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The Visible Value Blog

Welcome to a place where you can connect and learn.

When you think Zebra, you may think of printers, but we're so much more than that. A leader in developing solutions that feature barcode, RFID and RTLS technologies, Zebra converts the physical into the digital to give assets, people and transactions a virtual voice. When you have more visibility, you can drive more value.

In this blog, we will:

  • Break down the basics of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how our connected world is making a big impact on how we work and play
  • Cover all the latest trends in visibility technology, like barcoding, RFID and RTLS, across many industries
  • Give you a closer look at the latest news and solutions from Zebra

If you're looking for something specific on the blog, you can narrow your experience by region, vertical or subject and by subscribing, you can be notified when we share new content.

So join us and be a part of the conversation!

 

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Complimentary Webcast: IoT Platform – A New Category of Enterprise Software

Posted by Zebra Global June 12, 2015 at 8:05 AM

IoTWebcast
IoT Platform – A new category of Enterprise software
—What to look out for and how to choose?


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Topics: Supply Chain, RFID, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Government, Location Solutions, Sports, Internet of Things, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA, T&L, Field Mobility

Zebra is Expanding the Boundaries of Card Printing at ISC West

Posted by Zebra Global April 14, 2015 at 7:04 AM

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Zebra will participate in ISC West, the largest security industry trade show in the U.S. this week, from April 15-17 at Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. What can you expect from Zebra?

Zebra will demonstrate how our technology can help meet today's increasing need for service bureaus and governments to quickly set up and issue secure, reliable forms of identification, while improving the efficiency and speed of large print jobs.

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Topics: Security, Barcodes, Government, Printers, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA

How Government Organizations Can Benefit from the Internet of Things

Posted by Zebra Global March 12, 2015 at 8:30 AM

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The fourth in a series of blogs taking a closer look at Zebra's 2014 global study, commissioned by Forrester Consulting, on IoT implementation in the enterprise. The series will culminate in a Twitter chat discussing the Internet of Things.

Government agencies and organizations around the globe rely on intricate and advanced technologies to keep their operations moving effectively. Governments, like businesses, must have proper visibility into their processes to be sure all parts of their operations run smoothly. It is crucial that these groups utilize technologies to make everyday activities more accurate and efficient.

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Topics: Government, Internet of Things, Visible Value Chain, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA

The Internet of Things (IoT) to the Rescue: 3 Challenges in Government and How the IoT Addresses Them

Posted by Zebra Global December 15, 2014 at 8:39 AM

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What do the military, the Department of Motor Vehicles and a local sheriff’s office have in common? Not only do they all serve a critical function, but they’re also plagued with some of the same challenges due to budget cuts and an ever-changing regulatory environment. For these public sector entities, success hinges on the ability to keep track of—and intelligently manage—all of their people and assets.

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Topics: Government, Internet of Things, Visible Value Chain, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA

Three Things to Know about the Link-OS™ Environment

Posted by Leo Lowy October 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM

We've spent a lot of time together over the last year exploring the Link-OS environment, what it makes possible and how it’s changing what a printer can do. This week, Zebra announced the release of new Link-OS functionality that helps make Zebra devices even smarter and more flexible. It’s an exciting next step in this journey.

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Topics: Retail, Manufacturing, Government, Link-OS Environment

Make life easier with the Link-OS™ environment

Posted by Zebra EMEA July 10, 2013 at 3:31 AM

Demand is growing for devices that are mobile, intelligent and connected to the cloud. This evolving need calls for new technologies and solutions. In response, Zebra has created the Link-OS environment, an open platform that pairs smart Zebra™ devices with powerful software apps.

Zebra’s Link-OS printers are significantly easier to manage and integrate into global operations because the Link-OS platform makes device deployment, administration and troubleshooting simpler and quicker.

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Topics: RFID, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Government, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA

Zebra Bullish on Active and Passive RFID: An Interview with RFID Journal

Posted by Tim Dreyer August 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Posted By Mark Roberti 

On Monday, Aug. 15, Zebra Technologies celebrated the 20th anniversary of its initial public offering by ringing the opening bell of the NASDAQ stock exchange. Afterward, Mike Terzich, Zebra's senior VP for global sales and marketing, sat down with me for an interview about the company's RFID strategy. 

Zebra made several acquisitions in the RFID market a few years ago, including the purchase of Multispectral Solutions, WhereNet (see Zebra Buys WhereNet), Proveo and Navis (see Zebra Buys Navis, Proveo), though Zebra subsequently sold Navis toCargotec Corp. (see RFID News Roundup: Zebra Divests Navis and Parts of WhereNet). Terzich spoke about the core RFID printer business, as well as how these acquisitions fit in with the overall company strategy. Below are excerpts from the interview. 

Roberti: How is the RFID business doing? 
Terzich: Our RFID business has multiple dimensions, because we have both passive and active RFID solutions. RFID is a small piece of our overall business, but it's growing and there is empirical evidence that some applications are taking root. The industry has overcome the technical hurdles, and companies are smarter now about how they want to deploy RFID systems. We are seeing more closed-loop applications that drive business benefits. I would say we are seeing steady progression in business, and interest in both the active and passive side. 

