Companies Trialing Zebra Technologies' IoT Savanna Platform

Reflexis is among five partners selected by Zebra to launch trials of a new Internet of Things edge-based platform designed to make RFID and other sensor-based deployments easy to install and integrate, with low security risk.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 25, 2017

Retail workforce management solutions company Reflexis Systems is one of five companies partnering with Zebra Technologies this fall to trial Zebra's new Savanna platform integrated with its own solution. The Savanna Internet of Things (IoT)-based platform is intended to bring real-time visibility and contextual analytics to the partners' inventory- and asset-management systems.

Zebra announced its new building-block hardware, software and services platform in September 2017, and selected five partners that will pilot the technology with their own solutions. The system is expected to be made commercially available next year. The Savanna platform is intended to make it easier for users to build applications to obtain real-time data from RFID and other types of sensors, the company reports, to help users understand their inventory, asset management and customer behavior, and to act on the analytics.

In recent years, says Matt Hayes, Zebra's acting general manager for enterprise intelligent software, companies have been seeking simpler ways to access and manage data from IoT-based systems. Zebra is striving to address this need with the new platform, he adds. But before releasing the system commercially, the technology company wanted it to have some time in the hands of potential partners and users.

The five companies participating in Zebra's early-adapters program were evaluated and selected based on the technical and commercial basis of their submission, Hayes says. In addition to Reflexis, Zebra selected Baidu, Descartes Systems Group, Problem Solutions LLC and StayLinked Corp.

According to Hayes, Zebra selected those five partners based on their ability to provide the necessary level of technical and solutions support. Following the work with the initial five, Zebra plans to expand the pilot to other participants as well, to provide early access before commercial launch in 2018.

Hayes says the Savanna platform will allow systems integrators to build a variety of technologies, such as RFID, bar codes, cameras, ultrasonic or other sensor-based systems, into a single solution—and the platform is designed to keep computing on the edge, he notes. The Savanna system collects and processes sensor data before that information is forwarded to the integrator software. This, he adds, ensures that users with IoT-based technology do not use up bandwidth sending all the data to a server in the cloud, for instance.

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