Zebra Technologies, a public company that offers tracking technology and solutions that generate actionable information and insight for organisations, bought the Enterprise Business from Motorola Solutions in October 2014. This completely revolutionised what Zebra was capable of by expanding its network, tech capabilities, and the amount of Fortune 500 businesses it was able to work with.
After the acquisition, Zebra now boasts 7,100 employees worldwide, 4,500 US and international patents, and serves 95% of Fortune 500 companies.
Zebra has long been an industry leader in enterprise printing, barcode creation, and asset tracking to create visibility and insights so customers can make better, more efficient business decisions.
The Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise Business, on the other side of the coin, is an industry leader in physical data capture solutions, including scanning and mobile computing to increase workforce connectivity.
Now that the companies have combined, Zebra has the ability to offer customers integrated visibility and connectivity solutions in the healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and transport sectors.
CrowdInk had a chance to sit down with Wayne Harper, Senior Technical Director – Asia Pacific at Zebra Technologies, at the recent Connect Expo in Melbourne, Australia, where he was presenting a round table discussion on the massive potential of IoT and The Future of Enterprise Asset Intelligence. He explained a little more about the Enterprise Asset Intelligence Acquisition and what it means for Zebra and the customers it serves:
CrowdInk: Since the acquisition, how has Zebra shifted from a hardware manufacturer to cloud-based technologies?
Wayne Harper: Zebra has always been committed to innovation – the acquisition of Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise Business was just one part of our strategic vision. We created one company with unparalleled capabilities to serve our customers with solutions and services that help them achieve greater visibility through enterprise asset intelligence. We are now able to provide the building blocks across IoT, mobile, and the cloud. Our hardware, cloud, and software solutions are able to offer real-time access and analysis of the operational data so our customers can make informed, accurate business decisions.
CI: Are there any new industries that you are able to serve better now that you’ve acquired Enterprise?
WH: The acquisition has enabled us to significantly expand and strengthen our portfolio, geographic reach, go-to-market channels, and industries we serve. We are now able to capitalise on the mega-trends of IoT, cloud, and mobility to boost productivity and provide actionable knowledge. Our expanded range of products empowers enterprises to know more about their business and make intelligent, informed decisions.
Zebra is now able to offer real-time visibility, by using various technologies like Bluetooth, WiFi, RFID or barcodes, into people and assets – allowing business to sense what is happening in their organisation. At the same time, Zebra’s solutions can also help enterprises to know more about their business by empowering them to analyse real-time operational data to deliver actionable insights, using tools like the MPact indoor locationing service.
Similarly, Zebra’s range of mobile computing solutions empower workers with the right tools to easily capture critical insights and make information accessible to help them act on that knowledge on a real-time basis. In the local ANZ market, we’ve extended our offering in each of our key markets including transport and logistics, retail, healthcare, and hospitality. All these industries are rapidly transforming as a result of IoT and the technologies we provide.
CI: You’ve used the term “facebook for assets” when discussing some of the new technologies Zebra has been able to develop with Enterprise. Can you elaborate on what that looks like and means for customers?
WH: Our technology is designed with the end-user in mind. We want to make it easy for the data to be mined and insights to be actioned upon. That’s why, for example, our new TC8000 mobile computer runs on Android, which is incredibly easy to use (just like a smartphone) for the warehouse workforce. At the same time, it also delivers simple and clear insights back to the business in a format that is familiar to them without significant changes to the backend infrastructure.
Likewise, Zebra has an IoT cloud service called Zatar. It’s the world’s first standards-based IoT cloud service that’s easy to deploy and operate. Zatar is scalable for SMBs up to global enterprises, and grows with the needs of the business. The interface remains simple even if tasks become more complex. To take an analogy, it’s a digital image for all physical assets: It can tell you exactly when the last time a device or “thing” was online or where its current location is. It helps organisations add value to existing assets by offering IoT solutions that are interoperable across multiple IT platforms. We’re in the business of making data work hard for our customers and becoming their go-to for intelligence, thus, making us their ‘facebook’ for their own assets.
If you like to know more about Zebra, please check out their website.