Coincidence? I think not.

A.T. Kearney and i2 form 2Source solution

CHICAGO and DALLAS  When two industry behemoths partner to develop new product offerings, it's newsworthy. But when the new solution is named 2Source, it's of particular interest to this company. With such strikingly similar names, iSource might be inclined to feel that they are steeling our thunder. On the other hand, it could drive a hefty number of accidental tourists to our website. But in the end, being the bastion of B2B that we are, how can we blame them?

A.T. Kearney, the EDS subsidiary, and i2 recently announced a global strategic partnership to deliver strategic sourcing and procurement solutions for companies, e-marketplaces and industry verticals. The 2Source solution is designed to automate direct and indirect materials procurement. As a part of the agreement, EDS becomes a preferred supplier of integration services for i2's supplier relationship management product suite.

The need for accelerated value creation and rapid return on investment from participation in public and private marketplaces is intense, said Dietmar Ostermann, CEO of A.T. Kearney. The convergence of Internet-based technologies with procurement and supply chain management can create significant new value when coupled with optimized Strategic Sourcing solutions. 2Source will help deliver value by assembling the integrated solutions that enterprises need to optimize their supplier relationships.

Romesh Wadhwani, vice chairman of i2, said of the deal, We expect to help our customers save more than $10 billion over the next three years. That's absolutely world-class.

2Source will offer plug and play sourcing, category management services, auctioning, supply market solutions and RFQ/RFP solutions via the i2 TradeMatrix Networtk. The combined offering also will include the creation of private label services that will be offered to e-marketplaces and enterprise customers.