Sprint BSPs To Sell New Motorola Digital Assistant for Businesses

Sprint Business Solutions Partners will be able to sell the new ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant launched last week by Motorolas Enterprise Mobility Solutions division as part of a partnership between the gearmaker and Sprint Nextel.

A cross between a rugged mobile field device and a consumer smartphone, the ES400 is designed for field workers who need to securely access business-critical voice, data or business apps on the move. Sprint will provide the 3G and 4G connectivity for the device and will also stock and sell the unit both co-branded and Motorola branded versions — directly to enterprises through its Sprint Direct and Business Solutions Partners channels.

The ES400 EDA, which will be available later this year for $750, also will be sold by the Motorola EMS sales team and members of Motorolas PartnerEmpower channel program.

While Sprint could not offer details on specific partner support for the ES400, it did confirm significant training and marketing tools are planned for the BSP channel. All Sprint program partners are eligible to sell the ES400.

Under Motorolas Carrier Advantage Program, Sprint partners can pick up additional revenue for activating Sprint service on the ES400, as well as for selling minutes. Partners also can take advantage of open APIs that allow them to add and/or customize apps for their customers, such as CRM or GPS tracking.

For Sprint’s part, no consumer or worker apps will be pre-loaded onto its co-branded units, but these will incorporate a navigation application and the Sprint landing page and remote diagnostics customary to Sprints mobile devices.

And while Sprint is the first carrier to team with Motorola on the ES400, it does not own exclusive co-branding rights, so its likely that other providers will carry the device. Its not clear if they will be allowed to similarly co-brand, though Sheldon Safir, director of product marketing for Motorola EMS, did not rule out the possibility of opening up the device to other providers under the Motorola logo.

Motorola EMS partners will have full access to Motorolas usual complement of sales and marketing tools, including webinars and training on the product, its feature functionality, and how to best pursue the target market. Videos, collateral materials, ROI metrics and ongoing marketing support and training are available, courtesy of Motorola University online. There are no certification requirements, nor any additional partner qualifications necessary under the recently revamped EMS. All partner groups are eligible to carry the ES400. While Motorola is not offering promotional pricing, it will likely extend discounts to its partners down the road based on volume or type of (value-added) solution sold.

This device was built with the business user in mind; with its compact size and advanced applications leveraging the Sprint 3G network, Motorolas ES400 is a breakthrough enterprise-class device that can meet the needs of business users who are constantly seeking ways to boost individual and team productivity, said Danny Bowman, president of the Integrated Solutions Group at Sprint.

EMS is positioning the ES400 as a way for partners to reach a new market that has gone largely untapped in the past, since the ES400 falls somewhere between the ruggedized, inventory-optimized mobile devices typically found in the field and the brace of consumer smartphones that often find their way into the workplace, but cause network managers all kinds of security headaches.

A smart phone is not quite smart enough! The ES400 fills the gap between more rugged, industrial devices and consumer devices, said Safir.

Though aimed at SMBs, key verticals such as field service, field sales, retail, health care, utilities, manufacturing and transportation/distribution are also strong potential markets for the platform, which can collect, store and send data as well as access back-end systems and applications. Open APIs also allow IT staff or customers to develop, port and run third-party apps while maintaining enterprise-class security requirements through Microsofts standards-based Windows Mobile 6.5 OS.

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