Mo­torola’s new man in SA

Af­ter play­ing in en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity for 25 years, Kelly is ex­cited about op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - BELINDA AN­DER­SON

EN­TER­PRISE AND CON­SUMER tech­nol­ogy multi­na­tional Mo­torola re­cently ap­pointed a new coun­try man­ager and di­rec­tor for South Africa. And al­though new to this job – Mark Kelly only joined Mo­torola last year – he al­ready has 25 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity sec­tor. En­ter­prise mo­bil­ity en­com­passes ev­ery­thing from mo­bile email to uni­fied com­mu­ni­ca­tions and broad­band so­lu­tions.

Some of Mo­torola’s bet­ter-known prod­ucts in SA are its hand­sets, cel­lu­lar net­work and wireless broad­band of­fer­ings and Gov­ern­ment so­lu­tions such as Te­tra (on which the re­cently im­ple­mented Gaut­eng SA Po­lice Ser­vices emer­gency ser­vices sys­tem was based).

Kelly comes across as per­son­able and down-to-earth but ex­cited about the chal­lenge ahead and the unique op­por­tu­ni­ties and “nu­ances” that op­er­at­ing in the south­ern African re­gion af­ford. For ex­am­ple, Mo­torola has im­ple­mented a wind- and so­lar-pow­ered voice and data net­work in Namibia (for MTC) and a so­lar pow­ered net­work for some of its mines.

In his spare time Kelly is a golfer, likes to read and en­joys spending time in the bush. He’s mar­ried and has two daugh­ters and a son.

He came to Mo­torola with its ac­qui­si­tion of Sym­bol Tech­nolo­gies, a com­pany he’d been in­volved with in some form for many years, hav­ing him­self sold a suc­cess­ful en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity com­pany.

Af­ter a sab­bat­i­cal, Kelly was asked by Datatec to look af­ter Scan­tec’s en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity busi­ness (a dis­trib­u­tor, which now falls un­der its West­con divi­sion) and was ap­pointed MD. There­after, he joined Sym­bol in charge of its Africa, Mid­dle East and Is­rael op­er­a­tions be­fore Mo­torola ac­quired it.

Kelly’s first ex­pe­ri­ence of the en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity sec­tor was while do­ing his mil­i­tary ser­vice in 1983. He was tasked with com­plet­ing a study on how as­sets – peo­ple and equip­ment – could be more ef­fi­ciently tracked as they were moved be­tween camps and came to the con­clu­sion that ev­ery­thing should be bar-coded. Al­though noth­ing came of his rec­om­men­da­tions, Kelly says he re­ceived a com­men­da­tion from the mil­i­tary for his re­port.

At Mo­torola he’ll be in charge of its Africa En­ter­prise Mo­bil­ity divi­sion (es­sen­tially the Sym­bol busi­ness, af­ter a name change). But his new po­si­tion adds its other three busi­ness units – Mo­bile De­vices, Home & Net­works Mo­bil­ity and Gov­ern­ment & Pub­lic Safety – to his port­fo­lio of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Ear­lier this year the Mo­torola Group an­nounced it would split the group in two: separat­ing its mo­bile de­vice busi­ness from its en­ter­prise busi­ness (broadly called the Broad­band and Mo­bil­ity So­lu­tions divi­sion), prob­a­bly by 2009. In­ter­na­tion­ally, an­a­lysts wel­comed the an­nounce­ment be­cause its mo­bile hand­set divi­sion has un­der­per­formed.

Kelly says that for the time be­ing this move doesn’t af­fect him. He has a brief to run the busi­ness as one con­nected unit in SA. Part of his strat­egy, Kelly says, is to of­fer a real, end-to-end so­lu­tion to its clients (peo­ple, busi­ness and Gov­ern­ment) and em­pha­sise the ex­cit­ing tech­nol­ogy and prod­uct range that it has on of­fer.

Al­though he won’t be drawn on the num­bers (the group has a pol­icy of not break­ing down its em­ployee base by re­gion, as that changes de­pend­ing on the dif­fer­ent projects be­ing un­der­taken, etc), Kelly says Mo­torola runs a fairly sub­stan­tial op­er­a­tion in SA and south­ern Africa, rep­re­sent­ing each of Mo­torola’s four di­vi­sions.

In the pub­lic sec­tor, Kelly says there are a num­ber of so­lu­tions it could de­ploy to Gov­ern­ment. Among those he sees op­por­tu­ni­ties to roll out broad­band so­lu­tions to re­mote ar­eas to in­clude ed­u­ca­tion and con­nect clin­ics with voice, data and video net­works and it’s run­ning some pi­lot sites in Lim­popo in that re­gard. The run-up to the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup also opens op­por­tu­ni­ties for Mo­torola to pro­vide so­lu­tions, Kelly says.

A fair amount of its busi­ness is con­ducted us­ing ser­vice and dis­tri­bu­tion de­liv­ery part­ners, par­tic­u­larly in the Gov­ern­ment and pub­lic safety sec­tors, while its en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity busi­ness takes its prod­ucts to mar­ket en­tirely via a dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nel. “We have a rich his­tory in part­ner­ing with lo­cal com­pa­nies,” Kelly says.

With re­gard to cell­phones, Kelly says al­though the re­gion may be head­ing to­wards pen­e­tra­tion lev­els up­wards of 75% the fact that more de­vel­oped mar­kets have pen­e­tra­tion lev­els of more than 100% (more than one hand­set per per­son) rep­re­sents a con­tin­ued op­por­tu­nity for Mo­torola. That’s par­tic­u­larly so as the net­works move to in­creas­ing their av­er­age rev­enue per user fig­ures by ex­tend­ing their range of ser­vices rather than con­cen­trat­ing on rapid sub­scriber growth.

Af­ter its ac­qui­si­tion of Good Tech­nol­ogy in 2006, Mo­torola has of­fered push email on its Win­dows Mo­bile en­abled phones and Kelly sees that as an op­por­tu­nity for Mo­torola to cap­i­talise on the fast-evolv­ing mo­bile mar­ket in the re­gion.

Plans for split won’t af­fect him for now.

A real end-to-end so­lu­tion for clients. Mark Kelly

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.