Infosys Maps RFID Plan

Monday Dec 29th 2003 by Colin C. Haley
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The Indian IT consultant launches a new supply chain management service.

Infosys Technologies , an IT consulting and outsourcing firm, has a new radio frequency identification offering to help companies better manage supply chains and inventories.

The Bangalore, India, company said its RFID service will allow customers to evaluate RFID in the context of their business and develop a plan to phase-in the technology. An Infosys spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

In a statement, Infosys CEO Nandan M. Nilekani said, "enterprises across verticals face many challenges in real-time visibility and tracking of physical movement of goods, assets and personnel. Our customers can now look to us to provide the cost reduction, improved customer service and streamlined operations with the launch of our RFID solution and expertise."

In recent months, RFID has emerged as one of the most talked-about trends in technology's post-bubble era -- thanks to nudging and interest from a retail giant and the federal government.

Wal-Mart recently told its top 100 suppliers they would have to feature RFID on all cases and pallets of goods delivered to the chain by 2005. The Department of Defense is also setting deadlines for adoption of the technology.

Faced with the loss of huge accounts, suppliers are scrambling to honor the mandate. The result is a massive effort by IT firms including Sun Microsystems, IBM and Intel, along with dozens of startups to solve interference problems and other issues that could slow adoption.

Among the challenges to widespread adoption are signal interference, standards that will allow manufacturers' and retailers' systems to work together and the costs of tracking chips.

Although based in India, Infosys has operations in 30 countries. In recent months, it has made a number of moves to focus on international markets. Earlier this month, it paid about $23 million for Expert Information Services, an Australia IT consulting firm.

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