Moto’s mobile e-mail vision never really lived up to its promise. The vendor bought the company for about $450 million two years ago when Good was a market leader powering Palm devices and proving to be a thorn in the side of the No. 1 push e-mail player, Blackberry. The idea was to force Palm, a Moto competitor, to look elsewhere for an e-mail supplier, while setting Motorola up in a position to better compete with Blackberry in the business market. It was also staving off competition globally from Nokia, which had just bought its own mobile messaging company, Intellisync, for $430 million. It was all a strategy that was supposed to be helped along by Motorola’s other acquisition, Symbol Technologies, which brought a large embedded enterprise mobility competency into the mix.
However, mobile e-mail for the enterprise has proven to be a rocky area in the age of third-party applications, mobile versions of Web mail services, and smartphones and netbooks; plus, Blackberry and Microsoft simply dominate the market. To that point, Nokia has exited the Intellisync business services business as well.
Nonetheless, Visto thinks the acquisition will help it continue to compete as a standalone provider amongst the giants. Visto’s platform is white-labeled by global operators such as Vodafone and T-Mobile, and in the past it has sued Microsoft, Research in Motion and yes, Good, over patents.
Terms of the Moto-Visto deal were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal said the sale netted far less than what Moto paid for Good.