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BT and Deloitte in partnership to speed RFID adoption

Deloitte and BT have announced a collaboration aimed at easing the path to successful adoption of RFID technology for global customers in the food, beverage and wider consumer product sectors.

They say the tie-up will “reduce project risks, cut adoption costs and help clients drive substantial business benefits in handling efficiencies and enhanced traceability throughout the supply chain”.

Previously, the companies maintain, large companies looking to implement RFID have needed to engage a consultancy and a “niche integrator”, leading to confusion and “a proliferation of proprietary technology”. However, with complementary skills, Deloitte and BT claim they will be able to offer “more affordable, scalable and reliable RFID solutions than any other implementation partners” based on EPGglobal standards.

Users of the new service will be offered an RFID “discovery programme” – typically a short, fixed price project to determine return on investment for implementing RFID, evaluation of alternative technology solutions, development of a technology “roadmap” and an implementation plan. The collaboration will also focus on helping manufacturers comply with the RFID mandates of leading grocery retailers such as Wal-Mart, Tesco and Metro in a way that offers a positive business case and delivers value to stakeholders in the supply chain.

Lawrence Hutter, Deloitte’s European head of consumer business, adds: “This collaboration sends a strong signal to our customer base and the marketplace. BT has over 100 years of RF engineering experience, a track record in deploying large-scale infrastructure for corporates, and has invested in building the Auto-ID platform – a shared infrastructure specifically designed to manage RFID data incorporating middleware and Savant technology. BT’s deep knowledge also allows them to recommend the right tagging, reader and middleware solutions for each customer.”

“The joint BT / Deloitte initiative will be especially attractive from an ROI perspective as the offer includes financing solutions that fund the implementation project; all the user pays is a monthly rental,” enthuses Ross Hall, ceo of BT Auto-ID Services, BT’s specially formed, RFID-dedicated business group. “This will be especially interesting to companies struggling to find the real business case based on more traditional project approaches or facing conflicts on investment priorities.”