BEA Acquires RFID Vendor

The deal is expected to extend BEA's infrastructure software to manage data captured through devices that read RFID tags.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

October 11, 2005

2 Min Read

BEA Systems Inc. on Tuesday said it has agreed to acquire ConnecTerra, a privately held software maker in the field of electronic tracking of goods in supply chains.

BEA, based in San Jose, Calif., said the acquisition is expected to extend its infrastructure software to manage data captured through devices that read radio-frequency identification tags found on goods flowing through a supply chain. Financial details of the purchase were not disclosed.

ConnecTerra, based in Cambridge, Mass., and founded in 2001, makes RFID infrastructure software that's used by more than two dozen packaged goods, retail and transportation companies and system integrators. The company is also of a member of EPCglobal, an industry group setting RFID standards.

The addition of ConnecTerra technology would enable BEA products, which include its flagship WebLogic application server, to manage RFID data from its initial capture from tagged goods to its translation into business data, Alfred Chuang, chairman and chief executive of BEA said.

The acquisition reflects a trend toward partnerships and consolidation among small, specialized RFID companies and large application integrators, ABI Research analyst Erik Michielsen said. IBM last month announced a similar partnership with OATSystems.

"(There's a) growing reliance on partnerships between smaller, more specialized RFID companies with great expertise but limited resources, and larger enterprise-level application integrators that have giant customers and plenty of skill at structuring their IT systems," Michielsen said in a research note.

ConnecTerra's software is designed to provide core communications, security, policy and management services for connecting devices that read RFID tags into a wide range of applications, BEA officials said. The addition of BEA technology would enable the creation of new business processes around RFID data.

"As part of BEA, (ConnecTerra) is moving from an RFID-centric pilot-driven world to a world of integrated, standards-based RFID infrastructure management," Michielsen said.

Under BEA, ConnecTerra is expected to have access to more capital and more accounts, as BEA's customers move beyond testing of RFID technologies to broader deployments in the supply chain, the analyst said.

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