Roberti: Apparel is one area that is seeing a lot of interest in RFID systems. How does Zebra play in that market? 
Terzich: Small producers could use our tabletop printers to print labels and tag garments, but where we see the real opportunity is in the store. Sometimes a garment made in Asia arrives without a tag, or a tag is pulled off or falls off after the garment is put on the sales floor. We have stationary and mobile devices that can print RFID labels for retagging applications. We see a real opportunity with items with complex SKUs, because tag costs have come down to the point where retagging an item costs less than 10 cents per tag. It makes sense for retailers. 

Roberti: Where are you seeing growth in the RFID business? 
Terzich: On the active side, we're seeing interest in personnel-safety applications on oil rigs and in mines. In these applications, people wear an active RFID tag, so you can do a quick scan of who is accounted for during an emergency and quickly locate those who have not made it out of a facility. Active is also picking up in automotive, where you have high-value goods moving through the production process. You can put a reusable tag on transmissions, engine blocks and other big components and see exactly where they are in real time in the product process. 

The economic environment is also driving interest in RFID. Retailers understand that sales aren't growing rapidly, and they need to retain customers. RFID enables them to have the product on the shelf when customers come in, and you get efficiencies by taking inventory rapidly with RFID. 

Ports are another opportunity. Our port system in the United States is very antiquated. The amount of goods moving through the marine terminals is constrained. Queue times are lengthening, and that affects companies that have moved to just-in-time inventory. And the ability to know what's in those containers is somewhat limited, so security needs are fueling interest in RFID. 

Roberti: In 2004 and 2006, Zebra purchased some 200 RFID patents from BTG for $10 million.[See Zebra Set to Expand Its Footprint in RFID Space.] Did any specific products or product features come out of that deal? 
Terzich: I don't know if any specific products were tied to those patents, though our next-generation passive RFID solutions have some interesting capabilities. We looked at that patent portfolio as leverage to utilize as we extended further into the RFID industry. That portfolio gave us the ability to cross-license with other companies that have patents we might want to employ. 

Roberti: In 2007, Zebra purchased Multispectral Solutions, Navis, Proveo and WhereNet. Why did you eventually decide to divest Navis? 
Terzich: Navis provides the ERP software for marine terminals. We had a vision that we would take this application to other industries. What we found is that it was not well constructed to do that. It does well in the space it's in, but it represented a risk to try to adapt the Navis platform for other industries. The divestiture didn't deter us from our main goal, which was to build the ability to manage more complex supply chains. 

What we are trying to do strategically is give voice to data. There is a progression. Years ago, in the bar-coding space, you wanted to know "what is it?" It's a box. The bar code answers the question of what it is. With RFID, you start the migration from "what is it?" to "where is it?" to "what is it doing?" We don't provide the complete solution, but we enable the solution to deliver the data. We are a transporter of useful of information. 

Roberti: What is the strategy for growing your company's active-RFID asset-tracking division—Zebra Enterprise Solutions? 
Terzich: The name ZES is going away, and the solutions will be part of the company's complete offering. But in the active space, we are focused on three areas-automotive/industrial, processes industries, such as oil and gas, and government. Our goal is to go deeper into those industries and to work with our existing customers on new applications. 

Roberti: How important is RFID to the company's future? 
Terzich: Very important. The one thing we learned is our portfolio needs to have a variety of technologies. The driver is the portfolio. Bar code will remain core to our business, but depending on the asset you want to track, you will likely want to use active or passive RFID to manage the assets. 
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Topics: RFID, Retail, RTLS, Government, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA

Benefits of Self-Service Kiosks Spreading to Government Use

Posted by Jan Nash August 12, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Transactions at self-service kiosks are growing more than 10 percent per year in North America, with transactions expected to grow past $1.1 trillion per year through the devices by 2015. That’s according to IHL Group, which published its 2011 North American Self-Service Kiosks Market Study at the end of June. While IHL focuses its research on trends in retail and hospitality, the benefits of self-service kiosks apply equally to use in government applications.Zebra_kiosk_print_station_gift_registry

For example, self-service kiosks help reduce labor and operating costs, improve staff productivity and allow staff to provide more personal service in other areas—while bringing greater convenience and time savings to users.

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Topics: Retail, Government, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA

Speedy Speed Tickets with E-Citation Systems

Posted by Sabine Nickel July 14, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Leveraging Technology as a Force Multiplier

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Topics: Government, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA

Public Safety Suffering? eCitation is the Perfect Combatant

Posted by Chris Brown April 13, 2011 at 7:43 AM

“Public safety will undoubtedly suffer…”

These words were spoken by Jim Palmer, head of the state police union of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association in wake of the potential non-existent federal budget for the State’s eCitation program. 

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Topics: Security, Government, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA