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SAP APO vs. i2's Demand Fulfillment engine

I am not sure how familiar you are with i2's DF (Demand Fulfillment Engine), which is a similar to SAP APO tool....

If you are somewhat familiar with that what are the pros and cons of i2 DF vs. SAP APO? In terms of evolution which tool do you think have a better chance of surviving in the future and why?

While I am not a financial analyst predicting the survivability of one company over the other, that financial data is available in the public records for you to decide. i2 DF is a specific execution mechanism for fulfillment that utilizes i2's ATP algorithms. I have seen various deployments of this connected to SAP at some of our clients. All told, there is a difference in the technology and data model that makes the integration of DF in to an enterprise transaction system more difficult. Questions will creep up on which system's inventory records are correct and who owns it. While DF claims to give real time information, if inventory records are held in transactional systems like SAP there is an inherent latency on moving inventory data to i2 DF. APO on the other hand has consistent models for planning but you need to integrate through CIF to an R/3 system to achieve the execution aspects of fulfillment. This allows them to keep the persistence of inventory transaction records in an execution system while querying it in real time for ATP and fulfillment purposes. The amount of money that SAP is putting into its product makes me think that the future is bright for APO.

This was last published in January 2003

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