Sun Offers Solutions to Reduce Cost, Complexity of RFID Implementations

9/29/2004 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), announced the next phase of its support for the growing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) market through the availability of several new solutions, including: the Sun(TM) RFID offering for iForce(SM) Partners, the Sun RFID retail compliance program, and an RFID warehouse management solution that combines products and services from Sun, SIS Technologies and SSA Global.

Sun will be showcasing its RFID initiatives at the EPCglobal Conference at booth number 212. In addition, as the RFID integrator and key solution provider for Gillette, Sun will be participating in several sessions, along with Gillette, VeriSign and Wal-Mart, to demonstrate how a missing, misrouted, counterfeit or diverted case of Gillette Venus razors can be identified and re-associated with its order.

Sun provides customers with a complete RFID system including: hardware, software and services, which is delivered in conjunction with its best-of-class partners. Through the creation of the Sun RFID offering for iForce Partners, Sun is providing the industry's first program created specifically to foster the development of networked RFID solutions.

The Sun iForce Partner Program is designed to help Sun partners drive innovation, speed time-to-market, and to reduce risk through an open relationship model, which ultimately benefits Sun customers. The Sun RFID offering was created as part of the iForce Partner Program to enable companies to develop their own products around RFID using components designed to drive knowledge transfer, technical understanding, solution development, and demand creation. Independent software vendors (ISVs), independent hardware vendors (IHVs) and system integration (SIs) companies can utilize the Sun RFID offering to help them build and execute more effective solutions around their customer engagement strategies.

"Sun has already gained a leadership role in the RFID space through our innovative RFID Test Center, our efforts with EPCglobal and our work with partners and customers. We see partners as a critical component to building end-to-end RFID solutions that address real customer business problems. By providing greater access to our RFID programs and technologies, we are making it easy for companies to participate with Sun on RFID initiatives. Our first RFID Test Center in Dallas, Texas, supports both partners and customers in getting early access to expertise, technology, and a full test environment to verify solution readiness for actual deployment," said Stephen Borcich, vice president, market and industry development at Sun Microsystems.

A key component of the Sun RFID offering is the Sun Java(TM) System RFID Software Toolkit. The Sun RFID Toolkit simplifies the creation of RFID device adapters, which enable RFID devices, such as readers, to communicate with the Sun Java System RFID Software. It leverages the NetBeans(TM) Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and has the potential to reduce development time for RFID adapters by more than 50 percent. Companies can use the Sun RFID Toolkit to integrate their RFID readers and other devices with the Sun Java System RFID Software or to build custom device adapters for RFID deployments.

The Sun RFID offering for iForce partners will provide participants with access to the latest news, documents, software downloads and toolkits to assist in their development and marketing needs around the Java System RFID Software. In addition to providing technical resources and marketing information, the Sun RFID offering will enable companies to engage with Sun on customer pilots and deployments using the Sun RFID Test Centers. Additional information on the Sun RFID offering for iForce Partners can be found at:

As part of its RFID partner activities, Sun has been working with SIS Technologies, a premier provider of infrastructure, technical support, services, and technology solutions and SSA Global, a leading provider of extended enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, to deliver an RFID warehouse management solution. This targeted solution helps manufacturers and distributors reduce costs and improve efficiency by using RFID technology to automate expensive manual processes such as inventory tracking and management.

The primary component of this joint solution is SSA RFID, which enables all SSA Global products with RFID technology, including their warehouse management solution. SSA RFID is powered by Sun Java System RFID Software, and deployed through infrastructure integration services from SIS Technologies. This integrated solution improves customer's ability to share up-to-date information about stock and goods in transit, and comply with new regulations mandated by large commercial and government departments. The RFID warehouse management solution will be demonstrated by the three companies in booth #103 at SSA Global Forum in Philadelphia, PA on September 27 and 28.

"DC Logistics is a logistics management company that operates and manages rail, truck and cross docking facilities in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area. We needed to implement various technologies that would enable our customers in their quest to comply with RFID requirements from Wal-Mart and other companies. We set out to create the first operational third party facility in the country and the team from Sun, SSA Global, and SIS Technologies came together rapidly to RFID-enable the most widely accepted third party logistics warehouse management solution, Exceed 4000. This will allow us to increase our material handling productivity and to more effectively manage and track the movement of materials," said Douglas Chaney, president of DC Logistics.

Sun partners also play a key role in the success of the Sun RFID Test Center, which includes the latest warehouse logistics and RFID equipment from Sun along with RFID vendors and manufacturing companies. Based on the exceptional capabilities of the Sun RFID Test Center in Dallas, Texas, Sun is also announcing a unique RFID retail compliance program. The RFID retail compliance program is designed to address the specific requirements of retail suppliers, from the basics needed for the initial phases of RFID analysis and testing, to later stage requirements that suppliers will face once they start shipping to Wal-Mart or other retailers.

With this program Sun is adding a whole new dimension of compliance testing plus reconciliation testing to allow companies to go beyond tagging and shipping to focus on validation and repeatability. Some examples of this analysis include: ensuring that RFID-tagged cases or SKUs will be read accurately on a high speed conveyor and establishing a repeatable test database for later use when tags, readers, or RFID systems change. The Sun RFID Test Center offers the most complete RFID testing environment in the country, with scientific and repeatable testing that will support reconciliation of read rates between supplier and retailer, as well as change management as RFID system requirements and standards change.

About Sun Java System RFID Software
The Sun Java System RFID Software, currently available on the Solaris(TM) Operating System and scheduled for November 2004 on Linux, streamlines the management of RFID hardware including tags and readers. The Java System RFID Software represents a key component of the Sun RFID system strategy, which also includes global client services, global RFID test centers, Sun hardware and storage, and key solution partners for RFID. For more information on Sun Java RFID Software go to

About EPCglobal Inc
EPCglobal Inc, a joint venture of EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC) is a not-for-profit organization entrusted by industry to establish and support the EPCglobal Network(TM) as the global standard for real-time, automatic identification of information in the supply chain of any company, anywhere in the world.

The EPCglobal Network combines Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, existing communications network infrastructure, and the Electronic Product Code (a number for uniquely identifying an item) to enable accurate, cost-efficient visibility of information in the supply chain. The end result helps organizations be more efficient, flexible, and responsive to customer needs.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Solaris, iForce, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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