SAP Makes Its ERP RFID Move

SAP used the CeBIT tradeshow on Thursday as the backdrop for its entry into the RFID software space, with what it claims is the first ERP enterprise-level RFID application.

SAP's object event repository package?slated to ship in this year's second quarter for an entry-level price of about $100K?is the first time SAP has offered RFID support beyond company segments, such as a warehouse, distribution center or a manufacturing location, said Krish Mantripragada, SAP's global head of RFID.

The goal is take the avalanche of data RFID and RFID-related systems are creating?with everything from EPC, RFID tags, barcodes and sensors?and marry them with ERP data. "This is so you don't end up with 10 different repositories for 10 different reasons," Mantripragada said.

Although the package could prove helpful in a retail setting, SAP's not focusing in retail, opting to initially push this new offering for pharmaceuticals, automotive, aerospace and defense clients. Asked why, Mantripragada said that it's due to the cost of individual products. For many retailers, knowledge of what is going on with product cases is generally sufficient, but with pharmas and car manufacturers, individual products and product parts need to be tracked.

Much of the creation of the new SAP app was based on work done by consumer goods manufacturing giant Kimberly Clark in 2005, said John Fontanella, VP of Research, AMR Research.