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IBM Enables Drug Authentication, E-Customs With Release of New RFID Technology

IBM WebSphere RFID Information Center Topples Major Barriers to RFID Adoption

ARMONK, NY - 15 Dec 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new technology to give clients the unprecedented ability to securely share and analyze accurate and real-time data generated by sensors like Radio Frequency ID tags, enabling significant consumer and business applications like drug authentication and e-customs for the first time.

The new technology, WebSphere RFID Information Center, is based on a recently completed EPCglobal standard called EPCIS, which provides a standard way to securely communicate the data created by sensors and RFID tags, and tie it to existing business information and trading partners.

The growing trend of item-level tagging will create exponential growth in sensor data well beyond that generated from conventional barcode technology. This creates a need for a new way to manage this explosion of data in a manner that does not overwhelm a business and its supply chain partners. In addition to managing the massive amount of data RFID creates, two other barriers to widespread RFID adoption to date have been the lack of standards and data sharing capabilities. RFID Information Center solves all of these issues, clearing the way for wider-spread RFID adoption in various industries.

The IBM WebSphere RFID Information Center has already been successfully deployed for a number of early-adopter IBM clients across several industries, including consumer packaged goods company Unilever, the e-customs project ITAIDE in Europe, and 'Big Three' pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen.

"AmerisourceBergen sees tremendous potential in the IBM WebSphere RFID Information Center, which will be a key component to meeting track and trace regulatory requirements in California," said Shay Reid, AmerisourceBergen Vice President, Integrated Solutions. "It will also become the data backbone in our pilot program that will enable AmerisourceBergen to improve its service by quickly and efficiently authenticating products and transactions through direct data exchange with pharmaceutical manufacturers."

IBM's WebSphere RFID Information Center is the first standards-based EPC Information Service (EPCIS) and high performance data repository that can manage the heightening volume of data, and also provide real time business information to support use cases that prove ROI. The system also integrates with Master Data systems to leverage product, location and supplier information to provide additional business context.

The technology is designed to help clients reliably and efficiently capture, manage, search and securely share RFID, sensor and 2D barcode events enterprise-wide, as well as with external trading partners and government agencies. The standards-based platform can help businesses more easily deploy and take advantage of RFID technology for better business decisions and improved operations.

"By enabling standards-based data sharing among trading partners, WebSphere RFID Information Center will give clients ROI that has not yet been possible," said Christian C. Clauss, Director, Sensor Information Management, IBM Software Group. "After years of testing and investing in RFID, companies can now begin to see real business benefits from the use of RFID data provided back to them by their trading partners."

RFID Information Center receives data from RFID middleware, which aggregates, filters and interprets data directly from the readers. Then RFID Information Center stores, manages and enables sharing of all or portions of the data with various business applications across the enterprise, and with trading partners. New classes of information-intensive solutions can be built on the latest generation of sensor network repositories linked to master data.

In addition to the base components of RFID Information Center, the new offering will also include a Shipment Verification capability which provides automated means to track shipments and confirm receipts. This capability is expected to help companies reduce losses and the significant labor required to resolve discrepancies when errors in the shipment/receipt process occur. WebSphere RFID Information Center will also provide the data platform to enable additional business use cases such as diversion tracking, inventory management, targeted recalls and enable regulatory compliance.

RFID Information Center allows businesses to prove return on investment in RFID, and begin to leverage the data created from the technology to link organizations and people for economic growth, improved healthcare and education, and enhanced security and safety.

For more information on IBM WebSphere RFID Information Center, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/masterdata/rfid/

Contact(s) information

Kelly Sims
IBM Media Relations
917-472-3456
Kelly.sims@us.ibm.com

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