Q&A: Motorola's enterprise VP John Coon

The Good software suite is at an exciting point in its development, having recently announced the anticipated launch of Good 6.0 later this year. This new functionality will enable us to extend our abilities in delivering email over secured virtual private network (VPN) tunnels through our network operations centre (NOC) to all manner of other applications.

Good also brought an established footprint for the Enterprise Mobility business into the carpeted environment a rapidly-growing market for our Enterprise Wireless LAN products.

Earlier this year, we announced the general availability of the Good software suite through our PartnerSelect programme (the channel partner programme for the Enterprise Mobility business). This extended the opportunity to sell Good software to around 10,000 partners globally.

Can we expect any more acquisitions of this nature and what's in it for customers if they do occur?

SEC guidelines prevent us from being able to comment on merger and acquisition activity of this kind.

Motorola recently announced the axe would fall on some research jobs. For those not in the know, can you clarify what has happened/will happen here?

As part of the company's strategic overview of business operations, Motorola is moving some Motorola Labs project groups into the businesses they support. This direct alignment will help R&D teams work with their business partners to optimise R&D investment and focus on projects that deliver the greatest value for Motorola.

Motorola Labs has been a key partner with the Motorola businesses in developing innovative solutions for our customers and driving growth for Motorola. As we know, with increased competitive pressure worldwide, speed, focus and efficiency are critical in maintaining Motorola's technology leadership position.

As we make this transition, we have the opportunity to realise efficiencies by streamlining the number of projects and prioritising those that deliver the most value to our individual businesses and to Motorola overall.

Does that mean the company will have less of an emphasis on innovation or will it be business as usual?

Innovation is the core of who we are as a company and, without question, research and development remain a top strategic imperative.

We will continue to invest wisely in R&D based on our business strategy. We believe that aligning our R&D resources more closely with the businesses they serve will result in more relevant, high-impact innovation.

Talking of innovation, what can business users expect from Motorola when it comes to WiMAX? Is this technology still very much blue sky or is it going to be a viable corporate reality very soon?

Many of the first WiMAX networks are targeting business users including large corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). [In addition to] high-speed remote connectivity to networks, the technology supports advanced mobile applications including voice and video conferencing and can provide dedicated bandwidth for secure communication and VPNs.

With companies increasingly seeking operating efficiencies, WiMAX provides a strong revenue opportunity; its in-building performance enables the provision of VoIP and IP PBX to deliver low-cost voice services. In response to such market drivers, the number of WiMAX implementations is growing markedly across the globe. Operators such as Axtel in Mexico, Neckarcom in Germany and Wateen in Pakistan are already offering live WiMAX services to business customers.

Sector-wise, Motorola seems to have a lot of strengths in the public sector (particularly emergency services with TETRA). What developments can we expect to see in this area going forward and are there plans to beef up your presence in other sectors too?

Motorola has over 70 years of experience in providing robust, secure and reliable communications for the mission-critical space and our leadership is very much driven by innovation. We've got a rich heritage of award-winning innovation and iconic design, from producing the first radio for police vehicles to the smallest TETRA radio for covert operations launched just this year.

These milestones and other 'industry firsts' would not have been possible without our continuing attention to innovation. We remain committed to R&D in designing a rich product portfolio to meet our customers' future needs.

I cannot comment on any future product plans but, needless to say, we will continue to enhance our product portfolio for critical public safety markets, delivering technology that's second nature. Given our leadership in the core radio markets, Motorola is well placed to capitalise on the growth opportunities in other verticals such as transportation and oil and gas, whilst we remain committed to taking our existing customers to next-generation technologies.

If we were to meet a year from now, what sort of things would you like to have achieved/be talking about?

I think that there are three things that I would like to be able to talk to you about. Firstly, we firmly believe that enterprise mobility continues to buck the trend for technology investment, and, despite the bleak economic outlook, will continue to grow through this next period. Continuing growth in our Enterprise Mobility business will be strong evidence of this.

Secondly, I would like to be able to talk to you about our new market successes. We have leadership positions in many markets, however, our objectives are to build strong market share in new areas, for example, healthcare and oil and gas. New market development is critical to our business success.

Finally, I would like the concept of the truly wireless enterprise to have developed into a realistic option for many businesses. Motorola believes in the wireless enterprise and, [due to] the reliability and cost-effective resilience inherent in wireless technology, it can offer significant cost savings over our traditional all-wired world.

The wireless enterprise is key to developing new opportunities for mobility throughout all markets, commercial, educational and governmental.

In 12 months' time, I'd like everyone to be talking about the wireless enterprise.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.