SAIT’s Solution Addresses Product Safety and Quality
Recent stories about tainted products have raised product safety and quality as global issues. SAIT, an Oracle partner based in Italy, is winning accolades for its anticounterfeiting and traceability solution, called mode2, which offers a way for businesses to ensure product quality and safety in the global marketplace. The solution was recognized with a 2008 Oracle PartnerNetwork Innovation Award for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
mode2 uses Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Application Server 10g to trace food products through warehouse monitoring, improve logistics efficiency, and integrate with accounting systems and anticounterfeiting capabilities. The solution allows both the consumer and the producer to get logistics information about a product via radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to ensure that products labeled with country-of-origin information, for example, do in fact come from that particular country. RFID-tagged products—each with an identifier chip that’s virtually impossible to duplicate—can be monitored as they move through the production and distribution chain.
According to Mario Beltrami, mode2 RFID division manager at SAIT, the solution was originally created for a local vintner. “Our customer, Azienda Agricola Bellavista, wanted to fulfill legal obligations for consumer protection, which are quite stringent in Italy,” says Beltrami. “They also wanted to maintain the quality of their products and follow bottles throughout the entire supply chain.”
SAIT also offers its solution as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) option, which makes it particularly appealing for small wineries. Many growing customers do not have the budget or staff to implement the complete mode2 solution, but they can still dramatically improve security and quality using SAIT’s solution in a SaaS environment. With this solution, growing companies can access SAIT’s software via the internet, giving them secure environments, configured and customized according to actual needs. The cost of the SaaS solution is proportional to the number of transactions processed by a customer and connected to a company’s production volume. This is a boon for growing companies because they can easily scale IT spending to parallel production increases and business growth.
Confor Improves Animal Well-Being, Safety for the Poultry Industry
Globalization has transformed many aspects of our economic activity, including the production and distribution of food—introducing new opportunities and risks. In 2007 the U.S. International Trade Commission found that food import shipments to the U.S. had doubled since 2000 to an estimated 9.1 million. And in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration sampled only 20,662 of the more than 8.9 million shipments that passed through U.S. ports, raising food safety concerns.
Oracle Certified Partner Confor, based in Italy, is meeting the critical need for food safety in the poultry industry with Televet, an automated system that remotely monitors the conditions of animals within an aviary farm. This innovative solution was the first-prize winner of the 2008 Oracle PartnerNetwork Innovation Award for EMEA. In addition, the company was recognized with the EMEA Innovation Excellence Award at Oracle OpenWorld in September 2008.
Televet automatically measures a series of parameters characteristic of chicken farms, including feed consumption, animal weight, and humidity. The system then analyzes the detected values, interprets data, and recommends actions. Findings can help improve sanitary conditions, increase animal well-being, decrease animal mortality, improve work optimization, and ensure the competitiveness of the animal husbandry product.
According to Riccardo Riccardi, Confor product manager, the system uses various hardware components, including electronic telecommunications equipment, combined with a high-level Oracle-based software system for device monitoring and management. The Oracle system was created for the gathering, management, and elaboration of data through complex calculated algorithms. After data is gathered and analyzed, the system can then evaluate potential corrective actions should values fall outside predefined thresholds. Corrective actions can range from activating an alarm notifying onsite operators to remotely activating a ventilation system when temperatures increase.
Televet has been installed for experimentation at Azienda Agricola Sassi Alfredo e figli, one of the largest poultry farming and processing plants in Italy. Riccardi predicts that a final product will be available in early 2009. Confor plans to offer both a traditional software license and a SaaS option for Televet. “Medium-to-large organizations equipped with a considerable data center are generally interested in licensing the turnkey solution,” Riccardi says, “while the small-to-medium-sized customers prefer the outsourcing solution.”
While Televet was originally created to meet European food safety and animal well-being standards, it can be adapted to other regions. “The system is extremely flexible and is positioned as an instrument to support animal well-being,” Riccardi says. “It has the objective of improving the quality of life of the animal during the production cycle, minimizing stress, illness, and mortality. In this sense, it optimizes the production cycle earlier during the agricultural food chain—not later.”
