Been a while since I posted – it’s been busy with some exciting things coming up (and will share) over the next few months including (you heard it here first :))another book deal with yet another author from the S3Edge stable – but the opportunity to share an ‘aha’ moment that I recently had was too good to pass up and hence the brief post.
In previous posts, we’ve discussed why examples of enterprise-ready commercial off the shelves (COTS) solutions for vertical markets are few and far in-between for our nascent industry – Before you start screaming in protest, I am referring to the lack of ‘total solutions’ (encompassing software + hardware systems) when compared to hardware technology (that’s been around for decades and has matured quite significantly in terms of enterprise-readiness), and how one might go about addressing the same.
To refresh your memories, here are the posts I am referring to:
- Optimizing for Success: The top 5 factors that most influence a successful deployment of RFID applications in your Enterprise
- The Top 5 habits of all successful packaged RFID applications
Now while all of the above address a bunch of areas from a perspective of process, software, and technology, a recent conversation with one of our industry partners (with deep domain expertise in how things are done in a particular vertical market via years and years of ‘doing it’), had me shaking my head in terms of how we missed articulating this simple, yet extremely critical aspect that’s been holding this industry back….Which essentially is this impedance mismatch between vertical market expertise and the technology expertise…. What do I mean by that? Well quite simply put, today you have a fractured, and often a ‘blind men and the elephant’ industry solution landscape that looks something like this:
- RFID solution vendors who offer ‘end-end’ packaged offerings based on 1 or 2 deployments in the vertical market
- Vertical market leaders with deep domain expertise, claiming RFID capabilities that are often no more than a check-box integration of the technology
- <and then you have the hardware ecosystem who continue to blaze their own, often mysterious strategies, but we won’t go there today ;)>
Now, if you are a logical person (like almost all of us are) you would think this is easy to fix – get the 2 parties to work with each other and leveage their skill-sets!! But it’s sadly not that simple – and having been in the trenches myself, I can completely empathize as to why this is hard – quite often you see conflicting, and mysterious agendas from the different parties at work when different parties come together and try and march towards something each one considers it to be his or her own master-piece, or simply put their corner of the workd – And control / power are age old human behaviors that the RFID industry should not and cannot really change 😉
But that does not mean you don’t try – At S3Edge, our core belief has always been that technology works only if it’s an unobtrusive enabler i.e. a tool that can be used to make a business process better, faster, and more efficient vs. replace or worse re-engineer the way things need to be done – and that’s the statement I leave you with today as our “business model” (a term that imo is an oxymoron in this day and age of social computing – and a separate topic for discussion by itself); A model and core belief that has worked (as we saw with the Toll Global Logistics case-study – where they are the 3PL expert and we are the humble RFID technology experts), and is continuing to work as espoused by the title statement of this blog (by one of our industry partners).
And we’ll continue to put more effort into this as this is the only way we know to add real value to end-users at the end of the day.
Stay tuned for more details on the partner and industry solution we are launching – more on that next week!