Category Archives: Anush

Talking mission-critical RFID with Impinj

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I had an opportunity recently to talk to the awesome folks at Impinj and share some thoughts around the solutions we’ve been working on – check it out at http://www.impinj.com/blog/ and drop us a note if you have any thoughts / comments or questions,

Cheers!

 

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In it to win it!

Source: iStockPhoto

A marathon runner is what comes to mind when I think about what the year has meant to us – it’s been a while since I posted an update on all the activity out here in S3Edge land and I can tell you the last 8 months have been…well a marathon!

We’ve been heads down working away at deploying mission-critical auto-ID based solutions across verticals and I can tell you that the customers we have live in deployment this year are large enterprise accounts across Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare, Energy & Financial – a couple of which are Fortune 50 accounts – using our SW in a live production environment as their primary system, and  tracking hundreds of thousands of assets across their operations.

Over the next few months, I hope to bring you more news / details about these deployments which I am extremely proud of and I think would mean a lot to the industry as a whole in terms of the benefits they are seeing. So stay tuned for more – we are as they say In it to win it and there’s lots of interesting deployments from the land of mission-critical auto-ID solutions leading the way in getting to the finish line!

Seasons Greetings & Happy Holidays from the S3Edge team!

As another great year winds down, time to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of our friends and supporters, as we look forward to a productive and successful continuum into 2012!

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Best wishes for the year ahead!

Cheers!

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RIP Charlie Walton

 

Source: VentureBeat

Sad day for the industry earlier this week, but a day of remembrance and gratitude to a man who rarely gets talked about as the inventor of RFID; Hat-tip and kudos to behind-the-scenes inventors who have created entire industries and eco-systems that have in turn created countless opportunities for others!

Here’s the link to a great piece by Dean Takahashi from Venture Beat on Charlie’s story, and loss of a technology sensei:

Charlie Walton, inventor of RFID, passes away at 89

Rest in peace Charlie Walton.

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SANDY: what customers are saying

The image below says it all, and its always nice to have end-users validate the work you do – THANK YOU Clive, and the team here looks forward to continuing to raise the bar in customer satisfaction and software innovation!

Drop us a line to discuss your asset tracking needs be it with RFID, barcodes, or sensors – we look forward to being of assistance!

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Cheers!

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Presser: S3Edge Unveils Support for RFID Applications on Google Android-based Smartphones and Tablets

PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring

Transfusion medicine RFID apps running on Google Nexus S smartphone showcased at the American Association of Blood Banks Annual Conference

PORTLAND, Ore., Nov 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Spotlight for Android, a set of apps and services deployed on Android-based smartphones and tablets, was launched by S3Edge Inc. at the recently concluded American Association of Blood Banks Annual Conference 2011 in San Diego.

“The ubiquity of the Smartphone in today’s connected world, and their potential to directly impact day-day operations in a healthcare environment was a critical factor in enabling support for Android-based apps in our Spotlight suite of applications. Customers now have the freedom to run their RFID-based asset tracking applications on multiple devices across platforms due to the significant investments we continue to make in the base Spotlight product,” said Mark Anastas, President of S3Edge Inc.

“S3Edge continues to raise the bar in the area of software innovation to address customer needs. The support for Android-based devices for our transfusion medicine RFID applications will give healthcare professionals in our field an easy, well-understand interface to quickly adopt a new set of auto-ID applications aimed at cutting costs and eliminating errors in the blood supply chain,” said Clive Hohberger, PhD, RFID Systems Architect at the Blood Center of Wisconsin, and recipient of the ICCBBA One World Award at AABB 2011 for his significant contribution to the understanding and application of international information standards in transfusion and transplantation medicine. “This new-paradigm is going to be the game-changer in the adoption of RFID based applications in Healthcare,” he added.

A Beta of Spotlight for Android is available today. Mobile RFID Applications supported for Healthcare include Create, Pack, Load, Ship, Audit, Trace, Delete, Return, Import, and Check-in; these apps can be customized for material tracking applications in discrete manufacturing, warehouse operations, and tool-tracking.

To learn more please visit www.s3edge.com and sign up for a demo.

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BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed has hit the news stands–grab your copy now!

