Networked software eases RFID implementation, Cisco claims

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Computer software Application software

New networked software will help companies introduce radio
frequency identification (RFID) technologies into their supply
chains, helping increase the visibility of product information
andresulting in lower operating costs, Cisco Systems said today.

Cisco RFID Solution is a secure method of using available network capacity and simplifing RFID infrastructure deployment, the company stated. The software was unveiled in Atlanta, at the EPCGlobal US meeting, which ends tomorrow. Food makers and other industry sectors are at a three meeting ending tomorrow in Atlanta, attempting tofurther iron out wrinkles in a global system to allow all parts of the supply chain to have syncronised, accurate, up-to-date information about products en route from factory to retailer. Combined with an intelligent network, the Electronic Product Code (EPC) will fundamentally improve the way products move through the supply chain creating greater efficiencies, reduced loss andbetter product availability, factors that will add substantial benefits to the bottom line of every business, according to RFID experts at the meeting. Cisco's RFID Solution includes support for RFID-related products from ConnecTerra, Intermec Technologies Corp., PanGo Networks and ThingMagic. Metro Group, the third-largest retailer in the world with more than 2,400 locations in 30 different countries, is a current users of the system, along with Gillette. "At Metro, we believe that RFID is going to transform the retail industry," said Zygmunt Mierdorf, the company's chief information officer. "We are also very pleased to seethat by driving RFID into our organization, Metro is creating a much better experience for our customers by virtually eliminating the 'out of stock' problem which is one of the most critical issues inour business." Cisco software is an extension of Cisco Application Oriented Network (AON) software. Cisco has embedded RFID middleware functions into the network and onto Cisco data centre switches and branchoffice routers. This leads to breakthroughs in scalability, deployment cost, and simplicity, the company claims. The RFID-enabled Cisco AON modules can be installed throughout an enterprise's network, at the edge for RFID event capture and filtering and in the data centre for authentication, additionalfiltering, aggregation and application protocol bridging. In addition, the AON modules can perform tasks such as outbound encryption, digital signature and content-based routing when sharing data with external business partners. "By enabling localized event responses with Cisco AON for RFID, customers can now optimize business application performance as well as maximize network value as they deploy current andfuture RFID applications across their enterprises," Cisco stated. "Our customers told us that scaling from a pilot programme to a production scale deployment was their primary concern followed by improving business processes and productivity,"stated Mohsen Moazami, vice president of the Retail-Consumer Products-Distribution at Cisco and member of the board of governors for EPCglobal. The Cisco AON for RFID Solution has a US list price of $16,250 and is scheduled to ship in October 2005 in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The system will become available in othermarkets in 2006. The Cisco 2700 Wireless Location Appliance has a US list price of $14,995 and has been shipping worldwide since June 2005. External links to companies or organisations mentioned in this story: Cisco

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