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Lockheed Looks for a Savi Buyer

The defense contractor seeks to sell off its 433 MHz RFID tag and reader division, which plans to shift its marketing and product-development focus to the commercial sector.
By Claire Swedberg
Savi left the Dash7 Alliance early this year, following the company's decision to pursue its own enhanced version of the 18000-7 standard, rather than the association's planned Mode 2 proposal. "Our emphasis is on the combination of our technical acumen and our marketing strategy," Clark says, in order to target companies tracking high-value assets. Savi had provided funding for marketing, he adds, and had paid its staff to serve on the Dash7 Alliance. "Our view was that if the standard association was going to gain traction, the overall membership had to take some of that [financial] responsibility."

The Dash7 Alliance has its own focus on the commercial sector as well, says Mark Morrissey, one of the association's board members and the marketing manager at Semtech, a semiconductor firm that manufactures chips for 433 MHz tags. "Our perspective," he explains," is that what we're doing at Dash7 Alliance is much bigger than the DOD." With the DOD's reduced demand for active 433 MHz RFID tags, he notes, companies like his are turning their attention to the commercial sector, and to focusing on building- and home-automation applications. "Wars don't last forever; policies do change," Morrissey says. "Savi recognizes that it needs to reach out beyond the DOD." The alliance anticipates that Savi may rejoin the group in the future, he notes, adding, "Their contribution would be welcomed."

"Savi has a very bright future," Clark says. "In technical markets, there's a large trend toward assets becoming smarter." What's more, he adds, the business sector is increasingly fueling the adoption of technologies that can make companies operate more efficiently.

When it comes to finding buyers, Clark says, "Our intention is to sell Savi to a buyer that will continue the business on a path to success, continue supporting current customers and its contractual commitments." Until then, he states, "business is continuing as normal. Savi will continue to meet all commitments, as well as support future needs."

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