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Fresh off the presses (quite literally!) the latest book on BizTalk Server 2010 has been released to market and available now at your favorite online bookstore. It has  been a year in the making, working with a veteran author crew (you can read Brian’s blog post here),  and hopefully we managed to hold our own in authoring the 2 RFID chapter in this book Winking smile  (on BizTalk RFID Server and BizTalk RFID Mobile).

So give the book a whirl (you can get it at Amazon by clicking on the image above) and let me know what you think – whether you are interested in building RFID applications only (which Microsoft has enabled via a stand-alone device mgmt and event processing platform on server and mobile devices), or if you’ve always been curious about the entire BizTalk story, I promise that you wont be disappointed.

Happy reading, and I will leave you with my acknowledgements from the inside cover of the book as well as an abstract from the back cover

Acknowledgments:

Though I was only responsible for the two chapters on RFID, this would not have been possible for a first-time author without a stellar support cast in the background, starting with Ram Venkatesh, my colleague at S3Edge and the primary inspiration behind nudging me down the “authoring” path. The RFID chapters would not have been possible without your selfless help and guidance. So, many thanks, my friend! A big thank-you to Clint Tennill from Xterprise, and Gijs for their time and effort to review and provide invaluable feedback. To Brian and the rest of the veteran authoring crew, thanks for the opportunity to be part of this; you guys totally rock! And finally to Mark, Andy, Neil, and the rest of the crew at Pearson, thanks for your tireless efforts in getting us to the finish line; you guys have been consummate professionals all through the process, and just great to work with.

From the Back Cover

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Unleashed is the 100% new, 100% practical developer’s guide to Microsoft’s most powerful version of BizTalk Server. Written by an expert team of Microsoft insiders and BizTalk MVPs, it reflects unsurpassed experience with all phases of BizTalk enterprise solutions development, from planning through deployment and administration.

The authors begin by introducing BizTalk Server’s architecture and key integration concepts. Next, they offer in-depth coverage of BizTalk’s foundational features, including schemas, maps, orchestrations, and pipelines. You’ll learn how to effectively utilize both standard and custom adapters; monitor integration services; leverage cloud computing via Windows Azure; implement operational BI solutions; and make the most of business rules and BizTalk’s Business Rules Engine (BRE).

The authors offer best practices and “in the trenches” tips for everything from managing deployments through implementing state-of-the-art mobile RFID solutions. No other book offers this much useful, pragmatic, and tested knowledge for successful BizTalk development.

Brian Loesgen is a Principal Architect Evangelist on Microsoft’s Azure ISV team. A six-time Microsoft MVP, he has extensive experience in building advanced enterprise, ESB, and SOA solutions. He has coauthored eight books, including SOA with .NET and Windows Azure. Charles Young, a principal consultant at Solidsoft, and Jan Eliasen, an IT architect at Logica, have each been honored repeatedly as BizTalk MVPs, and are highly respected bloggers in the BizTalk community. Scott Colestock, chief architect for Trace Ventures, specializes in using BizTalk to implement integration and service orchestration solutions. He is a member of Microsoft’s Architectural Advisory Board and a BizTalk MVP. Anush Kumar, CTO of S3Edge, served as Microsoft’s RFID business leader and was heavily involved in designing and architecting its BizTalk RFID offerings. Jon Flanders is an independent consultant, instructor for Pluralsight, BizTalk MVP, and author of RESTful .NET.

  • Apply BizTalk Server’s sophisticated, scalable message exchange model to support virtually any business requirement
  • Get your schemas right the first time, so you can avoid major problems downstream
  • Use BizTalk Mapper to create maps for transforming inbound and outbound XML messages and supporting business processes
  • Use orchestration to automate even highly-complex processes
  • Utilize adapters and WCF to integrate any application, service, or system
  • Extend your application’s reach with Windows Azure AppFabric
  • Capture key BizTalk infrastructure, services, and business metrics
  • Build powerful rules-based solutions with Microsoft’s Business Rules Framework
  • Establish an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that uses BizTalk Server as core messaging infrastructure
  • Efficiently manage, configure, and troubleshoot BizTalk through the Administration Console
  • Create RFID applications ranging from simple label printing to end-to-end business processes

Cheers!

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A ‘live’ demonstration of how an enterprise-grade tool tracking solution works–on-site!

