Microsoft announced the formation of a new Microsoft Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Council focused on RFID technology. The group will look at RFID requirements and how to take advantage of today's technology to make it easier for retailers and manufacturers to track and ship merchandise. The company also highlighted a growing ecosystem of partners that are building innovative RFID solutions on the Microsoft platform to enhance control of key business processes, improve inventory visibility and provide better customer service for manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
RFID combines the benefits of the silicon chip and radio frequencies to provide increased levels of product and asset visibility across the supply chain. Microsoft is providing a platform on which partners can create RFID solutions to enable their customers to reduce human error in data collection, reduce inventories and improve product availability, while at the same time respecting the privacy expectations and concerns around the use of RFID technology. The company plans to hold the first Microsoft RFID Council meeting in April and already has several partners, including Accenture, GlobeRanger Corp., HighJump Software, Intermec Technologies Corp., Manhattan Associates Inc. and Provia Software Inc., signed up to participate. As a part of the Microsoft RFID Council, Microsoft and partners plan to address industry needs for RFID solutions that are low-cost, simple to deploy and built on a robust scalable technology stack.
"With RFID in the early stages of adoption, we are continuing to expand and evolve our partner-driven strategy based on the needs of the industry," said Javed Sikander, program manager for RFID strategy at Microsoft. "There is a wide spectrum of partners building RFID solutions on the Microsoft platform today; the formation of the Microsoft RFID Council is part of our commitment to continue to work closely with our customers and partners to ensure they receive the greatest value and opportunity when building their RFID solutions with Microsoft technologies."
Microsoft also announced it has joined EPCglobal, an organization that is leading the development of industry-driven standards for the Electronic Product Code (EPC) Network to support the use of RFID.
Independent software vendors (ISVs) and technology companies announcing their support for the Microsoft platform and highlighting the solutions they are delivering today include Accenture, GlobeRanger, HighJump Software, Intermec Technologies Corp., Manhattan Associates Inc., METRO Group., and Provia Software Inc.