Motorola (Solutions) Launches Enterprise-Friendly Tablet

12 10 2011

Following the proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google a few months back, I wrote a post that described my views on the potential impact of this deal on the enterprise market. Seen by many as Android’s champion in the enterprise, I fully expected to see a series of Motorola devices coming to market that redefined the market – combining consumer appeal with IT-friendly features.

Fast forward to today and it is in fact Motorola Solutions, rather than Motorola Mobility, that has taken up the challenge with the launch of the ET1 tablet. The tablet, however, is unlikely to find much appeal amongst C-level executives or the mobile workforce, nor was it intended to, as this device is to be sold to employers for use by shop floor employees.

The seven inch enterprise tablet features specifications to rival the latest high-end consumer-focused devices on the market, including front and back cameras, Wi-Fi, a 1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of system memory running and the Android v2.3.4 (Gingerbread) operating system. However, hot-swappable batteries, lack of cellular support and lack of access to the Android market show its true colours.

The device is pre-loaded with key applications for its target market including product comparison tools, manager dashboards, mobile POS and item location tools. This is clearly ideal for IT departments who want to avoid the security issues traditionally associated with the mobilization of the workforce.

Those companies wishing to offer additional applications built in-house will be required to use the tablets HTML5 compatible web browser, combined with a new web-based application development tool called RhoElements, to roll these out.

The advantage of this approach, in addition to security and employee control, is that these applications will also run across existing Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows CE devices already present within the workplace.

With a price tag of $1,000 for bulk orders, the ET1 tablet is clearly targeting those employers in key verticals; however I struggle to see why I wouldn’t buy an iPad, a durable case and a custom HTML5 solution instead.


The Google Phone Could Have Enterprise Appeal

23 08 2011

Despite wide spread speculation around why Google has chosen to buy Motorola Mobility, from patent acquisition to simply wanting to shake up the industry, very few articles have mentioned the desire to strengthen their proposition and route into the enterprise market.

Motorola Mobility was seen by many as Android’s champion in the enterprise. For over a year, they have aggressively targeted CIOs and enterprise-grade developers with “business ready” devices that showcase business necessities such as Exchange-based integration, VPNs and strong security features (which were boosted by Motorola’s acquisition of 3LM in February).

Add to this Motorola Mobility’s sibling Motorola Solutions, which is exclusively focused on the enterprise market, and a compelling story begins to take shape.

But as we have to come to realize, IT department appeal is only one part of the strategy needed  to succeed in enterprise mobility today – the end-users are increasingly becoming an intrinsic part of the decision making process.

The consumerization of IT has meant that workers are now bringing their own devices to work at a faster pace than ever before, and have increasing amounts of influence. Android is a hugely popular operating system, approaching almost 50% market share, and a Google phone with a Google operating system could be very appealing to consumers.

Furthermore, the pure play versions of its tablets and the ability to limit fragmentation across its device portfolio, a current challenge cited by Android developers, provides additional appeal.

However, with Google’s purchase of Motorola, Microsoft is also likely to begin recruiting handset manufacturers that feel alienated by the deal to its Windows Phone OS, and in turn bolster the BYOD appeal of its portfolio which is essential to enterprise adoption.

With the market undergoing dramatic changes in both the consumer and enterprise smartphone marketplace, the mobile industry couldn’t be much more exciting!