RFID Experts Launch EPC Insider

By Bob Violino

Kevin Ashton and Mark Roberti have launched a semi-annual report that will provide guidance for senior executives and institutional investors.

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Kevin Ashton, former executive director of the Auto-ID Center that developed the technical and conceptual underpinnings of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) system, and Mark Roberti, founder and editor of RFID Journal, have teamed up to create a semi-annual report on the global RFID market. Entitled EPC Insider, the report will provide guidance for top executives at end-user companies and RFID vendors and for institutional investors looking for insights into how the market will develop.

Kevin Ashton

“From a market perspective, it’s vitally important that companies making investments in the EPC technology—whether as users, vendors or venture capitalists—have access to clear and real market intelligence and analysis,” says Ashton. “This is essential for the market to grow. The benefits of knowing the past, present and, most important, the future of EPC are immeasurable: Better investments, more effective strategies, fewer risks—it all adds up to competitive advantage.”

EPC Insider looks at the forces throughout the world that are accelerating EPC adoption and those that are restraining adoption. It projects trends for the next three to five years and provides specific predictions for the RFID market in 2004. And the report offers specific recommendations aimed at helping companies and investors take advantage of the opportunities being created by EPC technologies.

“I’m often asked for my opinion about the market—which sectors will do well, and where the opportunities are for venture capitalists and vendors,” says Roberti. “There’s a need for this kind of informed opinion, but it’s outside the scope of RFID Journal, which focuses on how to deploy the technology successfully. Working with Kevin, someone who was closely involved in the development of EPC technologies, provides the opportunity to fulfill that market need.”

Each successive EPC Insider report will provide key insights—based on the authors’ intimate knowledge of the companies developing and using EPC technology—into what’s happening in the marketplace. The authors say they won’t sugarcoat their analysis, and they plan to point out which of their predictions proved to be correct and which failed to materialize and why.

“To be really useful—in fact to really be analysis—intelligence reports can’t sit on the fence or hedge or try to find a compromise between a universe of viewpoints,” says Ashton. “You have to tell it like it is, go where the facts take you, and have the courage of your convictions. That’s why EPC Insider makes concrete predictions about what will happen, what won’t happen, complete with the when and the why. And we won’t conveniently forget what we said when the next report comes around: We’ll measure ourselves against reality, and account for our calls.”

While both authors have been bullish about RFID in general and EPC in particular, the report will cover negative market developments as well as positive. It will put all these developments into the broader perspective of how they will affect market adoption of RFID. This is critical to helping venture capitalists, vendors and end users understand what’s happening and make smart investments and business decisions.

“The name EPC Insider doesn’t just refer to the people writing the report—it’s also how readers should feel when they put it down,” Ashton says. “Readers will have the inside track. They’ll know more than their competitors. They’ll be able to make better plays in the marketplace. The goal is to provide insights and clarity readers just can’t get anywhere else.”

Each report will cost $995. The 9,000-word January 2004 report, available now, can be purchased online and downloaded by visiting the EPC Insider page on RFID Journal’s Web site.

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