AirWatch buys Motorola Solutions' Mobility Services Platform unit

Acquisition gives AirWatch access to unit's 1,500 customers

Mobile device management firm AirWatch has acquired Motorola Solutions' (NYSE MSI) Mobility Service Platform (MSP) unit for an undisclosed sum.

Motorola's MSP unit provides enterprises with the ability to manage corporate-owned Motorola mobile computers, tablets and peripherals, as well as BYOD smartphones and tablets, from a single pane of glass.

The acquisition of Motorola's MSP "gives us access to Motorola's 1,500 most critical customers that were using this capability to manage Motorola devices on premise, gives us a wealth of knowledge on the Motorola product lines, such as its rugged computers, and ties us much close to Motorola in the market as a trusted partner," Kevin Keith, director of business development at AirWatch, told FierceMobileIT.

Girish Rishi, senior vice president of enterprise solutions, Motorola Solutions, explained that with the MSP acquisition, "AirWatch gets a fully featured product line for enterprise mobile computers and a talented team with tremendous domain expertise. AirWatch will provide size, scalability and significant investment in this space, which will benefit our MSP customers."

Keith explained that sales of the MSP product will continue to be carried out by Motorola through its distribution channel. "We will be working with Motorola on an ongoing basis with these customers." He declined to say whether AirWatch would retain the MSP unit's employees. 

The MSP acquisition "adds a layer of additional capability sets for us in the rugged device space, specifically with Motorola rugged handheld scanners and tablets. For example, Motorola's scan-to-configure capability allows devices out of the box to scan barcodes and to automatically configure that device and connect it with a management platform," Keith said.

Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility were established in 2011 from the remnants of Motorola Inc. Motorola Solutions includes the government, public safety and enterprise mobility divisions of the former Motorola, while Motorola Mobility took over the mobile handset manufacturing business of Motorola. Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google in 2012.

AirWatch was named as a leader in the MDM market, along with Good Technology, Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS), Fiberlink, MobileIron and SAP (NYSE: SAP), in Gartner's 2013 MDM Magic Quadrant report. Gartner said that AirWatch has established a strong presence in the airline, pharmaceutical, energy and retail sectors, and more than doubled the number of customers last year.

For more:
- see AirWatch's release
- check out Gartner's MDM Magic Quadrant report (reg. req.)

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