Partnering for RFID Deployments

Envision, Protean ally to design, implement radio frequency identification solutions

Envision, Protean ally to design, implement radio frequency identification solutions

Creve Coeur, MO — March 29, 2004 — Envision, an Internet application development and software integration consultancy, and Protean, a supply chain technology strategy consultancy, have formed a partnership to design and implement radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions for their clients.

The two providers said that RFID has become a "transformational" new technology as market giants Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense now require vendors to adopt and deploy the new tracking technology on inbound product. Coupled with the intellectual leadership of the MIT AutoID Center, now EPC Global Inc. the deployment momentum is building, the companies asserted.

The potential benefits of RFID include improvements in inventory management and cost savings to retailers and suppliers alike. RFID can extend the accuracy of barcode scanning with the ability to read multiple items simultaneously, even when the tags are hidden. For suppliers, RFID offers a different set of opportunities, but Envision and Protean argue that RFID deployments will be expensive, process-altering and subject to "spectacular failures" for those that get it wrong or that follow too far behind the leaders.

The two providers said they have the combined ability to help clients deploy this new technology quickly and safely. Envision said it has the depth of application integration experience, a diversity of technology skills and experienced systems engineers who have worked together as a team for up to 20 years. Protean said it has the knowledge of transportation and logistics processes and 12-year-experience with RFID.

"Protean allows us to serve existing clients with solutions that they need soon," said Steve Lowy, chairman of St. Louis-based Envision. "We have clients who must act quickly, but the technology is so new to them and business models are evolving so rapidly that they don't know how to approach the problem."

Lowy added that Protean's knowledge in supply chain management in general and RFID specifically, and the company's track record with new technologies, gave Envision the confidence to approach its clients to offer services and solutions around RFID.

John Cooney, president and CEO of Catawissa, Mo.-based Protean, said that his company was looking for a partner that had an enterprise application integration track record and that was platform and vendor agnostic. "We have found that with Envision," he concluded.