IBM strengthens its leadership position for RFID with new European RFID Testing & Solution Center

Real life prototyping and testing center set up to help companies drive benefits from RFID

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Paris, France - 01 Jul 2004: - IBM announces the opening of an European RFID Testing & Solution Center in La Gaude, France, confirming its position as a global leader for radio frequency identification (RFID) implementations.

The La Gaude RFID Testing & Solution Center, which complements existing IBM development centers in Gaithersburg, US and Tokyo, Japan, will allow European based companies to test RFID solutions in real customer environments, ensuring they can reap the benefits of the technology quickly and with low risk.

The center combines the business and technical capability of many of the emerging business areas that IBM spearheads, as well as leveraging core technology and services across IBM. This way IBM offers customers a true end-to-end RFID solution, including the middleware needed to integrate the technology to back-end systems.

Services offered at the RFID Testing & Solution Center include the identification, evaluation and integration of:

After the recent drive of RFID from retail and consumer goods manufacturers, adoption of RFID continues in many other industries such as pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics, travel & transport due to its ability to drive down operating costs and make processes more transparent. The opening of the La Gaude RFID Test & Solution Center means IBM now offers unrivalled worldwide support for RFID with real life environments, allowing customers to make the best decisions to go live with the technology efficiently.

Guido Bartels, Vice President Pervasive / Wireless e-business for Europe Middle-East & Africa at IBM, said: "RFID deployments can be complex if not carried out properly and IBM's end to end solution offers advice and best practice to ensure that potential pitfalls are avoided."

Bartels continues: "By utilizing the RFID Testing and Solution Centre in La Gaude, companies will see real examples and demonstrations to guide their decisions. In addition, to ensure different scenarios can be tested at the centre, IBM has built prototypes for a number of industries, including pharmaceuticals, retail, logistics, manufacturing, electronics, government and transportation. When the customer has decided on the best way to use RFID, IBM will work with the customer to deploy the technology on location. "

IBM has collaborated with a number of third party technology companies whose technology it tests, and determines best partner for the customer requirement, before integrating it into its end-to-end architecture. IBM has relationships with over 25 RFID technology partners, including market leaders such as Philips, Intermec, Intel, Matrics and Symbol in all key areas covering chips, tags, readers, software and storage solutions."

Analyst firm AMR Research confirmed IBM's position as the global leader for RFID implementations in a white paper released in May 2004.

AMR analysts Dana Stiffler and Kara Romanov wrote: "Where IBM pulls away from the pack is in its technology expertise, complexity of delivery, and its referenceability. Its ability to link RFID projects to cutting-edge Demand Driven Supply Chain initiatives also sets it apart."