The self-contained FME (Foreign Materials Exclusion) cube that was quite literally ‘dropped’ at the PowerGen trade-show floor gave me an opportunity to do a ‘day in the life of a Millwright worker’ video – using our system as they go about their daily tasks on a job site.

After watching this brief clip it becomes quite apparent as to how such a system quite literally  transforms a typical paper-based operation by:

  • Automatically ‘Checking-in’ and ‘Checking-out’ personnel and his tools from the job-site in (saving significant amount of man-hours from the previously manual process)
  • Providing real-time zone status to prevent the wrong tools from ending up in the wrong place, (thus preventing critical mistakes from happening at the plant itself in addition to preventing down-time by looking for a lost tool that’s unaccounted for), and
  • Providing (for the first time) automated / electronic daily, long-term reports for supervisors in real-time (via rich reports and a real-time airport-style display about on-site job related statistics)

So sit-back and enjoy this production brought to you from the iPhone of your truly from the PowerGen show-floor!

Tool-tracking at PowerGen

Cheers

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Announcing our Tool-Tracking & FME Solution for the Energy Vertical

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Come visit us at Access Solutions’ booth (#1601) at PowerGen2010 to see our latest packaged, ‘Enterpirse-Ready’ Industry Solution at work!

At the upcoming PowerGen 2010 event in Orlando from December 14-16, S3Edge will be showcasing our latest Industry Solution for Asset and Tool tracking that will revolutionize the way tools are tracked, and monitored in controlled zones for the Energy Industry (Nuclear and Fossil fuel plants); Providing, for the first time, an automated way to electronic track and control movement of sensitive items across various zones with an enterprise-ready solution that delivers for the mission-critical needs of this industry.

We are super excited to be in Orlando, in the booths of the leader in FME Services for this space, Access Solutions, and you can read more at http://fmeservices.wordpress.com/ as well.

Drop me a note if you plan to be in Orlando, or would like to know more about the solution –  more details on solution will be posted in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Cheers!

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Back by popular request: Thing to keep in mind as you deploy mission-critical Auto-ID applications

source: www.istockphoto.com

In recent conversations with industry professionals, a recurring theme that comes up is ‘How do I approach a Auto-ID based solution like any other enterprise application roll-out’? A simple enough question at first-glance, but as I prodded a bit more, it became clear that certain factors seemed to be causing apprehension in their minds – I’d like to share these insights gained for the benefit of the larger audience, and the questions behind the above question roughly translate to the following customer asks (with some paraphrasing by yours truly):

  • Any solution we deploy needs to be Auto-ID hardware agnostic i.e. Why can’t I chose the most effective form of data-capture (RFID, barcode, sensors etc.) based on my application requirements (vs. what’s supported by the vendors software), and this needs to be able to ‘scale out’ to multiple devices and device types over time.
  • The new solution must extend and ‘make better’ my existing Line-of-Business systems through Auto-ID data –  not try and replace them!
  • ‘Mission-criticalness’ is a must… if I am going to replace existing ad-hoc or manual operations with it, that means 24×7 ‘hot-hot’ availability and failover metrics similar to my application and database servers. And it needs to play well within my existing enterprise platform architecture (ala Microsoft or IBM or Orcale) vs. custom middleware or worse, custom code masquerading as a proprietary development kit on device / server.
  • Need packaged applications that address the common requirements across deployments like being able to specify a configurable asset catalog, support for asset commissioning, zone audits, check-in, check-out and movement detection etc.
  • Remote Management of devices must be through standard mechanisms and tools – can’t be a silo or require any custom software on the devices which only leads to additional manageability nightmares when something goes wrong in production
  • Mobile applications are an integral part of scanning / error-checking operations on the ground and need to work across various form factors such as hand-helds, fork-lifts and kiosks. We expect manageability support here to be standard including ‘over the air’ provisioning of device applications and support for sporadically connected / disconnected environments  with the central application server.
  • My IT team HATES the complexity associated with custom code – customization and configuration need to be accomplished with standard development tools / IDE’s, not proprietary tools

To address the above, I went back and dusted some of the earlier posts on this subject – and they still seem to hold water going by the feedback of our clients – so here there are once again for your perusal:

    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

     

I hope you find these resources useful and educative. Please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me if you have any questions, or would like to discuss how our Spotlight asset tracking platform and industry solutions  address the above and might be useful for a scenario you are planning.

Cheers!

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