Motorola Solutions is expanding its current services offering, which will include acting as a systems integrator for some larger deployments of radio frequency identification, particularly for Motorola's customers that are retailers.
To date, Motorola has sold its handheld, mobile and fixed RFID readers through resellers and systems integrators. The firm also installs and maintains equipment for many customers, and manages networks for some of them. The adjustment in strategy is part of a broader effort to boost the company's offering.
Senior Motorola executives stress, however, that the company does not intend to compete with the systems integrators currently reselling the firm's RFID equipment. "For the most part, our focus will be on very large enterprise customers, where we have traditionally managed the engagement directly," says Bruce Brda, Motorola Solutions' senior VP for services. "For smaller companies, our intent is to make services offerings that we create available to our channel partners, so they could fulfill the order or act as a subcontractor. We want to find a way to mutually grow our businesses."
About two-thirds of Motorola Solutions' business comes from the government sector, though the company has a strong presence in retail, with its bar-code scanning products and wireless local area network technology. Retailers have been among the industries most actively exploring the potential benefits of RFID, so the firm believes there are opportunities to sell services to its existing retailing customers.
"Some retailers want a complete solution, and others want to buy the pieces and put it together themselves," says Gene Delaney, Motorola Solutions' executive VP of product and business operations. "We'll offer both, but we will work with partners. That's an effective model that we used in the enterprise mobile-computing space, where we provide devices, and partners provide applications and often do the integration."