i2 Launches New Business
Planning System"> But according to Laucka, i2s new S&OM solution will be even "heavier on services than products," in line with i2s recently articulated strategy to increase its emphasis on services. For most customers, the first step in the S&OM Solution will involve engaging with i2 consultants for three to four weeks for a diagnosis on how to use their systems in ways more in line with S&OM best practices.Customers might find out how they can get improved visibility into analytics, for example, or better performance management.These consulting services can be "fairly inexpensive," Laucka said, citing prices in the under-six-figure range. "Youre not looking at something thats large-scale here. The consulting can be very tactical, to get rapid benefits for the customer," she said. Implementation of new software tends to be pricier, however, typically pushing costs into the mid-six figures, according to Laucka. In contrast to some other companies, i2 doesnt view services as a "loss leader," said Aberdeens Elbaum. "[i2] is not going to walk away from services. Theyre handling the whole spectrum of products-to-services. But I do think that, at the end of the day, [the S&OM Solution] will accelerate software sales," he said. Elbaum also pointed out that i2s workflow engine underlies a lot of other applications, too. "It seems as though i2 is kind of using [the SO&M Solution] as an illustration of how its [workflow engine] can be used to manage a process," the analyst said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.