Motorola Solutions Looks To Get Granular With Specialized Partners, App Developers

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Motorola Solutions' investigation into the types of partners it has also turned up another interesting class of partner, Larimer said, that had an opportunity to sell Motorola Solutions products but didn't need a full-time affiliation with Motorola's channel program because those sales were more opportunistic.

While some other vendors look to prune those types of partners as dilettante resellers, Motorola Solutions has designated several of them "registered affiliates," which mean they can have a recognized sales relationship with Motorola without being formally attached to PartnerEmpower and have access to some classes of Motorola Solutions products with limited channel partner benefits.

Still other types of partners didn't fit the existing PartnerEmpower definitions either, Larimer added.

"An application developer doesn't resell our product, and neither, really, does a consultant, or an academic. But those are people with domain expertise. They're talking to our customers," she said. "We want them to be aware of the solutions and opt into a conversation with us if they want."

The most obvious program changes, at least in the short term, will be in Motorola Solutions' app developer program, she said. Motorola's former ISV program focused primarily on partners developing applications for Motorola's mobile computing devices.

But with the launch of other products and services such as
Motorola Solutions' ET1 Android tablet
and the associated RhoElements application framework for developing and deploying mobile apps, Motorola has more resources for the app dev community than previously. Newer initiatives such as Launchpad, which is Motorola Solutions' developer community and online format, are the start of that expansion, Larimer said.

"Phase one is get the developers talking to each other on how to get to that customer more quickly," she said. "We are working on a strategy around how do we create an environment where it's easy to get enterprise customers applications similar to what they're used to in the Android Marketplace and the Apple App Store, and in the consumer experience."

A minority of Motorola Solutions partners cover the entire company product portfolio, and Larimer added that it isn't necessarily Motorola's goal to grow more of those.

"Asking our partners to take on the entire portfolio just to say they do doesn't make sense for them, for us or for our customers," she said. "We're using specializations that can be defined around solutions. Are you good at RFID? Are you good at data capture? Are you good at managing IP networking in a retail location, or converged communications? We really want [the partners] to be logically grouped."

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