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SAP, Acsis Offer Packaged RFID Solution

The vendors say they're combining their products and services to provide an end-to-end tagging solution for suppliers under RFID mandates.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jun 29, 2006Acsis, a Marlton, N.J.-based provider of supply-chain and business-process automation software, has announced it is partnering with enterprise software provider SAP. Together, the companies will launch a combined service and software platform to help customers quickly comply with RFID mandates from retailers or government.

Acsis has, for years, been selling its Data-Link device control software—which can manage RFID interrogators—and integrating it with its customers' SAP backend software. Acsis is now packaging its Data-Link software with SAP's Auto-ID Infrastructure software, along with system design, integration services and installation, as a combined solution that can reportedly be delivered and operational within 30 days of purchase, depending on the end user's needs.

Stewart McCutcheon
Acsis also offers RFID testing services and will make hardware recommendations. Its Data-Link software can be used with RFID interrogators from most manufacturers.

The offering can be delivered either fully integrated with SAP back-office systems, or as a standalone system. Customers may initially chose to deploy a simple slap-and-ship tagging system that entails placing tags on cases and pallets just prior to shipping them to a retailer customer requiring tagged shipments. On the other hand, the platform is designed to be extensible to a more integrated tagging approach.

"We've built a strong relationship with SAP over some time," says Stewart McCutcheon, Acsis's executive vice president and chief technology officer, "but now we're taking it to the next step."

Eric Domski, global RFID solution director for SAP, says that using his firm's Auto-ID Infrastructure enables end users to put all of the RFID transaction events into business context—those collected within its own facilities, and those from a receiving party, such as Wal-Mart—from which they can derive internal value from RFID data.

The packaged solution includes the entire SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure technology stack, consisting of four components: the auto-ID infrastructure software, which provides EPC generation and management software; the business intelligence layer, which offers data analysis; the supply chain event management layer, which tracks the movement of tagged goods throughout the supply chain; and the exchange infrastructure, which links the SAP platform with third-party applications, such as a warehouse management system. The Auto-ID Infrastructure is built on SAP's Web Application Server, part of the company's NetWeaver integration and application platform.

Acsis' Data-Link software can integrate bar-code scanners, printers, optical and density sensors, palletizers, programmable logic controllers and other equipment used in modern production and warehousing facilities into the end user's tagging system.

Domski says the combined offering is available now, with pricing starting between $150,000 and $200,000, depending on the scope and complexity of the end user's mandate requirements.
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