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SeeBeyond Plans RFID Pilot Service

The enterprise application integration specialist says it will soon launch an RFID deployment service to quickly show a company how RFID can cut its costs.
By Jonathan Collins
Nov 24, 2004Following the general release last week of its first RFID-enabled product, enterprise application integration specialist SeeBeyond Technology Corp. already has plans to follow up before the end of the year with a service—dubbed the ROI Pilot—that designs, installs and manages an RFID trial deployment to quickly show a business how and where RFID technology can cut its operating costs.
Chris England

"Our ROI Pilot offering will move companies past just RFID compliance. Compliance pilots have been about physics and read rates, but our focus is data and interface management and that is what will enable companies to get value out of RFID. Readers and tags alone will never do it," says Chris England, product marketing manager at SeeBeyond, which is based in Monrovia, Calif.

SeeBeyond's ROI Pilot will bundle software from SeeBeyond and its partners, as well as the services needed to develop and deploy the test application.

The offering will include SeeBeyond's RFID Composite Application Network (RCAN) middleware, which the company made available last week. RCAN provides a way for a company to manage RFID readers, collect data from those readers and integrate the data into its existing enterprise applications. The software also provides interfaces and the capability to allow additional applications to be quickly integrated with the system.
To interconnect new and existing enterprise applications, RCAN uses SeeBeyond's core Integrated Composite Application Network (ICAN) product, which provides enterprises with a flexible software framework for integrating a range of legacy and other applications from SeeBeyond and other vendors. To provide RCAN with the middleware needed for reader connectivity and management, SeeBeyond has turned to ConnecTerra, OATSystems and Sun Microsystems. RCAN also includes support for applications from Bent Systems and SBK Labs that focus on specific RFID-affected processes such as trace and trace or shipping and receiving.

A range of companies, including Target, General Motors and U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury's, are already using the ICAN framework. SeeBeyond believes its experience in integrating disparate applications enables it to better help companies make use of the data that can be generated by an RFID network.

SeeBeyond plans to price the ROI Pilot between $50,000 and $100,000, with a pilot expected to last four to six weeks. The company intends to offer a range of different pilots, with the first likely to be enabling a shipping and receiving application. "While this would require a partner company to also be involved in the pilot, we can also set up a dummy company in the application to speed the trial," says England.

The ROI pilot will initially be deployed and managed by SeeBeyond's own consulting services division, but the company says it may turn to other systems integrators to deliver the service in the long term. The company says it expects the offering to appeal primarily to retailers and makers of consumer packaged goods, but also to companies in the government, defense and healthcare sectors. "These are the companies that having the most trouble with ROI justification," says England.

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