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Links to the Back End

A growing number of companies are jumping into the market with solutions that filter RFID data and pass it to back-end systems. Here’s a sampling of the major players in the different market segments.
By Bob Violino
Apr 20, 2004ERP Vendors

Oracle: Early this year, Oracle announced a new version of its Oracle Warehouse Management software, which is designed to help companies comply with the tagging mandates from Wal-Mart and the U.S. Department of Defense. This new version will include built-in integration with the middleware component in the Oracle Application Server. The company will release the software by midyear; pricing has not been set.

SAP:In January, the German software giant introduced an RFID package that includes middleware that integrates RFID-generated data with SAP’s enterprise resource planning applications. Software "connectors" will be offered for SAP R/3 (version 4.6c or higher) and mySAP ERP. The company declined to disclose pricing, other than to say the package is priced per site (warehouse, distribution center, retail store and so on).

Third-Party Vendors

GlobeRanger: Launched in July 2002, GlobeRanger's iMotion Edgeware Platform was designed to link mobile devices and RFID readers to back-end systems. iMotion aims to make it easier to develop and deploy applications by enabling companies to design their own workflow rules. Pricing is set by the company’s distributors.

OATSystems: This startup offers Senseware, an RFID software suite that includes the Senseware Platform, which collects data from RFID readers, converts it into intelligent business objects and integrates it into warehouse management, transportation management and other applications. The software suite is being used by Gillette in its Fort Devens trial (see “Gillette Sharpens Its Edge,” page 12). Pricing is based on the functionality required.
Application Vendors

Manhattan Associates: Manhattan unveiled middleware to link RFID readers to its PkMS warehouse management system in January 2003. The software has been improved to work with third-party supply chain applications. The company declines to disclose pricing but says it has several models.

RedPrairie: In December, supply chain applications vendor RedPrairie debuted RFID Accelerator, which uses software agents to integrate RFID data with ERP, legacy-host and supply chain execution systems from different vendors. A typical implementation costs $250,000 to $500,000, depending on the size of the project.

Large Integrators

Accenture: The consulting and systems integration firm provides RFID-to-ERP integration as part of a suite of services involving RFID. It has developed a Silent Commerce platform for linking readers to the back end and enabling disparate systems to share data. Pricing is based on the complexity of the project.

IBM: As part of its integrated technical services offering, IBM provides RFID-to-ERP integration. Most solutions are based on the company’s robust WebSphere middleware. Costs vary depending on the scope and complexity of the project.

Boutique Integrators

Mobilexe: This is one of a growing number of smaller supply chain systems integrators that have added RFID integration services. The cost of a typical RFID project ranges from $30,000 to $100,000 per site, plus an initial evalution fee of $7,000 to $10,000.

Tacit Solutions: Tacit has been integrating wireless technologies and auto-ID systems for 15 years. It provides legacy-host interfacing, RFID middleware, software, hardware and installation services for manufacturing and supply chain applications. Pricing depends on the scope of the project.
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