Berne, 23 February 2011
Helsinki, Finland and Berne, Switzerland - 23 February 2011 - Two strong market players in RFID services, Vilant Systems Oy, one of the leading RFID suppliers in Europe with 150 installations in 20 countries, and Swisscom Auto-ID Services AG, the leading RFID provider in Switzerland, have agreed to merge their RFID activities. The companies have worked as partners in the past. Since the growth in the RFID market is enormous, this merger will help to further synchronise the activities and strengthen the market presence of both companies.
As part of the deal, Swisscom will sell its stake in Swisscom Auto-ID Services AG to Vilant Systems Oy, following which Swisscom will own a minority stake in Vilant Systems Oy. The Swiss company will operate under Vilant's brand and therefore the name Swisscom Auto-ID Services AG will change to Vilant Systems AG. All seven employees of Swisscom Auto-ID Services AG will continue to work for the renamed company and will keep on providing high-quality RFID services to existing and new customers in Switzerland as Vilant expands its central European footprint.
From 1 May 2011, Vilant Systems AG will be led by Vilant's co-founder and Chairman, Antti Virkkunen. While Antti will assume this new role, Vilant's other co-founder Ville Kauppinen will take the role of Chief Executive Officer of Vilant. Current Swisscom Auto-ID Services CEO Werner Friedli will lead the business until his retirement at the end of April 2011.
"We have extensive experience and a long track record in the successful deployment of RFID solutions for large international companies including Nokia, ABB, Volvo and STX Europe," says Ville Kauppinen, CEO and co-founder of Vilant. "Swisscom Auto-ID Services brings additional expertise and a solid customer base to Vilant. Together, we will have a stronger presence in Central Europe and will be able to serve our customers with local resources."
RFID technology brings visible improvements in the efficiency of material flow in the supply chain and asset management. These have been two areas of concentration for Vilant since its founding in 2002. Today Vilant is one of the fastest growing technology companies in Europe, with a five-year growth rate of 980%.
A subsidiary of Swisscom AG, Swisscom Auto-ID Services was founded as a start-up company in October 2005. Today Swisscom Auto-ID Services is the leading Swiss provider in the area of Auto-ID solutions, with a focus on RFID. The services it offers include consulting, implementation and operation. Among its customers are Swiss Post, Migros, Swisscom and DHL.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to identify objects that communicate with each other. This technology looks set for accelerated growth, since it offers significant benefits for the optimisation of supply chain, asset and life cycle management and many other applications. The most commonly used identification method is to store a unique serial number that identifies an object on a microchip attached to an antenna.