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EAN and UCC Form EPCglobal, Inc.

Formerly called AutoID Inc., the joint venture’s new name reflects its mission to foster global adoption of EPC technology.
By Bob Violino
Sep 16, 2003Sept. 16, 2003 - EAN International and the Uniform Code Council (UCC) have formerly announced that they have changed the name of their joint venture from AutoID Inc. to EPCglobal, Inc. The new name was adopted, after extensive
UCC's Di Yeso
research, to better reflect their organization's mission to foster global adoption of the EPC technology developed by the Auto-ID Center.

"We think the name really captures the essence of what we are trying to accomplish," says Mike Di Yeso, the UCC's chief operating officer and the person charged with leading the joint venture's efforts until a permanent president can be found. "When you take a step back and look at what we want to accomplish—we want it to be global in nature and be used across multiple sectors—so anything other than EPCglobal narrows the scope a little bit."

Last week, during a general assembly in Brussels, EAN International's member organizations unanimously approved the creation of the joint venture and the allocation of funds. That event, which Di Yeso calls a "watershed," paves the way for EPCglobal to begin accepting subscribers and promoting the technology.

The UCC had set up a subsidiary in the United States called AutoID U.S. That organization has been renamed EPCglobal U.S., and it is already accepting new subscribers. Companies that subscribe can participate in standards meetings and can be allocated EPC numbers.

EPCglobal has set up an Implementation Task Force to begin developing specifications for EPC standards, which will ensure interoperability. Di Yeso says it’s too early to tell exactly when a standard might be approved. "We have to get the user groups formed and have them take a look at it," he says.

Di Yeso says people have been contacted to gauge their interest in serving on the board of EPCglobal; elections are expected to be held by the end of the year. But the organization is already ramping up efforts to promote EPC technology globally and across industries. EPCglobal U.S. is working on a marketing template that can be used by similar organizations that will be set up around the world.

EPCglobal’s vision is to create a consistent message and image, which Di Yeso will spell out in more detail during a major presentation at the EPC Symposium being held in Chicago this week. The announcement of the formation of EPCglobal coincides with the first public availability of the technical specifications for the EPC Network released by the Auto-ID Center.

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