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Taking Education to a New Level

Companies aren’t even aware of how much they don't know about RFID—until class begins. But they soon learn that understanding the technology will improve their chances of deploying it successfully.
By Mark Roberti
Jun 14, 2004RFID Journal held its first RFID Journal University of the year in Washington, D.C., last week. One attendee came up to me at lunch on the second day of the two-day program and said: "Your advertising for this was very misleading." I was taken aback, because we strive at
RFID Journal not to oversell the technology and to deliver everything we promise.

"What do you mean?" I asked?

"Well, this is far more in-depth than I was lead to believe," he said. "I had no idea it would be this good."

I'm not making this up, and I hope you will excuse the pitch for our executive education program. But I've been preaching the importance of RFID education for a long time now, and some of the feedback I got at RFID Journal University supports my contention that education is going to be a key factor in the success of many projects.

One gentleman came up to me and said: "I was going to skip the first day, because I thought I knew the basics of RFID, but I'm glad I didn't. Much of what I had read was wrong, and this provides a lot more depth. I didn't realize how complex the technology is."

Steve Hodges, technical director of the Cambridge Auto-ID Lab, and Mark Harrison, the lab's associate director, did a wonderful job of presenting some very complex material in a way that could be understood by those of us who don't have a Ph.D. in physics. Some of the sponsors who supported the event told me that many of the attendees asked them during the break how they handle some of the issues brought up during the sessions; the program covered RFID technology on the first day and the Electronic Product Code and the technology that makes up the EPC Network on the second day.

“It’s more complicated than I thought, but you’re taking it to an understandable level," said Ed Wolcoff, senior VP of Camber Corp., a Huntsville, Ala.-based military contractor. "When I go to look for a systems integrator or vendor, I now know the right questions to ask.”

“If you’re spending time and money on RFID, you have to know what you’re doing," said Ray Allen, who handles operations, methods and technology for Pharmavite, a $400 million vitamins company based in Mission Hills, Calif. "You can’t afford not to go to RFID Journal University.”

I'm pleased that attendees found the two-day program so valuable. As I've said all along, RFID Journal's mission is to provide the objective, insightful information that companies need to make good decisions that will lead to successful deployments. RFID Journal University is a big part of that, and we're pleased to have folks from the Cambridge Auto-ID Lab presenting the material at the next three seminars in the United States and two in Europe in September. And we'll be adding more detailed course outlines on the Web site, so that we don't mislead anyone into thinking that this isn't the most valuable RFID educational course available.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below.

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There are less than two weeks left until RFID Journal University in the Chicago. This unbiased educational course, presented by RFID Journal and members of Auto-ID Labs, is designed to provide the in-depth understanding of RFID and EPC technologies needed to evaluate vendors and begin planning a successful implementation. Register today, or to learn more, visit RFID U.

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