BEA Makes RFID Pact With HP

The companies hope to parlay their RFID expertise and connections into supply chain engagements.
BEA Systems and HP announced a strategic partnership this week that combines their radio frequency ID (RFID) talents.

Under terms of the agreement, HP will offer BEA's WebLogic RFID products as part of its manufacturing, consulting, integration and support services that target supply-chain problems across multiple industry segments.

In addition, the agreement will provide RFID solutions geared toward retail operations and asset management, and RFID compliance and tagging solutions for suppliers.

Wai Wong, BEA executive vice president of products, said in a statement that BEA and HP's one-two RFID punch will help businesses meet service-level agreements, ensure compliance and drive a transformation towards a demand-driven supply chain.

The worldwide market for RFID systems and services will grow from about $2.7 billion this year to $12.3 billion in 2010, according to RFID research firm IDTechEx.

Up to 1.3B RFID tags will be sold this year and used to pinpoint everything from airline baggage to a case of green beans sitting in a food warehouse.

Mega-retailer Wal-Mart is perhaps the biggest retail user of RFID tagging in the U.S., launching a major pilot program a few years ago and eventually requiring hundreds of its top suppliers to jump on the RFID bandwagon.

So far, the ride has been successful, resulting in a 16 percent reduction in out-of-stock items and a reduction in excess inventory, according to a study conducted by the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas.

Wal-Mart's new Ford last week reaffirmed the company's commitment to RFID tagging stating the company would continue to work with suppliers to eventually tag all items offered in its stores.

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