Moving Towards Implementation Time
for RFID."> RFID technology has been around for at least 15 years, noted Sergio Giacoletto, Oracles executive vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, who has been doing much of the companys RFID business development work. "The price point has been coming down and that makes it more interesting" to a larger number of enterprises." Most enterprises are in the early stages of deploying RFID technology unless they have an urgent need to deploy it as soon as possible, he noted. "I expect that over the next 12 to 18 months we will see and lot of RFID pilot projects getting started, Giacoletto said. That should provide future growth for Oracle Warehouse Management as those pilots go into production, he said.Chorley said he expected that RFID technology could spread fairly rapidly through the supply-chain network because it provides compelling warehouse efficiency improvements. "In the supply chain the adoption rate could be pretty quickperhaps 2 or three years," he said. Deployment may be somewhat slower among retailers because the cost benefit of RFID depends on the unit cost of the products on their shelves. "I think that 2004 will be the year of increasing activity" in RFID implementation because customers are aware of the technology and it "comes up in just about every conversation" that Oracle is having with its applications customers, Chorley said. Sandia National Laboratories, the nuclear weapons and military technology research center operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, plans to evaluate Oracles RFID warehouse technology as a way to track assets at its sprawling campus near Albuquerque, N.M., said Gary Concannon, a Business Technology Department manager. "We want to take a look at it to see if it fits our needs from a security standpoint," Concannon said. So a key requirement will be to see how well the RFID Warehouse Management system works with encryption, he said. Currently the lab uses bar codes to track equipment and assets as they are used and moved within the lab campus, he said. The Energy Department requires that the movements of many "sensitive devices" within the campus be carefully monitored and controlled, he said.
Oracles message for customers who are interested in RFID technology is "were are there. We are ready for it and we hope that it takes off," said Charles Phillips, newly appointed Oracle co-president.