Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Shared Vision - EPC for Transforming Business

In the past, having the most innovative solutions internally was enough to drive business processes forward while improving the bottom line. Today, collaboration and cooperation among industry leaders is becoming a critical component for advancing many leading-edge technology solutions like RFID and the Electronic Product Code (EPC) initiatives. Why?

Take today - a group of 20 senior global retail and consumer products leaders worked with industry bodies on a shared analysis for the collaborative path toward an EPC-enabled supply chain. Top-level conclusions of report concluded that these efforts:

  • Require process transformation to truly deliver benefits
  • Will vary, driven by category-specific dynamics
  • Depend on the information - free, standards-based, secure and in context
  • Need cost declines and new ways to create supply chain value.

The joint assessment explains the need to implement business process changes and improvements to unlock the value of RFID and EPC. The free report is available in full from the GCI website.

Intellareturn Take: The collaborative report illustrates what Intellareturn has experienced for almost 8 years of RFID-based innovation. When you look at the history and adoption of barcode technology, RFID implementation has significantly close parallels regarding costs, benefits, education, awareness and overall confidence in the importance. To fully embrace the possibilities of these efforts, manufaturers, retailers, technology organizations and actual consumers must collaborate and cooperate to capture EPC's full potential. When this happens, Intellareturn will have yet another channel to improve the experiences and interaction between organizations and their customers.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Symbol and Intermec Reach Agreement

Like any technology on the brink of adoption, RFID has many proponents and antagonists. Regardless, for all of the issues to be addressed and resolved for moving forward, patent disputes between the industry players does nothing but push the path off course.

When Intermec and Symbol Technologies opened up this battle over RFID to a potential legal venue, the industry was preparing to take another step back. Today, the two companies have settled one issue and plan to resolve four additional lawsuits.

According to the joint press statement, Intermec will withdraw the suit over RFID intellectual property that it filed against Symbol (Matrics before the acquisition)in June 2004. This agreement to access and share RFID-based intellectual property (IP) has also become a major force behind an RFID IP constortium that Symbol is spearheading -- but Intermec has yet to join. While not all details of the settlement have been revealed, one major element is that both companies will have access to each other's RFID-related IP through licensing agreements pursuant to Intermec's Rapid Start Licensing Program, which Symbol has joined.

Intellareturn Take: We believe that these disputes waste valuable time and resources on trivial matters, rather than pushing the technology and industry forward for mass adoption. Look at barcodes - it took years for them to be incorporated by manufacturers and now they are on each and every product. While the rapid adoption of RFID hasn't come to fruition yet, Intellareturn believes that RFID is a technology that will enhance the value chain for all involved -- manufacturers, distributors, marketers, retailers and - most importantly - consumers.