When the Wal-Mart initiative pushed Middleware into the spotlight for suppliers to tag their inventory and incoming transportation into their distribution centers RFID was difficult, expensive, and not so friendly to implement. Now, several years later a wider adoption, increased sales for tags and cloud computing have driven RFID costs down considerably.
When the RFID craze of large retailers were telling their suppliers to adopt this technology at their own cost or don’t deal with us companies had not much choice. The expected amount for RFID tags had not lived upto expectations and prices for tags were still high, thus limiting adoption. Limited expertise at the time and fewer certified RFID companies that could provide the entire hardware. And software and consulting needed to comply with the existing standards pushed down by Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Metro etc.
Major problems of the time was how the new RFID data would be integrated into your existing systems. How is the data generated, managed, administered, stored and could it actually provide real-time inventory results? At the time middleware was need to create, manage, administer and integrate this newly created data into your existing systems. The hassle of setting up a physical RFID network and setup was the other problem. Today that is not the case. Many things have changed since, tag prices have drastically decreased. Companies are more RFID capable including their expertise and a major game changer is cloud computing.
Cloud computing can offer organizations and easier point of entry into the RFID compliance game. How so you ask? When I setting up networks and software for RFID networks for retailers, suppliers and manufacturers etc. The middleware layer required then also someone who understood the information generated from the RFID system. Could interpret it, use it in other systems towards an entire data strategy for and organization. And make it available to the existing systems in a company to used for real-time inventory visibility. At that time expertise in the RFID were limit and not many companies understood the implications of the newly create middleware and the administration that would required going forward.