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NCR Announces RFID Software Suite
The company says its TransitionWorks software pulls RFID and other data into applications targeted at specific business needs and can be deployed on any enterprise platform.
Feb 23, 2006—Borrowing the name of its TransitionWorks RFID demonstration centers in Atlanta, NCR is unveiling the TransitionWorks Software Suite, a collection of applications designed to help end users pull value from RFID data. The suite consists of five software applications, each addressing a specific purpose: mandate compliance, asset tracking, inventory tracking, notification and sales forecasting. The Dayton, Ohio, business equipment and services provider will demonstrate its software suite at next week's RFID World conference in Dallas.
John Greaves, NCR's vice president of RFID solutions, says the suite is highly adaptable to an end user's existing data-collection processes and software platforms. "Maybe only some of your assets are tracked using RFID, and others are identified using bar code," he says. "Or maybe some of your locations run SAP, and others use JD Edwards [enterprise resource planning software]. It doesn't matter. We can accept different numbering systems, connect different enterprise software models to our suite."
NCR designed the applications to meet the needs of companies complying with mandates or deploying RFID for internal benefit—or both. Greaves says that what sets the TransitionWorks suite apart from similar platforms—such as IBM's RFID data management tools that are part of its WebSphere platform—are flexibility and cost. "We designed the software for businesses, particularly firms that are smaller and fast-growing, to meet their needs through rapid implementation and return on investment," he says.
The compliance application is designed to help users comply with specific RFID mandates through the use of templates. Users complying with a mandate from the U.S. Department of Defense, for example, would use the program's automatically generated military specification document to assure compliance.
The asset-tracking application could be used to locate goods or people in real time, based on reads of active or passive RFID tags embedded in identification badges, product labels and the like. The software processes the read events to discern the location of the object or person, and can associate that data with other data, such as product information or schedules.
The inventory software links RFID reads with a user's warehouse management platform, enabling the TransitionWorks software to adjust inventory records as tagged goods are manufactured, shipped or received. The notification application uses read events to monitor activities based on predetermined business processes, and can then send alerts to personnel or initiate business processes, as per the notification. The sales application collects RFID read event feedback from retailers and combines it with point-of-sale data for demand forecasting.
The TransitionWorks Software Suite is SQL-based and will be available beginning Feb. 27. Because the suite supports a wide variety of technologies, devices and unique customer needs, NCR will determine pricing based on specific user requirements.
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