RFID integration possibilities
?"> The current editions of Navision and Axapta also contain some hooks for radio-frequency identification (RFID) integration. On the other hand, Prescients SCM software is not RFID-enabled, and Prescient currently has no plans in the RFID direction, Szczygiel said. Dan English, general manager at Microsoft Business Solutions, U.S., was quoted in a press release issued by Prescient as saying that the deal between Prescient and Vis.align "illustrates the strength of an ISV and reseller relationship, which Microsoft values.""Theyre a reseller of the Axapta product, but they also distribute to other resellers. So we can win more deals that way," the Prescient CFO said. Bell credited Vis.aligns relationship with fellow Microsoft reseller OneNeck for being a major catalyst behind the new agreement with Prescient. OneNeck "got [Prescient and Vis.align] in the door at Tropicana," for example, he said. Vis.align also has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft that is useful in helping other companies to "navigate Microsoft," Bell said. Szczygiel told eWEEK.com that Prescient has also been "talking" directly with Microsoft, although he wasnt specific. "Were whats known as a Microsoft ISV. So were always in discussions with Microsoft," he said. Delayed shipments in Microsofts ERP lineup may have actually opened up some big doors for SCM partners such as Prescient and Vis.align. But meanwhile, some industry observers have questioned whether the opportunities for integrators in the related area of RFID will be all that substantial. Right now, many of Microsofts midrange ERP customers are trying to hold off on deploying RFID, anyway, said Erik Michielsen, an analyst at ABI Research. But Michielsen said he expects to see more RFID deployments among this category of users later this year. RFID Generation 2 products are scheduled to be out on the market by then. More importantly, customers will have been able to spend more time thinking and planning about RFID ROI (return on investment) issues, the analyst told eWEEK.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news and analysis of enterprise supply chains.
Szczygiel said during the interview with eWEEK.com that Vis.align is "very focused on a vertical perspective" in the CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry.