i2 Technologies Garners Semiconductor Award

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i2 Technologies Garners Semiconductor Award
S. McVey - October 25th, 1999

Event Summary

Editors of Semiconductor International, a leading technical publication covering the semiconductor industry, awarded top honors to i2 Technologies for its Rhythm suite of semiconductor template solutions. The award is part of Semiconductor International's 1999 Editor's Choice Best Product Awards Program that recognizes superior performance of equipment, materials and software that have advanced the progress and conditions of the semiconductor industry. Winners are selected based on materials submitted from both users and creators of the technology.

Market Impact

Semiconductor International's Best Product Award is the latest in a series of accolades for i2 and reflects the Dallas-based vendor's leadership in the semiconductor solution marketplace. Built on years of project experience in working with semiconductor manufacturers, i2's template offers solutions to the unique challenges they face, including chronic capacity shortages, forecasting difficulties, and high inventories. In addition to providing data-ready modeling constructs for representing aspects of wafer fabs, assembly-test facilities, and distribution centers, the template links to an optimization engine that addresses simultaneous material and capacity constraints. Several high profile clients deserve a large measure of credit for i2's recent honor, including Samsung, Toshiba, Texas Instruments, and Motorola. i2 updates and improves its template with each successive implementation, in which clients benefit from lessons learned in past engagements, while contributing experience to the next version of the template.

Though i2 enjoys a comfortable lead in the semiconductor market, other vendors are looking for ways to narrow the gap, though most of these attempts have fallen flat. In June 1998, Manugistics Group acquired Tyecin Systems, adding a customer base of over 350 companies, including 8 of the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers. However, its declining financial situation prevented Manugistics from successfully completing the planned integration of Tyecin's semiconductor software capabilities into its product suite. Likewise, little has been heard of Chesapeake Decision Sciences' semiconductor template solution since it became a division of Aspen Technology in May 1998. Given i2's strong head start, it is unlikely that competitors will wrest significant market share within the next 2-3 years. Vendors can improve their chances by offering price breaks to customers, a strategy that will enhance their semiconductor-specific functionality in the long term through collaboration.

User Recommendations

The best industry templates are founded on implementation experience and address business processes unique to the given industry. Due to i2's vast experience with semiconductor manufacturers, its template offers manufacturers the best chance for success. However, prospective clients need to be wary of extravagant claims of quick implementations from pre-sales consultants. The best that manufacturers can hope for is a quicker implementation, assuming business requirements do not entail large deviations from template capabilities. No template provides features able to address every nuance of real business processes and organizational infrastructure. Users should fully assess their requirements before negotiating a contract and seek price advantages where key needs fall outside the capabilities of the template. Also, users should not be mislead in thinking that the Rhythm Semiconductor Template resides in a single, discrete software module. Depending on the scope of the implementation, the template may span multiple products, such as Demand Planner, Factory Planner, and Supply Chain Planner, each involving additional costs.

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