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Supply chain software providers have long expressed their frustration at users' preference for working in Excel spreadsheets, even going so far sometimes as exporting data from sophisticated solutions into a spreadsheet format. Dallas-based i2 Technologies says it has decided to go with the flow. Its new i2 Tether solution links Microsoft Office Excel 2007 spreadsheets to the i2 Agile Business Process Platform.
"Tether gives our customers the power to work the way they want to work, using Excel as their user interface, while simultaneously providing control, accuracy and a single version of the truth across what has become highly distributed supply chain environments," says John Cummings, i2's chief marketing officer.
Tether allows users to collaborate on data through a central enterprise environment at various times, dates and locations with the accuracy and confidence of maintaining one single version of the truth, he explains. This eliminates a big problem with spreadsheets, which is that they cannot easily be synchronized or updated in real time, which often leads to inaccurate or out-of-sync data that can have a negative impact on business plans and transactions.
The combination of a preferred user experience with superior supply chain solutions also is expected to result in higher user adoption.
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