BEA Systems has agreed to acquire ConnecTerra, a software developer focused on RFID technology.
The deal is expected to broaden BEA's infrastructure software to integrate RFID for customers that want to integrate data-capture capabilities across their business units, applications, and processes.
Founded in 2001, ConnecTerra is considered a pioneering provider of RFID infrastructure software. The company has more than 25 major customers in the retail, packaged goods, and transportation sectors.
The company also has played a lead role in shaping RFID standards, which have been vital for advancing the technology.
Mixing It Together
"Most of the early RFID adopters are already using BEA and ConnecTerra technologies, and this gives us the industry's first end-to-end, standards-based infrastructure for RFID -- from the capture of raw RFID events to the translation of those events into relevant business data," said Alfred Chuang, BEA chief executive officer.
ConnecTerra's software is designed to provide the core communications, security, policy, and device-management services that allow data from RFID readers to be integrated into different applications.
BEA plans to augment ConnecTerra's software with infrastructure components that make the offering more complete and let customers create new RFID-enabled business processes.
On the Rise
Although RFID, as a technology, has been adopted somewhat slowly by the retail and shipping sectors, Wal-Mart's insistence on the technology for suppliers has been a major driving force for the industry. Deals like the recent BEA buy should give RFID more traction, said James McQuivey, a professor at Boston University who has studied RFID issues.
"Because of larger partners like Wal-Mart and BEA, RFID has come farther than it would have if smaller suppliers were leading the adoption," he said.
RFID has lagged because of a lack of automated data systems as well as hesitation associated with implementing such major systems. But McQuivey believes that as partnerships proliferate and the technology drops in price, RFID finally will garner more widespread use, especially with smaller companies.
"Standards have evolved, making these smaller RFID firms more attractive for acquisition," he said. "That's going to affect the market."