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Claudia Imhoff

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This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

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About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Microsoft is getting into the package tracking and delivery business. Yes, the mighty software company has partnered with hardware vendors to create its own version of the RFID (Radio Frequency Identifier). Today they are offering it to post offices throughout the world but who knows where they will go tomorrow...

The technology allows a postal service, the package sender and the receiver to view precisely where a package is at any time. Currently most of the big package senders, Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, have services similar to this.

Microsoft's technology goes further though in terms of its ability to personalize package delivery. Their RFID chip has the ability to send out notifications to the receiver indicating when the package will arrive. It can even send out alerts to senders via MSN Messenger or your mobile phone that the package has been signed for at its destination. The chip can hold much more information than a bar code that is used today by other carriers.

Microsoft has combined its software with hardware from partners like Texas Instruments to come up with a RFID tag that is about the size of a playing card. The card has a sticker on one side to hold it onto the package and contains information about the package's contents, the sender, receiver, destination, etc. This information helps not only to track the package but can also be used to make the mailing process more efficient by telling other electronic devices -- like sorting machines -- where the package should be sent.

I can see a future where the RFID not only directs its own shipment but could even relay back to the postal service if its machines were not performing correctly. "Yo dude, your sorting machine just ate my packaging..."


Posted August 25, 2005 10:20 AM
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