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Asset Management Heats Up with Axcess Offering

Axcess International yesterday announced Asset Activator, a comprehensive physical asset management solution based on semi-active RFID technology. RFID Update spoke with Allan Griebenow, President and CEO of Axcess, about the new offering.
Nov 10, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

November 10, 2005—Axcess International yesterday announced Asset Activator, a physical asset management solution based on semi-active RFID technology. The Carrollton, Texas, company designed Asset Activator to deliver location-tracking, inventory counting, and asset protection. RFID Update spoke with Allan Griebenow, President and CEO of Axcess, about the new offering.

Historically, Axcess has been an active RFID solution provider, selling tags, readers, and associated hardware and software. There has been a strong product focus on using RFID in security and protection applications. According to Griebenow, the company observed that in the growing field of enterprise asset management, there was a need not only for inventory and location-tracking solutions, but for the protection of those assets as well. Thus, a three-pronged approach to asset management -- location tracking, inventory, and protection -- is a competitive differentiator that Axcess has embraced, said Griebenow. With Asset Activator, "you can locate, count, and protect."

Griebenow also highlighted the product's accuracy, which he asserts is superior to those of competitors which use location-determining techniques like "signal power estimation" or "signal triangulation". Asset Activator's "on-demand" label refers to the semi-active nature of its tags, which only transmit information when requested by a reader. This ensures that "the asset's exact position is tracked as it moves throughout the facility," according to the product literature. Such accuracy is particularly crucial for security, where, for example, the difference between a tagged IT asset being outside a door versus inside a door will determine whether an alarm sounds. "What we're able to do is absolutely determine that [an asset] has gone out of the doorway," said Griebenow. "We believe, for the perimeter of the facility, we have a better architecture for locating more precisely where assets are."

The merits of enterprise asset tracking are becoming widely understood and accepted -- decreased theft and loss, streamlined asset management, improved auditing, near-immediate asset visibility, to name a few. What is happening at the same time, noted Griebenow, is that the value of many IT enterprise assets is growing. He cited statistics indicating that just a few years ago, the average value for an enterprise laptop, adding in the corporate intellectual property actually stored on the laptop, was around $5,000. Today that value is $28,000. In research and development environments where the IP is that much more precious and plentiful, a laptop's value can reach $400,000. "We have migrated the IP of our corporations onto these mobile IT assets," he said.

Furthermore, corporations are having to become more diligent in reporting theft and loss of assets and data. Whereas before they may have been reticent to disclose instances of theft and loss for fear of bad publicity or other repercussions, new laws are causing them to change their ways. "Sarbanes-Oxley and state regulations are now going to start forcing the issue" of lost, stolen, or misplaced assets, according to Griebenow.

While Axcess's focus has been active and semi-active asset management technology, Griebenow noted that the attention on passive RFID technology in the supply chain has benefited his space by waking corporations up to the value of tagging assets generally, an idea that is only now starting to take hold but which is sure to grow substantially. "Clearly everything in the enterprise is going to be tagged eventually," he said.

Read the press release announcement
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