Motorola Solutions: Partners Will Be At Front And Center of Everything We Do

As Motorola Inc. prepares for its Jan. 4 split, channel executives, too, are gearing up for change good change. In fact, said Mark Kroh, vice president of global channels for Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions in a December interview, partners should expect a much sharper focus with a lot more resources.”

When the spinoff takes place, resellers will be aligned with the new Motorola Solutions, the enterprise, government and public-safety side of the divided Motorola. The other half, Motorola Mobility, will comprise consumer devices such as smartphones and cable set-top boxes. For its part, Motorola Solutions will hold about $5 billion in cash and a little more than $2 billion in debt. And that liquidity is part of what bodes well for partners.

I think our channel partners will become more important to us than ever before,” Kroh said. Theyll be at receiving end of more R&D, more investment and more focus at all levels of the corporation, including the board.”

On top of getting more attention, partners also will be able to sell more equipment think wireless infrastructure, mobile computing, radio, and data-capture tools such as barcode scanners.

I dont want to pre-announce anything but we will be very aggressive” about launching new equipment to partners, Kroh said. For example, there are some advanced data capture products on the horizon, as well as additions to the wireless LAN portfolio. And resellers can expect to see the latest version of the ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant a heavy-duty PDA that runs on Windows Mobile certified on more carrier networks worldwide. That means partners will be able to go deeper and wider” with big customers and make the mobile computing experience even better, Kroh said.

To help accomplish that, Motorola Solutions wants partners to expand their horizons. For example, Kroh hopes hardware resellers will work more with software vendors to set themselves apart. Another approach is to target new verticals and segments. And, Kroh added, if a partner has expertise such as provisioning devices and offering customer training, differentiation will happen. That will become especially important as Motorola Solutions launches new products aimed at different user groups.

Its about building those relationships and were seeing our best partners go above and beyond,” Kroh said. Those that kind of pigeon-hole themselves in pure hardware-fulfillment really struggleto find their niche.”

Motorola Solutions, though, aims to help its partners expand their business models. The spun-off company will continue emphasizing accreditation and certification through its PartnerEmpower program, for instance. 

I think, in the past when we were a $20 billion company, it was easy to get lost in terms of the importance of the role of the partner community,” Kroh said. But I dont see thatas we spin off Motorola Solutions.”

And what shouldnt change is anything on the compensation end. Rather, because partners will be able to sell more Motorola gear, they should have the opportunity to do nothing but increase their own revenue. And Motorola Solutions plans to make that possible.

Partners will be at the front and center of everything we do,” Kroh said.

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