Motorola Selling Off Good Technology

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Ailing communications giant Motorola Tuesday entered into an agreement to sell the Good Technology group it acquired two years ago to mobile push and synchronization vendor Visto.

According to Redwood City, Calif.-based Visto, the Good Technology buy will bulk up its offerings for secure mobile messaging solutions for the enterprise through mobile operators and OEM handset manufacturers.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Visto said the acquisition will likely close by the end of February.

Good Technology offers wireless messaging, mobile VPN data access, device management and handheld security for enterprise users worldwide. Visto said adding Good Technology's portfolio to its lineup will enable it to offer government and enterprise customers a broader range of secure mobile offerings.

"This transaction marks another important milestone in Visto's emergence as a worldwide leader for mobile access to applications and content, especially messaging and collaboration data," Brian A. Bogosian, Visto's CEO, said in a statement. "Good's robust enterprise and government solution will complement Visto's strong operator presence in business and consumer markets. As a result of this transaction, Visto will now provide customers in over 100 countries an open, robust and secure mobile experience for enterprise customers, on over 400 different mobile devices."

Visto has relationships with mobile operators in North America, Europe and Asia, while Good Technology currently has implementations in thousands of enterprises through U.S. mobile carriers.

"We believe that this transaction is in the best interest of our customers, employees and shareholders," said Gene Delaney, president of Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions, in a statement. "Visto's acquisition of Good will allow Motorola to continue to concentrate on providing best-in-class business-critical applications, secure management platforms and mobility services that empower the individual with the right information at the right time to streamline business processes and improve results."

Motorola acquired Good Technology, then called Good Mobile Messaging, in January 2007. Last year, Motorola opened Good Technology up to the channel, making it available to partners through its PartnerSelect program.

Since the Good Technology acquisition, Motorola and its Mobile Devices division has struggled. In the fourth quarter, Motorola's Mobile Devices revenue fell 51 percent to $2.35 billion, while for the full year, Motorola's mobile devices sales nose-dived 36 percent to $12.1 billion.

To combat slumping smartphone sales, Motorola has said it plans to launch several next-generation devices during the fourth quarter of 2009. The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company said it will focus on new mid- and high-end devices built around the open-source Google Android mobile operating system and Microsoft's Windows Mobile. Motorola has also said it will focus heavily on social networking features in its future mobile device road map.

In addition, Sanjay Jha, Motorola co-CEO and CEO of the Mobile Devices unit, has said that the company will continue to look for ways to cut costs from its Mobile Devices division while it looks to save more than $1.2 billion this year.

"We continue to take appropriate action to address the downturn in the global economy as well as the challenges related to our current Mobile Devices portfolio," Jha said in a statement earlier this month. "We are aggressively developing innovative new products, and we are encouraged by the positive customer feedback on our smartphone road map."

Despite Motorola's Mobile Devices division struggling, the company's Enterprise Mobility Solutions division saw sales increase 4 percent in the fourth quarter to $2.2 billion and full-year sales jump 5 percent to $8.1 billion.

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