Motorola Solutions Shows App Developers, ISVs Some Love


Motorola Solutions is expanding the part of its PartnerEmpower channel program focused on ISVs and mobile and converged communications app development, hoping to better align channel resources to those software-savvy partners in much the same way it's bolstered programs for more-traditional reseller and integrator partners.

Juliann Larimer, vice president of global channels, first mentioned the move in a January 2012 interview with CRN. Earlier this week, Motorola made it official with the launch of its Application Partner Community, into which it will transition partners currently registered under Motorola's PartnerSelect Program for ISVs.

Under the program, partners can earn either Application Specialist or Application Elite Specialist status, and their level in the program determines the types of benefits they receive. Various partner benefits include an application demo library and access to Motorola engineers for solution-testing, as well as early access to upcoming Motorola products.

[Related: Motorola Renaissance: Partners Tout Tighter Focus, Better Incentives Since Moto Split]

"We've been looking at how do we give our app partners a very viable value proposition from us," Mark Kroh, vice president, North America channels for Motorola Solutions, told CRN this week. "It takes world-class hardware and software to deliver world-class solutions, so we want to make sure we're attracting the best of the best."

The goal of the Application Partner Community is to better compensate Motorola Solutions app developers and ISVs, who represent a fairly broad swath of specialists that work with Motorola's RhoElements, MotoTrbo and other portfolio-specific app dev frameworks, Kroh said.

Motorola also is trying to drive closer interaction between its reseller and integrator communities and its developers. At Motorola Solutions' partner conference in March, Motorola emphasized to its roughly 3,000 attendees that it was moving from point product resale channels to an ecosystem, where ISVs and solution providers can be profitable behind Motorola products but also unlock value for each other.

ISVs can be compensated from Motorola directly from a program called ISV Rewards, Kroh said, in which ISVs that partner with solution providers on Motorola deals get a piece of that deal even if they aren't the ones selling any of the hardware or services. About two-thirds of Motorola Solutions' app developer partners don't resell hardware, and others that do told Motorola they did so only because they felt they needed to do more than write code and sell software to win deals, Kroh said.

In addition, Motorola this week held its its inaugural North America developer conference, AppForum Americas 2012, in Schaumburg, Ill., near Motorola Solutions' headquarters. Kroh said Motorola Solutions had about 250 app developer partners from all over the Americas, many of whom were new to the program and had never participated in a Motorola event before.

"The message was: 'You are so important to us,' " Kroh said. " 'We are not in the code-writing business; that's what we need you for.' I think it's been very well received."

NEXT: Motorola's Expanding PartnerEmpower