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RFID Network Based On Web Services Model Set To Launch In 2006

Electronic Product Code Information Services Will Enable Businesses To Collaborate And Share Electronic Data

EPCglobal Inc. is looking for big changes to radio frequency identification technology adoption in 2006, and expects to launch its RFID network that will enable businesses to collaborate and share data electronically early next year. Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) will provide a central system of record for all enterprise electronic product code-related RFID data by aggregating events from multiple technology platforms.

"The platform is loosely built on the Web Services model," said Mike Meranda(pictured), president at EPCglobal U.S., the non-profit organization spearheading RFID adoption. "The network is a collection of standards that companies will implement and access for Internet-based services."

Businesses can choose from a variety of processes and connect electronically to share data between suppliers and customers. EPCIS will act as the hosted gateway to servers at suppliers and customers to merge information from warehouse management systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms that contains data about products shipped with RFID labels.

It's estimated that businesses budgeted RFID projects at about $500,000 in 2005, with 16 percent growth next year and 20 percent in 2007, according to AMR Research Inc. The research firm said RFID represents 9.1 percent of the overall IT budget for 2005. Manufacturers, which include consumer products companies, have the highest budgets for RFID through 2007: $628,000 in 2005, $826,000 in 2006, and $1 million in 2007.

Meranda also sees the International Organization for Standardization, which is scheduled to vote on formally adopting the UHF EPCglobal Gen 2 protocol, approving the standards in March 2006. If the protocol passes, it will become ISO 18000-6C. Gen 2 refers to the Generation-2 RFID standard from EPCglobal.

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