Cisco today announced an Intelligent Foundation for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to help enterprises introduce RF technologies into the supply chain to increase visibility into product information and optimize business flow for lower operating costs. The most agile, scalable and highly secure RFID solution portfolio offered in the industry, the Cisco RFID Solution delivers integrated RFID capabilities and the support that enterprises need to optimize available network capacity and simplify RFID infrastructure deployment.
“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 and better product availability…factors that will add substantial benefits to the bottom line of every business,” said Dick Cantwell, vice president of Gillette’s EPC team. “For Gillette, our EPC-enabled network has allowed us to begin to re-engineer our supply chain bringing with it improved order accuracy and processing, streamlined inventory management systems, increased shipment accuracy and better retail availability in store.”
Key elements of the Cisco RFID Solution include:
- Cisco Application Oriented Network (AON) for RFID
- Cisco Services for RFID
- Cisco Wireless Location Service
- Supporting RFID-related products from partners 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, continues to deliver leading edge, futuristic retail experiences for its customers based on Cisco technology.
“At Metro, we believe that RFID is going to transform the retail industry,” said Zygmunt Mierdorf, CIO and member of the management board, METRO Group. “We are also very pleased to see that 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 in our business.”
Breakthrough Levels of Intelligence for Applications: Cisco AON for RFID
Central to Cisco RFID Solutions is the extension of Cisco AON to now include embedded RFID middleware functions into the network – onto Cisco data center switches and branch office routers – leading to breakthroughs in scalability, deployment cost, and simplicity. 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 center for data authentication, additional filtering and 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 and future RFID applications across their enterprises.
“Our customers told us that scaling from a pilot program to a production scale deployment was their primary concern followed by improving business processes and productivity,” said Mohsen Moazami, vice president of the Retail-Consumer Products-Distribution at Cisco and member of the Board of Governors for EPCglobal. “The promise of networked RFID and distributed intelligence has led us to design the Cisco RFID Solution to give customers what they need to maintain a single, integrated and intelligent RFID network built on open standards that allows interoperability with multi-vendor devices.”
Services Expertise for Application Convergence on Emerging Technologies
Cisco offers services for RFID, which combine network and application expertise toward a proven lifecycle approach for customers to build and deploy RFID solutions over an intelligent network architecture. Services include an RFID Network Readiness Assessment, Pilot Service Offering, and Production Implementation Support that together create an architectural methodology for RFID deployments that does not impact the current enterprise network or applications.
Tested RFID Technologies from Partners
The Cisco RFID Solution is built on open standards that are designed to allow interoperability with multi-vendor devices. The Cisco RFID Solution is also supported by a global ecosystem of Cisco Technology Developer Program partners with products and services that have been tested by an independent testing facility and found to interoperate with Cisco networking technology. For the AON for RFID Solution, Cisco has partnered with ConnecTerra, a leading provider of enterprise infrastructure software for RFID and device computing, and a Cisco Technology Developer Program partner.
Additional industry leaders providing supporting products include RFID readers and reader management from Cisco Technology Developer Program partners Intermec and ThingMagic and active RFID tags and intuitive, Wi-Fi-enabled real-time tracking applications from PanGo Networks®. These approved solutions provide customers with a total suite of proven, tested, completely interoperable RFID technologies, making their transition to RFID transparent.
Driving Awareness and Visibility of Information for Increased Productivity: Cisco Wireless Location Service The Cisco Wireless Location Service is based on the Cisco 2700 Wireless Location Appliance, which uses RF fingerprinting to simultaneously track up to 1,500 Wi-Fi-enabled active RFID tags from within the IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (LAN) infrastructure. This easy-to-deploy solution brings the power of a cost-effective, high resolution location solution with high-value asset tracking, IT management and location based security to customers.
To accelerate Cisco Wireless Location Service customer success, Cisco Wireless LAN Location Solution Planning and Design Services are available to help customers assess the physical environment to determine the requirements for meeting location solution coverage needs and to integrate the solution into an existing wireless LAN for secure data or voice access.
For more information on the Cisco RFID Solution, please visit www.cisco.com/go/rfid.
Pricing and Availability
The Cisco AON for RFID Solution has a U.S. list price of $16,250 and is scheduled to ship in October 2005 in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa and in the second half of FY06 in Asia, Japan and emerging markets. Cisco services for RFID are available now worldwide. Cisco Wireless LAN Location Solution Planning and Design Services are currently available in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Cisco 2700 Wireless Location Appliance has a U.S. list price of $14,995 and has been shipping worldwide since June 2005.