– how being part of a global leader allows us to help more customers and larger enterprises
Tony Kington writes:
Over the summer we made the major announcement that we’d been acquired by HID Global and are now part of its IDT business area. I wanted to discuss the reasons for this and what it means for our customers, prospects, and the wider market
Why HID is the right home for Omni-ID
Nearly seventeen years ago we set out to solve the problem of getting a passive UHF RFID tag to work on metal, because UHF is highly susceptible to the surrounding environment. Today, Omni-ID is known as the pioneer of on-metal RFID tags and produces a range of speciality passive and active RFID devices used for industrial asset tracking and condition monitoring in the manufacturing, logistics, energy & utilities, IT/office asset management and healthcare industries.
HID Global is the market leader in embeddable RFID equipment and asset tags operating at all standard frequencies. This embedded technology allows manufacturers all over the world to seamlessly integrate HID Global RFID transponders into their own products.
You may not realise that you’re an HID Global end user, but when you swiped yourself into your office building, or paid for your groceries with a contactless payment card, it’s likely you used an HID Global product. Billions of devices contain HID technology, including microchips embedded in modern car keys, and medical device tags. Low-frequency tags have traditionally been used for monitoring the whereabouts of animals, with the market roughly split 50/50 into livestock and domestic pets. Whenever you pat your ‘microchipped’ pet dog on the head, you could be just centimetres from an HID tag.
Embedded RFID also assists farmers in measuring plant growth in different soil conditions and allows scientists to monitor the migration of animals, using tried, tested and reliable technology.
A High Growth Market
Earlier this month world leaders gathered in Glasgow for COP26 to discuss how to reduce human impact on the planet. RFID and IOT devices have a part to play here too since they allow organisations to increase efficiency, reduce waste and help meet their sustainability targets by enabling the tracking and effective return of reusable packaging and transport containers. For example, embedded RFID tags are already being used to track the distribution and return of consumer containers such as gas canisters.
Although RFID technology has been in use for almost a century, we still view this as a high growth market serving a broad range of industrial and consumer applications. According to the Verified Market Research report October 2021, the global market value of RFID, including tags, software & services and readers is worth $9.22 billion in 2021 and is predicted to grow to $19.47 billion by 2028. Meanwhile, MarketsandMarkets reports that the global RFID market is worth $10.7 billion 2021 growing to $17.4 billion by 2026
The RFID market has historically been very fragmented, with a variety of small vendors supplying elements of solutions. While they contribute numerous innovative solutions, smaller vendors may not have the required global distribution, quality controls, or financial stability required by the largest organizations. Therefore, even if a smaller vendor offers exactly what an enterprise needs, that industry giant may not have the confidence to invest in and rely upon their product.
Creating an RFID powerhouse
Writing as the founder of Omni-ID, when considering the best route to growth, the choice facing many starts-ups is whether to approach a venture capitalist and take more money or be acquired by a much larger company. We know that we have created products that bring real value to our customers, with many more in development. However, we also knew that we would not be able to get these products out to the market quickly enough, or at scale, if we were relying on venture capital money. We wanted to be able to compete with the market leaders, so we needed to find the right home for our products that would support the goals of the company and serve the needs of our customers.
Similarly, HID Global’s mission is to help customers to adopt RFID products that fundamentally improve their businesses and, through this acquisition, HID IDT is on track to become a global leader in industrial and asset tracking. By acquiring Omni-ID, HID Global can bring ground-breaking products to our combined customer base. As an example, we make on-metal tags that survive in the harshest environments, and which are used extensively in the mining, exploration, and oil & gas industries. We cracked the puzzle of using RFID on metal containers and within a decade we became the leading supplier of passive, low-profile UHF RFID solutions. Most recently, we have developed an innovative tag to measure the volume and temperature of liquids stored in glass vials, which offers an exciting way to ensure the authenticity and safety of vaccines and medicines as they are transported around the world and stored in clinical environments. The breadth and synergies between HID and Omni-ID’s technologies will allow us to deliver similar break throughs, on time and at scale, to meet the largest organizations’ requirements.
Positive Customer Feedback
These are just a few examples to explain why becoming part of the HID organization allows us to help our joint customers to be more successful. I’m not alone in this view. Attending the recent RFID and Wireless IoT Tomorrow show was Omni-ID’s first opportunity to speak face to face with customers following the announcement. We were overwhelmed by how positive they were about the acquisition: giving their congratulations, shaking my hand and telling me “Well done. Great choice”. I’ve also received personal messages in follow up to the announcement, which indicate that the move has been universally well-received.
From walking the floor at that show, my main takeaway was that HID Global and Omni-ID cover the breadth of 95% of the applications that other hardware exhibitors were offering. Fundamentally, RFID allows organizations to understand an asset’s identity, location and condition. With HID’s Bluzone™ hardware fleet management and Omni-IDs hardware integrating Wirepas and Quuppa and our developing relationship with Semtech, which provides semi-conductors for the datacenter, IoT and mobile markets, I would argue that no other company offers the breadth of product and vision of our combined portfolio.
For any leading enterprise seeking a large, globally distributed, stable RFID technology partner that can provide software, services and patented hardware and has innovative, agile R+D at its heart, HID IDT offers the reassurance of a single partner that can deliver.
An Exciting Market
As discussed in my earlier post, RFID applications have been in development for almost a century. However, we’re on a cusp of a really exciting period with several start-ups that are reaching maturity in a market that is ripe for consolidation. The market needs a reliable, large player with the capability to operate in the industrial space, which is set for growth. There is a desire to add value to the market, by offering the security and the dependability that only a large multinational can bring. We know we’ve found the right home at HID IDT.
Verified Market Research, ‘Global RFID market size and forecast to 2025,’ October 2021 https://www.verifiedmarketresearch.com/product/global-rfid-market-size-and-forecast-to-2025/#:~:text=RFID%20Market%20was%20valued%20at%20USD%209.22%20Billion,a%20CAGR%20of%209.79%25%20from%202021%20to%202028.
MarketsandMarkets, ‘RFID market,’ https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/rfid-market-446.html