FSTC sets standard for RFID tagging of bank data centre IT assets

Source: FSTC

The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) today announced it has published RFID Basic Functional and Numbering Requirements for IT Data Center Assets.

Over the last six months, FSTC members and RFID organizations have collaborated to produce functional requirements targeted at IT Asset vendors for pre-tagging data center equipment in a standard method prior to shipments to data centers. The numbering requirements are based on the EPCglobal Electronic Product Code (EPC) and the GS1 Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI).

The RFID Basic Functional Requirements and Number Requirements, documented by the FSTC project team are now available on the FSTC web site. This FSTC project had a goal of assisting all data centers, not just within the financial industry, with creating a process that will reduce the time required to inventory IT Assets. The implementation of RFID technology allows the entire inventory process to be automated from end-to-end (ordering, receiving, installation, maintenance, and removal and destruction), thus increasing accuracy, reducing labor and providing real-time location capability.

"I am pleased with the agility and speed the FSTC exhibited developing this standard," said Mike Russo, SVP of Automated Identification Technologies at Wells Fargo Bank. "RFID use in our data centers will allow us to significantly improve our asset management and tracking capabilities. Now our suppliers will be able to pre-tag these assets based on the Basic Functional Requirements allowing us to read the RFID tag when the asset arrives at the bank and touching off updates to our internal systems. RFID industry professionals, FSTC members and staff aggressively developed this functional requirement from a concept into a guideline which can help any organization that has a data center."

Bill Conroy, Senior Vice President and Infrastructure Optimization Executive at Bank of America said: "Establishing a standard method of RFID tagging IT Assets enables any data center to take advantage of improved inventory and business processes. We, at Bank of America, know that the savings are significant. Server, router, storage and other hardware suppliers that comply with the FSTC standard will be rewarded with a larger share of our orders. We will use the EDI capability to request RFID tag number pre-notification in advance shipping notification (ASN). This will automate data entry and dramatically reduce process time and effort associated with new IT Assets."

FSTC and its members who created these functional requirements met in Chicago on December 11, 2008, with the IT Asset suppliers. All agreed that a standard method in tagging the asset for any data center will be of long term value to both the manufacturers and purchasing organizations. Participating vendors readily saw the advantages of providing pre-tagged assets and submitting automated pre-notification as a way of providing greater value to their customers. The Financial Institutions encouraged the suppliers to go beyond the basic functional requirements.

The Financial Services Technology Consortium will be happy to help any supplier understand the functional requirement. There is a link to the RFID project on the front page of FSTC's web site where documents can be found and downloaded. The full report is available to the project participants or can be purchased from the FSTC. The standard is currently in the final comment process and is expected to be ratified and frozen by the end of December 2008.

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