Thursday, 13 October 2005 10:00

BEA acquires RFID infrastructure provider

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Enterprise infrastructure software vendor, BEA Systems, has acquired ConnecTerra, a privately-held player in RFID middleware technology based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The acquisition is designed to extend the range of the BEA infrastructure portfolio to easily integrate Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and other device data as "liquid assets" available across a company's business units, applications and processes. The acquisition can help customers address the growing amount of RFID data captured across supply chains.

Founded in 2001, ConnecTerra is a pioneering provider of RFID infrastructure software and plays a leadership role in the groups that are shaping RFID standards, including EPCglobal where ConnecTerra has been a member since 2002, holding leadership roles on the architecture and security committees and contributing to an upcoming "application level events" standard.

"ConnecTerra is an exciting acquisition for BEA and our customers," said Alfred Chuang, chairman and chief executive officer, BEA Systems, Inc.  "Most of the early RFID adopters are already using BEA and ConnecTerra technologies, and this gives us the industry's first end-to-end standards-based infrastructure for RFID - from the capture of raw RFID events to the translation of those events into relevant business data."

ConnecTerra's RFID infrastructure software is designed to provide the core communications, security, policy and device management services which can be used to integrate devices into a wide range of applications.  This includes software at the "edge" for filtering and device management at the local store, manufacturing plant or distribution center level; enterprise level software for centralised RFID data management; and compliance software to address RFID retail and defence mandates.  BEA plans to augment ConnecTerra's RFID software with its infrastructure components to help provide a complete solution for customers looking to build new RFID enabled business processes.  ConnecTerra and BEA have already worked together over the past year with key customers to create market-specific solution bundles for pallet and case tracking applications in retail as well as mobile asset tracking in transportation.

"RFID can enable a fundamental step change in supply chain visibility and many companies are connecting RFID hardware into existing IT assets," said Wai Wong, executive vice president of products, BEA Systems, Inc.  "RFID is also generating a flood of new data at the edge.  To leverage this enhanced visibility, enterprises need to establish the right architecture to filter and translate RFID data into business relevant events, and then to use these events to create and automate new RFID-enabled business processes.  The acquisition of ConnecTerra helps boost our portfolio to help those customers leverage their enterprise assets in a unified way, from the edge all the way to the data center."

BEA and ConnecTerra are continuing to work closely with key RFID business partners, including major systems integrators, software vendors and hardware platform providers.

"Intel has invested heavily in RFID through our R&D investments internally, through our ongoing work in Auto-ID labs with EPCglobal and through solution development with innovative end users and global partners," said Tom Gibbs, Director of Solution Strategy and Architecture with Intel.  "Customers are seeing ROI demonstrated through the early pilots that turn into real value as solutions are being deployed with key partners like ConnecTerra and BEA.  I look forward to our increased efforts with this relationship to help customers get up and running with less effort."

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