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The Problem Solvers

Systems integrators help clients create the RFID solutions that will meet their business needs, while getting disparate components to function together seamlessly and cost-efficiently.
By John Edwards
Feb 19, 2013—Few businesses possess the in-house knowledge and skill necessary to develop and install their RFID solutions without outside assistance. Systems integrators help the vast majority of RFID adopters, offering design, testing, installation, training and other essential services.

"Companies need a systems integrator," says John Devlin, practice director of security and ID at ABI Research, a technology market research firm in Oyster Bay, N.Y. "I don't think the market has evolved yet to a stage where it's anywhere near plug and play. Systems integrators have quite a lot of knowledge of the market, in terms of being able to implement RFID for customers and to tailor the solution for them."

Illustration: iStockphoto
Put simply, systems integrators are the experts that blend RFID hardware and software elements into a coordinated, functional solution that can solve a company's business problems. But finding a qualified systems integrator can, at times, be almost as challenging as building an RFID system from scratch. You want an integrator that has experience working in your industry and is not experimenting on your time—one that understands your business issues and can recommend ways to improve operational efficiencies.

The integrator should have experience with both passive and active RFID systems, so it can recommend the technology that is best for your company, and not just the system with which it is most familiar. And you want an integrator that will become part of your internal RFID team and be invested in your company's goals.

Here, then, are best practices for choosing and working with a systems integrator that will help ensure the success of your RFID deployment.
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