Integration is everything
March 12, 2004
CIO Magazine Australia runs a long feature on RFID in the enterprise, and one of the examples they highlight again visalizes that RFID in itself is nothing - RFID integrated with the enterprises' software is golden:
Two years ago, 7-Eleven piloted a VIP (Virtual Instant Payment) card at the 7-Eleven store inside the company’s corporate headquarters in Dallas and at a store in Plano, Texas. The VIP card was equipped with an RFID chip and functioned like a debit or credit card. By waving her VIP card near an RFID reader by the cash register, a customer could pay for purchases without having to stand in line or fumble through her purse or swipe her debit card through a reader (at just the right speed). This was the company’s first foray into RFID, and it helped CIO Morrow understand what system changes he needed to make in order to integrate this new application with the company’s back-end systems.
One of Morrow’s biggest challenges was getting information about sales conducted with the VIP card into the company’s primary store system, its Retail Information System, which provides the in-store tools for point of sale, scanning, ordering, merchandising, receiving and various other management reporting functions. “We couldn’t have a stand-alone transaction network and then not clear that against our product sales,” says Morrow. [...]
“The integration work was laborious,” Morrow recalls. “[But] the actual hardware pieces — once we got them tuned to read at the distance we wanted, which was two to three inches — were pretty straightforward to deploy.”
Posted by andersja