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Fluensee Acquires TrenStar's RFID Software Business

RFID solutions provider Fluensee acquired TrenStar's asset management software. The deal expands Fluensee's software-as-a-service offerings and gives the company additional customers, markets and distribution channels. TrenStar is effectively exiting the RFID industry and will focus on its airline container management business.
Aug 05, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

August 5, 2008—Denver-based Fluensee has acquired TrenStar Tracking Solutions' asset management software operations. The deal covers intellectual property, customers, assets and operations. Fluensee will integrate TrenStar's software with its own software solutions that integrate RFID, sensors and other input technologies for asset tracking. The deal gives Fluensee, which had a strong focus on IT asset management, enhanced ability to serve additional vertical and geographic markets, and effectively removes TrenStar from the RFID industry.

"TrenStar was a competitor," Fluensee vice president of marketing Leanne Smullen told RFID Update. "We had the same focus, but on different industries." Fluensee will now focus on providing asset management solutions to the IT, beverage, logistics, transportation, synthetic rubber, manufacturing, healthcare, government, oil and mining industries, according to the announcement.

TrenStar was a diverse business with multiple operations related to asset and container management. It was known in the RFID industry for providing RFID-based keg tracking systems for several European brewers. Other branches of the company, which is owned by Trencor of Cape Town, South Africa, provide logistics container management services. In February Trencor sold TrenStar's North American container management operations to Macquarie Group, an Australian investment banking firm. Following the software sale to Fluensee, TrenStar's remaining operations consist of Jettainer, which is headquartered in Germany and provides cargo container management services for leading commercial airlines. Jettainer uses RFID to track airline cargo containers, which are known as unit load devices (ULDs).

"Our company was more valuable as individual pieces than it was as a whole," TrenStar CEO Ed Flaherty told RFID Update. "We've been talking to Fluensee for some time, and they'll do a great job with our software assets."

Terms were not disclosed. Some TrenStar personnel will join Fluensee, which will employ about 24 people after the acquisition, according to Smullen. Flaherty will not join Fluensee and will focus on Jettainer, he said.

The acquisition unites two RFID companies who offer their solutions through the software-as-a-service (SaaS) distribution model, in which software is typically hosted and licensed for a monthly fee rather than purchased outright. SaaS is increasingly common for enterprise applications but remains rare for RFID. Fluensee plans to integrate the companies' product lines and expand its SaaS offerings.

"Today most of our customers are still using the traditional software license model. In the past six to nine months we've seen an increase in interest in SaaS," said Smullen. "Software-as-a-service allows companies to convert a capital expense to an operational expense, which can make RFID more affordable."
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