Symbol on the Razr’s edge – Motorola buys enterprise software company

By Plant Engineering Staff August 10, 2006

Motorola’s $3.9 billion purchase of Symbol Technologies announced on Sept. 19 jump-starts what Motorola chairman and CEO Ed Zander calls its “enterprise mobility strategy.”

What that could mean is a cell phone in every hand on the manufacturing floor, conducting mobile monitoring and data capture in every part of the plant.

Motorola has been best known in recent years as a cell phone company, and its Razr phone has been the darling of the teen set. In acquiring Symbol, Motorola gets a client base looking to incorporate mobile and wireless monitoring, as is the rest of manufacturing. (See Plant Engineering’s July cover story).

Symbol sees the deal as a way to match a mobile product provider with its own specific manufacturing applications. “Motorola is at the forefront of mobile communications and enterprise solutions technology, making it the ideal partner for Symbol,” said Sal Iannuzzi, president and CEO of Holtsville, NY- based Symbol.

“Everything is going digital, and everything digital is going mobile — this is especially evident in the way businesses are run today,” said Zander in a press release sent out Sept. 20. “Motorola and Symbol share the same vision of a digital, mobile world for enterprises that matches the world people enjoy at home and at play. This transaction significantly advances Motorola’s enterprise mobility strategy and is consistent with our focus on building on our already strong intellectual property portfolio and extending Motorola’s seamless mobility leadership.”

“This combination meets our goal of delivering value to our stockholders while creating exciting future growth opportunities for Symbol’s associates and partners, and enhanced products and services for our customers,” added Iannuzzi. “We look forward to working with the Motorola team to ensure a rapid and seamless transition.”

The deal will be completed by the first quarter of 2007. Motorola said its Networks and Enterprise division will be based in Holtsville.

—Bob Vavra