Motorola building sales team aimed at specific verticals

While Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) is still committed to selling through its channel of telecom providers, it will be focusing on creating a sales team that will target specific verticals such as health care, education, government and enterprise.

The move comes under the direction of Sheldon Herbert, senior director of enterprise for Motorola who joined the company in June. Herbert left Research in Motion Inc. after nine years, most recently as the BlackBerry-maker’s director for healthcare.

“I bring a different perspective to Motorola,” he said. “What we’ve seen is the emergence of the other platforms,” especially in the past six months. Google Inc. recently agreed to acquire Motorola for US$12.5 billion, a move the company said would “supercharge the Android ecosystem.” Herbert was unable to comment on how the acquisition may change Motorola until the deal is final.

“BlackBerry had a strong hold on the enterprise for a long time,” Herbert said in an interview with CDN. Now, the consumer appeal of Android operating system on smartphones and tablets mean more businesses adopting the devices, including those made by Motorola.

The new “direct” sales team will act more as evangelists for the company, Herbert said. Then, businesses or organizations the team targets can go through Motorola’s traditional sales channel-including Bell and Rogers- for buying the devices.
Herbert is in the process of filling out the new team’s management, where each head will be responsible for a different vertical. For the most part, competitors, including RIM, have teams like this set up, according to Herbert.

Despite the consumer appeal of Android devices and the bring your own device trend permeating enterprises in Canada, Motorola is still focused on fleet sales to companies, Herbert said. Its tablets and lapdock built for the Atrix phone, for example, can be sold to hospitals. “We will try to articulate how Android and how Motorola fits into nursing.” Herbert said, rather than target individual hospital workers. “We’re going in to try to get bulk sales going.”

For Motorola, getting Android into the business game was about having strong security, he said. “We’ve taken a lot into consideration when it comes to Android that gives us a leg up,” he said. Third party research commissioned by Motorola Mobility suggested that close to 40 per cent of Canadian company decision makers across all company sizes are considering Android smartphones for business use.

In February, the company acquired Three Laws Mobility Inc. (3LM), a mobile device management company, which has added to its devices’ appeal to consumer and business. “We feel that we have the best story when it comes to security and Android in the work environment,” he said. The company’s Atrix 4G smartphone for example, incorporates SD card encryption among other features.

-With files from Mikael Ricknas.

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Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh
Harmeet reports on channel partner programs, new technologies and products and other issues relevant to Canada's channel community. She also contributes as a video journalist, providing content for the site's original streaming video. Harmeet is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism.

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