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Breaking Down Motorola’s Building IoT Strategy

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Most of us know Motorola Solutions for its communication hardware. They might know the company from the headset that your favorite team’s coach threw to the ground after a hard loss. What you might not know about Motorola Solutions is that they are a leader in products and services for first responders. Many of the cities around the world rely on Motorola Solutions for the communications of police, fire, and ambulance crews. This was the result of Motorola’s legacy in “mission-critical communications,” something that Motorola Solutions sees as central to their brand and their vision.

Motorola’s expertise around public safety and enterprise security is behind their inroads into building IoT. Back in 2018, they purchased a Canadian video security, access control, and analytics company called Avigilon for around $1 billion. This week they made headlines with another big acquisition when they announced the purchase of the access control company Openpath

By buying a relatively young but quickly growing access control company Motorola has shown its commitment to becoming a larger part of the PropTech ecosystem. To learn more about the decision behind the acquisition and the company’s strategy going forward I talked to John Kedzierski, SVP of Video Security & Analytics for Motorola Solutions. “We have a lot of experience with command center software that can help a team analyze a lot of information quickly,” Kedzierski said. “We see video as central to the future of building security and so did the team at Openpath so it was really a great fit.” Openpath recently added a video feature to their smart locks and doorbells to help building teams better keep track of who is in the building.

The larger vision of Motorola Solutions isn’t just to be a company that provides video and access services. Kedzeirski explained that, since video is so time-consuming to watch manually, there is a lot of potential value in providing ways to analyze it. “We see this as a way to become an intelligence platform for the business community,” Kedzierski told me. “Not only can video analytics help with safety and risk management, it can be harnessed to understand space usage and occupancy in a very precise way.” He explained that while cloud-based data architecture was central to how they plan on connecting their devices, edge computing would be necessary to perform the analysis in real time. 

As for both the Avigilon and Openpath brands, they will remain. Motorola sees both as distinct offerings and is okay with being the parent company of many interconnected brands. While it might be best known for telecommunication hardware and now fire and EMS tech, it may not be long before it’s also powering the command centers for our buildings. With these recent acquisitions, it’s possible that Motorola could become a major player in the building tech ecosystem.

Editor and Co-Founder
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