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9/24/2004
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HP Bolsters RFID Offerings With Partners

The vendor is teaming with OATSystems and BearingPoint to launch new RFID systems and services.

Hewlett-Packard is teaming up with OATSystems Inc., a middleware provider, and BearingPoint Inc., a business consulting and system integration firm, to launch two radio-frequency identification platforms. The first is geared toward companies across industries implementing RFID, the second toward retailers to help them monitor and collect customer-buying patterns to better anticipate consumer demand.

RFID/IS (Industrial Strength), which was designed to fit the needs of the automotive, consumer packaged-goods, pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, high-tech, and retail customers, combines an RFID framework, systems management, and consulting and integration services into a single platform. HP has chosen OATSystems as its middleware partner. The OAT Foundation Suite offers software with four layers--RFID system of record, business-context layer, EPC number management, and RFID middleware--to run with HP's RFID infrastructure.

In an effort to reach out to the retail industry, HP has partnered with BearingPoint, which has specialized retail knowledge and will provide assessment, consulting, and systems-integration support to HP's customers. HP will provide the infrastructure, which includes industry-standard HP ProLiant servers, Unix HP Superdome servers, and HP StorageWorks technology. In addition, HP will offer customers RFID Integration Services to help them design, architect, and deploy RFID.

Frank Lanza, worldwide director of RFID at HP, says that by lowering inventory costs and improving stock conditions, HP and BearingPoint's RFID technology can help retailers improve product availability for their consumers. "The solution is going to help retailers monitor correct buying patterns so they can better anticipate customer demand," he says. "By linking RFID technology with the supply chain and merchandising, retailers will be able to gain a faster return on their investment by harnessing RFID to understand what customers want more quickly and by increasing the cycle time."

HP has been involved in RFID for more than two years, and it estimates spending upwards of $150 million on the technology during the next five years. HP formed its RFID Core Team 18 years ago and has 350 consulting and integration employees dedicated to RFID.

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