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How to Map an Adoption Curve


By Jack Reader

Sudhakar RamanSituation

The Company, the leader in enterprise networking, saw that RFID could drive huge growth in the amount of data captured, stored, and of course transmitted, by the world’s largest organizations.  Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an automatic identification (Auto-ID) method that employs an integrated circuit called an RFID tag.  Tags can be attached to an object for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves.   Unlike barcodes, RFID tags can be remotely read from several meters away.

In the early 2000’s Wal-Mart issued a mandate for RFID use to increase the speed and accuracy with which inventory could be tracked, thereby providing savings in retail operations and supply chain management costs.  Other Auto-ID technologies were slowed in adoption primarily by the lack of standards.  So in 2003 Wal-Mart and the MIT originators of barcode standards formed an organization called EPCglobal to draft RFID standards.   Wal-Mart then told it’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) suppliers that they had to begin using RFID tags or risk losing share of business on the shelves of the world’s largest retailer.

The frenzy of market growth anticipation created by Wal-Mart was moderated only by the cost of the RFID tags – everyone engaged in predicting the moment tag cost would hit 10 cents, somehow determined to be the magic number that would explode the RFID opportunity. IT hardware, software and service suppliers started to plan huge investments in RFID support infrastructure. 
An EPC RFID tag used for Wal-Mart