Nolan said he thinks the emerging RFID retail reference architecture helps put Sun in excellent standing versus its competitors. "Were way ahead of IBM, HP and Microsoft [on RFID], because we already have the products," he told eWEEK.com. Read more here about the deal between Sun and SeeBeyond, which also focuses on SOA (service-oriented architecture).Hewlett-Packard recently announced plans to team both with BearingPoint, an SI, and RFID middleware maker OATSystems on RFID implementations for retail. But HP will go it alone in RFID markets such as manufacturing, automotive, and oil and gas. For its part, Microsoft has rolled out a pilot with Danish snack foods maker KiMS, as well as the start of a full-fledged deployment with Jack Links Beef Jerky, another snack food maker. Microsoft is partnering with SAMsys Technologies and three other IT companies in the Jack Links project. Read more here about Microsofts pilot with Jack Links. The snack-food maker wants better visibility into manufacturing processes and distribution. Nolan told eWEEK.com that Sun and SeeBeyond have already done preliminary integration and interoperability testing for their forthcoming RFID retail solution. But further integration work still lies ahead, he said. Sun has been working with CPG (consumer packaged goods) maker Gillette for more than two years now, in Wal-Mart field tests and in other trials, Vijay Sirathay, Suns group marketing manager for RFID, said in an earlier interview with eWEEK.com. SeeBeyond has about 20 retail customers for various sorts of software and services implementations, including Target, The Gap, Trader Joes and Sainsburys, according to information on SeeBeyonds Web site. Financial, manufacturing, government and health verticals are also targeted. SeeBeyond works with about 30 service partners, too, including giants such as Accenture, Capgemini, EDS, Deloitte Consulting and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Check out eWEEK.coms Supply Chain Management & Logistics Center for the latest news and analysis of enterprise supply chains.
IBM has been particularly active over recent months in an RFID implementation at the Metro department-store chain based in Germany.