IBM Launches RFID Technology

DALLAS, TX -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) unveiled Radio Frequency Identification software that unlocks business insight from the information explosion created by RFID tags embedded throughout the supply chain, empowering companies to identify entirely new business opportunities.

The new WebSphere RFID Premises Server V6.0 aggregates and analyzes massive amounts of RFID and other sensor information from every corner of an enterprise. It then applies built-in business logic, and leveraging a Services Oriented Architecture, integrates that valuable raw data with enterprise applications, such as ERP or billing systems. This open architecture means that data can be seamlessly connected with business processes, allowing companies to use and capitalize on RFID.

More than ever before, companies can now use valuable data from remote locations, such as distribution centers or stores, to create and manage RFID solutions based on real business scenarios, drive new revenue streams and drive out costs.

The new Premises Server is a result of collaborative innovation with RFID pioneer and client, METRO Group, in IBM Labs and Innovation Centers around the world.

"Data that was hard to handle can now be used to enhance our business processes significantly," said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, METRO Group Information Technology. "And it puts control in the hands of the user to create tailor-made solutions for a specific business case."

IDC estimates that an organization employing 1,000 knowledge workers loses $5.7 million annually, solely in time wasted reformatting information. Not finding the right information costs that same organization an additional $5.3 million a year. (IDC, March 2007, "The Expanding Digital Universe" p. 11)

Together with the WebSphere RFID Information Center released in December, the new IBM Premises Server V6.0 enables clients to strategically manage and integrate RFID information with business processes, and securely share that information with selected trading partners. Enabling data to flow across the enterprise in a more consistent, standardized and accessible manner is the key to attaining ROI from RFID data. Data that was once money left on the floor can be transformed into unanticipated revenue opportunities.

"Companies aren't lacking data intelligence from RFID, they just couldn't use it until now," said Martin Wildberger, Vice President, Sensors and Actuators Leader, IBM. "As initial RFID deployments begin to evolve into large scale productions, RFID solutions must drive new business value, return on investment and business process flexibility and innovation. The IBM RFID platform delivers the reliable and scalable end-to-end foundation necessary for operating your business based on new insights from RFID information."

With the new Premises Server 6.0, IBM is introducing an Eclipse open standards-based RFID device model, which expands the reach of IBM RFID device integration to a worldwide ecosystem of partners. Leading RFID device manufacturers Alien, Arcom, FEIG, Impinj, Intermec, Motorola, Reva, Sirit and TAGSYS have already committed validation of their devices in IBM's new WebSphere RFID Device Program or have indicated their plans to do so in 2Q07. This open standards architecture gives the client unprecedented freedom to deploy their RFID solutions in either centralized or distributed locations to best meet their business needs while exploiting the latest and greatest device capabilities.

"IBM is using the powerful combination of open standards and open source to enhance the ways devices of all kinds can function," said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director, "This new Eclipse framework for device interfaces is taking advantage of IBM's code contribution to ultimately improve the levels of interoperability between applications and systems within and across broad categories of solutions ranging from RFID devices to healthcare. This platform will enable adopters all over the world to extend the value of enterprise SOA to devices."

Continuing IBM's commitment to open standards, WebSphere RFID Premises Server extends the IBM SOA Foundation capabilities to provide secure, reliable messaging for RFID solutions to integrate with enterprise business processes by enabling new business innovation to be achieved from the insights of RFID data.

"OATSystems is focused on developing solutions to deliver business value from RFID using IBM Premises Server V6.0 as a foundation, as it provides the reliability, scalability and flexibility required by clients transitioning from piloting RFID applications to full-scale production rollout," said Dr. Venkat Krishnamurthy Chief Technology Officer, OATSystems. "By offering an open source device layer, IBM's Premises Server V6.0 enables customers to choose the devices that best meet their needs and enables us to support current and emerging device capabilities as well as new standards such as EPCGlobal's LLRP interface quickly and easily"

Made in IBM Labs
IBM's worldwide network of research and development laboratories is driving the birth and continued growth of some of the world's most promising emerging technologies – technologies that have the potential to one day transform the way we all live and work. The WebSphere RFID Premises Server v6 was developed by a team of IBM developers in RFID Centers of Excellence across the globe including Beijing, China, Boeblingen, Germany, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

IBM Innovation Centers in LaGaude, France, Hursley, UK, San Mateo, California and Waltham, Massachusetts also participated in both testing the new device model and software with partners. Our worldwide Innovation Centers will also be a resource for partners to use in their WebSphere RFID device validation activities.

This development is another example of IBM's push to further the adoption of advanced telematics technologies -- sensors, actuators, RFID and other networked devices -- that link organizations and people for economic growth, improved healthcare and education, and enhanced security and safety.

For more information about IBM and its RFID solutions, please visit its Web site.

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