to many tech companies, but i2 has continued to remain successful, securing partnerships and finding innovative ways to save other companies costs. What kinds of things have you kept in mind during these challenging times?
Last year, we focused on several initiatives to better manage our costs internally: We worked hard to achieve organizational alignment, create a sustainable cost structure, and realign our sales force. We also worked to increase demand generation programs, including Web seminars, and basically create a product packaged for high-volume sales.
Overall, we have been managing our costs closely and investing wisely to maintain our strength. We plan to expand our leadership position by offering highly differentiated solutions to our customers, and we have taken a major step forward with the launch of i2 Five.Two.
What is i2 Five.Two?
i2 Five.Two is a highly scalable business platform designed to enable companies to improve key business metrics such as sales, inventory turns, gross and net margin, and concept-to-cash within their enterprise and across their value chain. i2 Five.Two features a new, intuitive user interface that retains the same look and feel across all i2 products, increasing ease of use and significantly decreasing the amount of training needed for i2 customers. The release also features tighter integration between other i2 products.
What kinds of issues do you focus on during your Web seminars?
Our Web seminars are one-hour sessions typically featuring a company that has solved a business problem with technology, or experts in various fields that can talk about case studies. Executives log in to a Web site to receive a video and audio feed of the presentations and then have the ability to ask questions of the presenters using either phone or e-mail while online. They have been very popular, as they can impart a great deal of useful information with a minimum time commitment from the executive.
Have you seen an increased interest in these online seminars post-9/11?
Business travel overall has declined since Sept. 11–because of both the costs and the added hassle factor for busy executives. The ability to gather information quickly from an easy-to-use medium such as the Web is very popular. We’ve run an average of one seminar per week for the past several months here in the United States, drawing several hundred participants each. We’ve also begun to expand the program to make it available to other international regions, such as Europe.
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