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NCR Extends Its RFID Initiative

The business equipment and service provider will offer its RFID systems and services to European companies, and integrate RFID tags in all the hardware it sells.
By Jonathan Collins
Oct 13, 2005At the RFID Journal LIVE! Europe executive conference, held this week in Amsterdam, NCRannounced it will market its RFID systems and services offerings to European companies in an effort to extend its RFID customer base beyond the United States. In addition, the Dayton, Ohio, firm says it will move to tag all of its own products worldwide, starting in January.

NCR's RFID offerings include design, deployment and support for the full spectrum of RFID technologies, through a combination of hardware, software, labeling and services. While the company manufactures its own UHF tags, it depends on outside vendors for tags operating at 13.54 MHz and other frequencies. The company claims that by turning to NCR, firms deploying RFID can reduce costs and improve project management, as compared with having to rely on a mixture of technology and service providers

NCR's John Greaves
"The unique thing about NCR is that we are the one throat to choke, the one-stop shop. We own a tag plant, we make readers, we make point-of-sales, we build portals. We maintain Wal-Mart’s entire global retail infrastructure, no matter what brand is on it," says John Greaves, NCR's vice president of RFID solutions.

NCR maintains it can deliver UHF RFID deployments at a fraction of the cost of those from multiple hardware, software and services contracts. "One of the problems now in passive UHF RFID is the fragmented delivery models, which means you have to feed all five children [pay the profits for each company involved] in the consortia that is delivering. Now I pay my people, but I don’t need to charge $50,000 to each customer to know how RFID works. We know how it works. We have 800 RFID locations that we are managing and have deployed," says Greaves.

In 2006, NCR plans to open a European RFID TransitionWorks demonstration center in Peterborough, in the United Kingdom. The center will be one of three global centers demonstrating the range of RFID solutions NCR offers, with one center already operating in the United States and another planned in the Asia Pacific region.

In addition, starting in January, NCR will leverage its own RFID equipment and experience by adding RFID tags to all its products before shipping them. This will include POS and ATM terminals, as well as airline self-check-in kiosks. The tags' memory will record service history and other details about the product. Those tags, however, will not necessarily all use UHF. Instead, the company will use a mixture of RFID technologies.

"We know why we have to tag, and we know what it is for—customer service. Many of our customers have sought, specifically, to have RFID tags on their NCR equipment so that we can more readily determine the history and accuracy of a solution and its components," says Greaves.
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