Playing The Blame Game

A partner and a client sock it to i2 Technologies.

What happens when good partnerships suddenly go bad? Just ask i2 Technologies. The company found out last week when a major customer and a high-profile partner took turns taking swipes at the supply-chain management application maker.

The first salvo came from athletic shoe and apparel maker Nike. In cutting its third quarter earnings forecast, it blamed problems with i2s supply-chain management software that led to bloated inventories and order delays.

The second blow came when i2 partner Ariba announced it would resell software from i2 competitor Syncra Systems and also poked fun at i2.

I2s stock dropped 22 percent after Nikes comments and traded at a 52-week low last week. Still, most analysts say i2s reputation fared better than either of its turncoat partners and did not buy Nikes claims.

"I2 is not the problem. I2 has a great engine. The problem is garbage in, garbage out," says Fadi Chehade, chairman and CEO at Viacore Inc., a provider of managed collaborative infrastructure for trading partners.

All we need is for i2 execs to ban Nike footwear at its headquarters.