Sybase Releases End-to-End RFID Enterprise Solution

This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 14, 2005—Leading database developer Sybase this week announced the release of what will be its flagship RFID offering, the loftily named RFID Enterprise. Sybase considers the existing process of RFID-enabling an enterprise to be a complicated assembling of various “point solutions” like edgeware, middleware, and data management. With RFID Enterprise, the company aims to simplify this process by providing an “end-to-end” platform. According to senior director of Worldwide Solutions, David Barrack, “RFID edgeware is a piece of the puzzle and RFID Enterprise provides it, along with the remaining pieces, which will allow our customers to extend RFID throughout their enterprise.”

Four components comprise RFID Enterprise:

  • edgeware that manages the RFID and assorted data capture devices,
  • a database layer that preserves the data,
  • process and rule software that facilitates the creation of new business processes built around RFID, and
  • a reporting tool that presents the new information in a digestible, actionable format that can be used to make improved business decisions.

Sybase’s end-to-end strategy is consistent with a trend predicted by many analysts watching RFID: big companies deploying RFID throughout their enterprises will eventually turn to one large, established technology partner rather than assembling a piecemeal solution from a handful of smaller vendors. Given the complexity of such RFID deployments, it would be logical to favor the simplicity of working with only one company. Furthermore, since many large enterprises already have relationships with big technology vendors, they will be more inclined to use a familiar relationship than take on the additional work of bringing in a handful of new vendors for the already daunting task of RFID enablization.

The concept of enterprise-grade RFID solutions begs the question of what will happen to the younger software players offering smaller and more focused RFID solutions. For one thing, they may still be able to capture the substantial market of smaller companies that will have neither the need nor the budget for an enterprise-grade solution like Sybase’s. For another, some of the leading software companies will simply be acquired. Whatever happens, expect that in the next year or so, after GEN 2 has firmly taken hold, the attention will shift away from the hardware layer of the RFID ecosystem and toward the software layer. Once the tags, readers, and hardware issues are sorted out, RFID’s great promise of productivity gains and process reengineering will finally begin to manifest through increasingly comprehensive software solutions.

Read the RFID Enterprise press release