SAP Launches RFID Solution

Provides integration of radio frequency identification data into applications with packaged suite for supply chain management

New York — January 13, 2004 — German software company SAP this week rolled out what it touted as the first packaged radio frequency identification (RFID) solution for supply chain management (SCM), a solution that SAP said was built entirely from the ground up to help companies manage the data reads from, and writes to, RFID tags.

Drawing upon experience from customer projects with such companies as Procter & Gamble and the METRO Group, as well as six years of research and involvement in RFID standards organizations, SAP said it has developed technology that will help enterprises leverage data captured through RFID tags in their business processes by integrating enterprise resource planning (ERP) and SCM functionalities with RFID-enabled applications. Examples include packing and unpacking, shipping and receiving, and tracking and tracing across the supply chain.

The Java-based RFID solution packages SAP's new Auto-ID Infrastructure, Event Management (SAP EM), a component of mySAP Supply Chain Management (mySAP SCM) and SAP Enterprise Portal (SAP EP), a component of NetWeaver, the provider's integration and application platform. Currently available to pilot customers, the SAP RFID packaged solution is due to be more widely available to customers in mid-2004.

SAP built its RFID solution on its Web Application Server (SAP Web AS), part of the NetWeaver technology platform, providing extension and integration into SAP and non-SAP technology environments.

The new packaged solution, developed to allow management and communication of RFID data and utilization of business content to automate RFID-enabled business processes, can be integrated into existing IT environments through Auto-ID connectors for SAP R/3, version 4.6c or higher, and mySAP ERP.

"This is a solid enterprise infrastructure for RFID that will allow for the practical usage of RFID data across more processes and applications than many of the point solutions on the market," said Steve Banker, service director for supply chain management at technology consulting firm ARC Advisory Group. "As companies discover and pursue RFID-related programs [that] are oriented toward business improvements, they will need to build an RFID infrastructure that can be used across their business."