Motorola Solutions has been awarded analyst and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan’s 2015 European Critical Communications Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award. “Three technology providers, all at the forefront of the transformation of the public safety sector, were considered for this award, with Motorola Solutions scoring consistently higher overall,” said Sheridan Nye, senior analyst, Frost & Sullivan (F&S).
“We believe Motorola Solutions is making the market leading investments in strategy and innovation that are needed to bring the ‘smart public safety’ market to fruition,” added Nye.
For the “Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award,” F&S evaluated strategy innovation and customer impact. Strategy innovation was rated according to effectiveness, execution, competitive differentiation and stakeholder integration. Customer impact was rated according to price/performance and brand equity.
F&S highlighted the fact that Motorola Solutions offers its mission critical communications customers a path to converged voice and data, while helping them leverage technology investments and manage the cost of migration.
Motorola Solutions was also recognized by F&S analysts for its ability to understand the short and long-term needs of its customers, assess the competitive marketplace, chart a vision for the future and then transform that vision into a comprehensive, value-driven product and service portfolio.
In examining Motorola’s strategy, Frost & Sullivan said it assessed the context of both the changes the company is going through, as its traditional market sector prepares for transformation; and the specific challenges it faces as it refocuses the business to achieve growth.
F&S noted that Motorola is repositioning its hardware-focused portfolio to address demand for integrated data and voice services and is pursuing an ‘intelligence-led, smart public safety’ strategy, opening up opportunities for the company’s middleware and software suite of applications. Motorola’s high-margin managed services portfolio was also seen as a major source of revenue and growth.
In particular, F&S cited Motorola Solutions’ broadening portfolio and sales strategy with leadership positions in:
• Mobile broadband-Professional Mobile Radio integration (WAVE Push-to-Talk)
• Heads-up smart glasses and the “Connected Police Officer” concept
• Collaboration tools (command & control, Intelligent Data Portal, secure applications, Computer Aided Dispatch and evidence collection)
• Venture capital investments (SceneDoc, Vocalzoom and ShotSpotter).
It also noted that the company is moving away from doing everything in-house and is instead becoming more open in providing APIs and working with third-party developers and other companies. For example, in the latter instance Motorola has been working closely with Ericsson, which has given it access to essential LTE technology and expertise.
This is essential to the company’s continued evolution and relevance, as LTE is the technology that public safety organisations in the near to medium term. Some of Motorola Solutions recent investments in its smart public safety portfolio include:
• CyPhy Works, a leading developer of advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones
• Emergency CallWorks, a leading provider of Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) call-taking software for public safety
• VocalZoom, a developer of sensors for speech enhancement
• SceneDoc, maker of “public safety’s trusted digital notebook.”
In terms of why Motorola was seen as being better at executing its strategy, F&S highlighted the way the company is preparing its equipment-dominated portfolio in anticipation of a shift in value towards software and algorithms.
In short, there is less emphasis on hardware and applications and more emphasis on data-driven solutions and real-time analytics for first responders and other sectors. A broadening of its sales strategy beyond RF engineering departments to engage directly with CIOs with a more IT-centric proposition was also seen as a shrewd move.
With the public safety community in particular about to enter a major change in its communications needs as it transitions to broadband data networks, Motorola will find itself competing with new and different organisations beyond its traditional PMR rivals, such as Microsoft, HP and IBM.
However, F&S pointed out that the public safety sector is instinctively conservative and will take time to explore the implications of new technologies and ways of working. F&S believes Motorola’s size and strengthening financials should give it the stability to be patient as the market develops.
Many public safety organisations are therefore likely to want a controlled and gradual migration from traditional narrowband PMR systems to new broadband LTE ones, as the latter evolves to provide truly mission critical solutions. As a traditional PMR vendor with a clear LTE development roadmap, this should provide Motorola with a strong position in this new competitive landscape.
In addition, F&S believes that being able to meet the needs of demanding public safety customers puts Motorola in a good position to address other critical communications users, in utilities and transportation and oil and gas. However, it notes that price competition will be tougher in these segments.
In terms of customer impact rating, F&S assessed price and performance and was impressed by Motorola’s decision to encourage customers to adopt a managed service model with flexible pay-per-use pricing, along with outsourcing options to meet each customer’s needs. However, it noted that the public safety culture of ‘own and operate’ will take time to change.
Nonetheless, Motorola says it will support a wide range of business models from design-build-own-manage, hosted core, hosted applications and lifecycle management, which should ensure it is prepared for options such as ‘communications as a service’ and even ‘intelligence as a service’.
Another reason behind Motorola’s success is the value of its brand. Despite the numerous changes Motorola has undergone over the last five years, F&S believes it has retained its association with military-grade quality, ruggedness, high reliability and security and the company enjoys high levels of trust among the critical communications community.
F&S also noted that Motorola has not always received due recognition for innovation. It has, for example, been automating massive trucks for mining customers for years, way ahead of Google’s efforts. One of its challenges is, therefore, to boost name recognition beyond its reputation for reliability and quality.
Overall, Frost & Sullivan said it believed Motorola Solutions is making the market leading investments in strategy and innovation that are needed to bring this “smart public safety” market to fruition.
You can access the full report here.