Giants join to smooth RFID path

Giants join to smooth RFID path

Three global players have joined forces to make it easier for companies to adopt RFID.

Enterprise solution provider SSA Global Technologies Inc. has teamed up with IBM Corp. and Intermec Technologies Corp. to deliver an RFID package consisting of hardware, software, middleware and deployment services.

SSA has designed an ERP package that works on IBM's eServer iSeries platform and uses IBM Websphere middleware to integrate with Intermec's scanning, printing and labelling equipment.

Karsten Hojberg, SSA Global sales manager channels and alliances, says the biggest challenge is getting the first sale.

"New Zealand and Australia are still in the formative stage of implementing RFID. The first company to transfer to RFID will reap the benefits and everyone will then come on board," he says.

Hojberg says the current lack of standards for the technology is preventing faster adoption.

"Standards will happen within the next three months. We don't want to go too far down the track without standards."

As a means of driving adoption, SSA Global is planning to open a center of excellence.

Graeme Riley, SSA Global country manager, believes educating potential customers will be easier when the technology can be shown working. "It will be a permanent showcase of the technology. We're doing this through a partner and it will be housed at their base so people will be able to see something tangible," he says.

At the same time SSA Global is looking to add specialist resellers to cover niche markets. "We're looking for people with strong ERP skills to focus on specific vertical markets. Already one of our partners -- Infinity Solutions -- is starting to build a reseller channel," says Riley.

Stuart Robb, Infinity Solutions CEO, says the RFID market is steadily growing.

"We have a few projects underway and are seeing growth in the measuring and management of processes," he says.

Robb says the traceability of food and plant products is becoming increasingly important within the New Zealand market because of stringent compliance rules.

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