The former high-flyers of the business-to-business (B2B) software industry collectively experienced one of their worst quarters yet in the three months leading to 30 September 30 2002. Without exception, revenues slid – and in some cases, halved.
Commerce One, for one, experienced a crash in revenue of 67%, from $81.1 million in the third quarter of 2001 to $26.4 million in its latest quarter. Drastic cost-cutting measures at the company have enabled it to slim its losses to $46.9 million from a staggering $119.0 million in the year-ago quarter, however. Commerce One announced in October a continued restructuring programme that will see 36% of its remaining workforce laid off.
Supply chain management software vendor i2 Technologies experienced a similarly dismal third quarter. Revenue plunged 43% to $114.6 million from $201.1 million for the corresponding quarter in 2001, despite a slight increase in licence revenue to $30 million from $26 million over the same period. In i2’s defence, CEO Sanjiv Sidhu argued that organisations continue to invest in supply chain projects, with an average of one “go live” on i2 every business day in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Ariba, now focusing its marketing energies on ‘spend management’, performed far better than its rivals. Revenue for its third quarter dropped 7% to $58.2 million, from $62.7 million in the same quarter in 2001. Bob Calderoni, Ariba’s CEO, said that although the market for Ariba’s products had stabilised in the US, demand in Europe was still weak. These factors contributed to a $23 million fall in licence revenue during the quarter, he added.