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Trimble Acquires ThingMagic

The provider of positioning and tracking solutions will incorporate ThingMagic's EPC RFID technology into its own products for the construction and mobile services sectors, while ThingMagic will also continue to operate as an RFID reader and solutions provider, as a Trimble division.
By Claire Swedberg
"Trimble recognizes our position in the RFID industry." Grant states. The company's "enormous financial strength," he says—with $1 billion in annual revenue—as well as its worldwide business base, "will help allow us to continue to meet our goals in the RFID industry." Trimble's overall revenue for the first quarter of 2010 is up 10 percent from the previous year, the company reports, and the second quarter revenue is up by approximately 15 percent. In the first half of this year, sales to the engineering and construction sectors have increased, while mobile solutions sales have remained flat.

Tom Grant, general manager of Trimble's ThingMagic division
ThingMagic, Grant indicates, "will continue to operate as we have always operated," providing RFID hardware and integration services to customers across a wide variety of markets, including health care and transportation. "Today, ThingMagic has a significant horizontal plane, and that will continue," he says, describing the markets the RFID division serves. In addition, he adds, Trimble will also help ThingMagic access customers outside of North America.

The growth in sales of RFID hardware and software during the past year (see Sales of EPC RFID Tags, ICs Reach Record Levels) has made the timing for such an acquisition even better, Kliem says, as a growing number of Trimble's customers are showing an interest in RFID-based asset-tracking solutions.

The acquisition of ThingMagic is part of Trimble's strategy to make the company a full-solutions firm, Kliem explains. In line with that goal, Trimble recently purchased several technology companies, including Cengea Solutions, a British Columbian provider of agriculture and forestry software; CTN Data, a farming software company headquartered in Hamilton, Ind.; and Accutest Engineering Solutions, a U.K.-based provider of vehicle diagnostic equipment. According to Kliem, the company's core organizational concept centers on focused divisions, such as construction and MRM, and RFID furthers the firm's ability to be responsive—and to more quickly and efficiently provide solutions that include asset tracking.

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