Paolo Cinieri, innovation development and deployment director for Oracle EMEA, notes that the Confor solution may have been created for poultry, but it’s applicable to all livestock. “It is the first solution able to automatically and remotely monitor many parameters and alert or directly react in case of need,” says Cinieri. “Everything is achieved using the full Oracle technology stack.”
Oracle and Satyam Forge Partnership for Future Integrations
An April 2008 codevelopment agreement between Oracle and Satyam Computer Services, a global consulting and IT services provider and an Oracle Certified Advantage Partner, focuses on building Oracle Application Integration Architecture process integration packs for Oracle’s Agile enterprise product lifecycle management (PLM) applications. Tyler Prince, Oracle group vice president, North America Applications Alliances and Channels, says, “Oracle continues to stress collaboration with partners because it allows us to bring the most-robust solutions to our joint customers. Partners bring unique value from their extensive customer and industry experience that can be leveraged in delivering world-class solutions.”
Satyam is working with Oracle’s application development teams to develop Agile Product Lifecycle Management Integration Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite for Design to Release, an enterprise PLM integration solution between Agile product lifecycle management applications and Oracle E-Business Suite solutions. According to G.V. Rao, head Oracle alliance and business development director for Satyam, “Customers have always wanted a seamless integration between PLM and enterprise resource planning [ERP] applications, but in the past there was no one that had both the pieces to accomplish this. This changed with the acquisition of Agile by Oracle.”
Devesh Sharma, Oracle director of Oracle Application Integration Architecture product and partner strategy, says most Oracle customers use best-of-breed products for their business processes. Agile PLM applications and Oracle E-Business Suite are best-of-breed offerings for PLM and ERP, respectively. Sharma notes that Oracle Application Integration Architecture allows Oracle to make it easier to buy and sell these solutions. “Integration allows us to do this,” says Sharma. “The solutions we are building for [Oracle Application Integration Architecture] require industry expertise. We recognize that partners have substantial value and hands-on experience.”
Satyam also sees many benefits from the joint agreement. Satyam was a premier partner with Agile before the Oracle acquisition, and it has more than 6,000 consultants contributing to the Oracle ecosystem and more than 1,000 with PLM expertise. According to Rao, “We’ve always wanted to partner with Oracle on the product development side. With this agreement, we’re bringing value to our customer base, as well as the knowledge gained on the integration framework beyond the standard product dimension.”
“It’s all about speed to market,” says Christine Rutherford, Oracle partner manager, North America Alliances and Channels. “We are focusing on the speed at which we are integrating acquired products. Collaborative partnerships enable the best practices of all.”
Sharma agrees that time to market is a critical issue. “Oracle and Satyam are both investing in the development of the product-design-to-release partner interface process between Agile and Oracle E-Business Suite,” he says. “The goal is to go to market quickly and capitalize on the investment. There’s lots of momentum with the Oracle Application Integration Architecture integration packs—a lot of customers are waiting for them.”
Along with time-to-market payoffs, collaborative product development offers other benefits to Oracle. “The agreements enable Oracle to quickly get into subvertical markets with very specific solutions,” says Rutherford. “Our ability to specialize increases when we collaborate with partners.” She suggests that while Oracle on its own can’t address localization issues in Tanzania, for example, Oracle partners with the right experience can help determine the best solutions.
Rao sees the importance of experience in international markets. “Satyam can offer market development advantages because we offer critical scale and relationship maturity on the sales side in terms of global reach,” he says. “We successfully bagged and delivered an Oracle Applications implementation with a global template for a world body—from design, implementation, product management, and change management—involving harmonizing business processes across 140 countries. Maturity, scalability, and capability—this is what Satyam brings to the table.”
Rutherford believes that Satyam serves as an example of what Oracle wants to achieve with all of its collaborative partnerships. “We have a high trust relationship with Satyam that is being developed globally: a collaboration between partner, customer, and consulting. They are leading the charge in transportation and geographic areas such as the Middle East. Satyam’s Oracle strategy will present them as a leader in the market.”