A whirlwind (and extremely exciting!) 2 weeks it has been as we launch BizTalk server RFID world-wide and I wanted to share with you the excitement and the rich, robust RFID solutions (from the Enterprise to the SMB) that are being enabled world-wide on this platform today.

The first wave of events began in Taipei, where over 1000 people attended a packed show (opened by a high energy performance on drums called Taiko) to hear about the new features in BizTalk Server R2, and see live applications from partners (see below for a blow by blow account in pictures) including the live fish traceability initiative (with real fish!) by Tekho group (video on www.microsoft.com/rfid).

Our global launch partners, Intel and HP, set the tone for the event by articulating the power of the platform and the opportunities that the joint efforts have enabled in both the hardware space (surfacing capabilities of readers running the R1000 chip to the end user) or the enterprise software solutions space (supply chain visibility solutions from HP) for the end user. My break-out session was attended by a packed and enthusiastic audience (thanks to Dean and Matt from Xterpise and Intermec for flying across the globe and discussing how BizTalk RFID enables end-end RFID solutions by partners from Pallet to Sushi tracking) and Taiwan was ready to go on BizTalk RFID!

As part of the trip to Taiwan, I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with executives from partners and customers deploying applications on BizTalk RFID and was quite frankly blown away by what was being deployed in this region - to be chronicled as part of the upcoming “Launch Diaries” blog posts on this blog – this is a region which is clearly ahead of the curve in terms of bringing transformational real-time applications of value to the market and a region where we will continue to focus our efforts in terms of harnessing the knowledge from these deployments to a world-wide audience.

From Taipei, the next stop was a whirlwind one day quick stop-over at Hong Kong where we had the opportunity to meet about 70 odd partners and customers, mostly new to RFID and BizTalk and discuss the applications that could be enabled by extending the reach of the enterprise to the edge – here too the audience was enthusiastic and extremely engaged - especially when Jerry from CSL, and Winson from Cactus discussed the CHEP deployment and the learnings from the same. Being a logistics hub of mainland China, the applicability of RFID in enhancing transportation and logistics services here is viewed as extremely important, and we see a lot of promise in terms of adoption moving forward.

The last port of call was Sydney, a city I had never been to and was taken in by (vibrant, beautiful city with great people!). We had the opportunity to meet and discuss the R2 release with over 200 odd customers and partners, and if the recent momentum around BizTalk in this region, and the enthusiasm around RFID for traceability efforts is any indication, Australia is another region to be watched in earnest as we put the building blocks in place and educate audiences on why RFID is real, is here today, and BizTalk RFID + Partners is the answer for mass adoption of scalable real time solutions.

As I return back to the US (writing this enroute from Sydney), and start getting ready with the team to make the final push of the launch tour here in the US @ EPC Connections (where Kevin Turner our COO will be speaking at the keynote and addressing how companies can use sensor based technologies to transform their organizations), reading through the recent media reports that have highlighted the launch of BizTalk RFID energizes me even more as we look forward  to to build on what we've created in innovating all the way to the mobile edge, and continue delivering real and tangible value for end users.

To learn more about how BizTalk RFID and Partners can help transform your business, check out the following links:

1. Website: www.microsoft.com/rfid

2. BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Eval Edition: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/bb738071.aspx

3. TechNet Online: Documentation & Help: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb749758.aspx

4. Samples: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/biztalk/bb608378.aspx

5. Installation Guides: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=df2e8a88-fb23-49a4-9ac7-d17f72517d12&DisplayLang=en

6. CHM, Performance white paper, Tutorial Files: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=22b2e8d9-8cda-44f8-8f4e-b372c7660989&DisplayLang=en


Look forward to seeing you all at EPC Connections in Chicago!