BT and consultancy firm Deloitte have bundled their radio frequency identification (RFID) products and management consultancy to provide businesses with a combined supply chain product.
As part of the deal, the telecom operator's RFID division, BT Auto-ID Services, will combine its systems integration, RFID tags and readers and supply chain middleware with Deloitte's consultancy, which includes business return on investment (ROI) scenarios and change management.
Consumer goods firms and companies looking to implement food traceability programmes are being targeted.
For a fixed price, firms can carry out projects to determine what ROI can be gained from RFID, an evaluation of alternative technologies and a technology road map and implementation plan.
This will help manufacturers comply with RFID mandates from retailers such as Tesco, Wal-Mart and German retail giant Metro, and to develop IT projects that bring value to all of the supply chain, Ross Hall, chief executive of BT Auto-ID Services, told vnunet.com.
"RFID will be crucial for firms that are moving goods at high volume or if they have a complex supply chain," said Hall.
For a monthly rental fee companies will have access to BT's Auto-ID infrastructure, which manages RFID data by incorporating middleware and Savant technology. Projects will be based on EPC global standards.
Elsa Lion, analyst at Ovum, said that a packaged RFID solution could prove tempting for medium-sized manufacturers lacking in-house expertise.
"At this stage it is helpful to have a packaged offering as most IT departments are not in the position to deal with RFID - not everyone can afford its own centre of excellence," she said.
But Lion questioned how the partnership would fit with BT Auto-ID Services' relationships with BT Syntegra and other partners.
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