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Information Technology Award (Frontier Award) for NTT Comware's System of Japan Department Stores Association

Japan Department Stores Association (Chairman; Taneo Nakamura; Advisor, Mitsukoshi, Ltd.) received Information Technology Award (Frontier Award) of Japan Institute of Information Technology (JiIT) for the shared stock management system which was established and provided by NTT Comware Corporation (below, NTT Comware; Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Yuhji Imai).

Outline of Information Technology Award
Information Technology Award is a prize established under the award system of excellent OA/IT companies, organization and business establishments in March 1983. The award, aiming to further improve productivities and effective management systems of work flows of industries and administrations in Japan, is given to companies, organizations, business establishments, corporate divisions and individuals who are acknowledged for their distinguished efforts and achievements on "IT-based corporate management innovation". Japan Department Stores Association was appreciated for the certain achievement on the practical use of RFID and reliability of users because of its long-term implementation on an advanced IT solution.
The system provided by NTT Comware was appreciated because of its solution to achieve: 1) smart operations effective for constant use at shops and 2) continued improvement of the system with a long-term vision.

Challenge of Japan Department Stores Association
The department stores industry in Japan started to pay attention on and actively introduced RFID from an early stage as an innovative business tool for their work process ahead of other industries. Demonstration tests of the system were performed by the department stores industry in FY 2004 to verify the purpose of RFID tags from the two viewpoints as advancement of SCM and improvement of customer services. As the result proved certain effectiveness on improvement of customs services, three department stores (Mitsukoshi, Hankyu and Takashimaya) started to adopt the system to use.
While solving issues found through an actual use of the system, another demonstration test was conducted in FY2006 aiming cross-department stores networking and expansion of the upstream for distribution. Then, seven department stores and twenty-four shops currently use it. RFID tags are expected to further increase in adaptation so the entire department stores industry to enjoy the benefits through standardization whatever necessary for the industry.

Challenge of NTT Comware
NTT Comware provides various RFID solutions using RFID Middleware which complies with EPCglobal (*1), the world standard. The RFID system for department stores is specifically used between department stores and vendors based on RFID Middleware. Because of its characteristics as a shared system, it is effective for N-to-N data management for multiple department stores and vendors to apply. The system contributes to achieve information distribution between multiple locations as well as to be a quality network-type RFID system for linkage with other systems, smooth operation and control of massive data and high security.
NTT Comware will further develop advantages of RFID with a system for companies to cross-share and use data collected by the tags.

The award winning ceremony and special lectures will be conducted at 23rd Information Technology & Management Conference 2008 (ITMC 2008) held at Toranomon Pastoral on February 21, 2008. (Organizer: Japan Institute of Information Technology)

*1: EPCglobal
EPCglobal is a non-profit organization which was established as a joint venture between GS1 (former name: EAN International, the international organization of bar codes) and GS1US (former name: the Uniform Code Council, UCC, the logistics code organization in the United State) in October 2003.

* Names of corporations and products are either trademarks or registered trademarks of each corporation.

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