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Motorola Solutions (MSI) announced today the sale of its Mobility Services Platform to enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendor AirWatch. Previously partnered with AirWatch to facilitate stronger management of consumer grade device deployments, this sale indicates a strategic shift by MSI, including:
1) A shift in focus from software to services - While selling off its MSP platform, MSI will continue to build out and expand its mobile services business and expand its play in the mobile managed service market. Software solutions such as MDM and MAM are increasingly commoditizing. As this occurs, the real money and value proposition is shifting to the service delivery, rather than the software itself.
2) Doubling down on core strengths - Recent years have seen MSI invest to enhance and build out its MSP solution. Yet with vendors such as AirWatch, MobileIron, Good Technologies, SAP and Fiberlink innovating with sophisticated, robust mobility management products, MSI is shifting away from competing in this space.
3) Pivoting to address shifting enterprise demands - Just as carriers have been challenged to offer carrier-agnostic managed service solutions, MSI, Intermec and other rugged vendors are increasingly challenged to support consumer grade deployments alongside the rugged. Prior to this acquisition of MSP by AirWatch, MSI would support only consumer grade devices used in business critical environments. Yet enterprises are increasingly look for a single, robust platform to support all mobile deployments. If AirWatch is truly able to embrace MSI's rugged, enterprise-grade technologies (and leverage MSI's associates that will now join the AirWatch team), we may see a strong EMM platform emerge that serves needs of both rugged and consumer-grade device deployments.