Over the last 3 months I have been putting the building blocks in place to ready ourselves to take our RFID platform to market here in Aus. It's been a fascinating experience so far, and will continue to evolve considerably. The global strategy is being driven by a great colleague of mine in Redmond called Anush - and he's coming to Australia in August!!
For those that don't know, we are releasing BizTalk 2006 R2 shortly, and this release has significant new investments around RFID capabilities. We made a public annoncment of this back in June 2006 last year at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/jun06/06-06EtEBusinessProcessPR.mspx Essentially......
New BizTalk RFID Functionality Delivers Advanced RFID Device and Data Management Along With Unprecedented Partner Support
The R2 release of BizTalk Server will integrate BizTalk RFID, a new set of technologies that will reduce the complexity associated with the management of intelligent RFID device hardware by connecting real-time RFID events to relevant supply-chain processes and back-end business applications.
“RFID is getting increasing traction as a critical enabling technology for supply-chain visibility and security and asset management. RFID allows companies and government organizations to respond to key business events in real time and transform or optimize their processes based on enhanced visibility to activities in the physical world,” said Peter Regen, vice president of Global Visible Commerce at Unisys. “With BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Unisys’ Global Visible Commerce solutions, organizations will be able to make better decisions by knowing exactly what goods and assets are where, and do so with a low-cost, scalable solution for managing data, devices and integration.”
BizTalk RFID is a robust set of technologies with open APIs and tools to cost-effectively build vertical solutions and configure intelligent RFID-driven processes. It includes the following:
• Device abstraction and management capabilities to help customers manage and monitor devices in a uniform manner. This “plug and play” architecture allows customers to leverage the investments in standard or nonstandard devices by providing a uniform way of managing their device infrastructure.
• An event processes engine that enables customers to create business rules and manage the choreography of event pipelines for RFID events
• Tight integration with Microsoft Visual Studio® and open APIs that allows developers to quickly integrate RFID events with existing business applications, or create their own custom solutions
• Support for industry standards and an extensible architecture with advanced deployment and monitoring tools that IT professionals can use to meet service-level commitments and reduce long-term costs
Pricing and licensing details for BizTalk Server 2006 R2 have not been announced, as Microsoft is gathering customer and partner feedback before finalizing them.
There is a new Microsoft.com site dedicated to RFID at: http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/technologies/rfid/default.mspx
Keep ahead of the game......!