Motion Computing, best known for its ruggedized tablet offerings, is branching out into the networking market, and it’s looking to build a new channel around its new product lines.
Motion has introduced a pair of new networking offerings under the LINCWorks sub-brand, the Rugged Deploy Anywhere wireless access point, and its vehicle-mounted counterpart, the Vehicle Area Network, or VAN. Both products came about as a result of Motion’s experience in the field, and its belief that there are a lack of rugged but easy to use wireless networking devices, said Scott Ball, country manager for Motion Computing Canada.
“We’ve been in the rugged tablet PC business for about 12 years now, and throughout our history, we’ve run into industries, markets, and environments where connectivity has been the number-one issue, the biggest barrier for the adoption of technology,” Ball said.
While the new products are the company’s first foray into building its own products to its own specs, it’s built its own practice around deploying wireless network as a result of that experience. Ball said the company “didn’t want to become a wireless networking company” initially, but had to understand and implement wireless networks to enable sale in several key verticals, most notably healthcare, where a few years ago, wireless networks were scarce.
The company is going with an ease-of-use message for LINCworks, with Ball saying the idea is for on-the-scene works to be able to “drop it off the truck, turn the key, and really start working.” The company is combining wireless broadband with an access point, and even has the option of running apps natively on the network thanks to a Linux-based computer on-board in the RDA.
Likewise, the company sees an opportunity in the in-vehicle networking market. While incumbents including Bluetree, Motorola, and Inmotion have done a good job of covering the LAN in the vehicle, Ball said Motion saw a gap in the use of wireless devices using the vehicle as the hub for communications. That’s where the VAN fits in.
“All of our devices are something you put up and carry along with you, and these vehicle-based solutions didn’t do a good job when the device was outside the vehicle,” Ball said.
Motion Computing’s new channel plans
While the devices may go hand-in-hand with Motion’s core tablet offerings, Ball sees the channels for the two lines as quite different, at least for the moment. The company is moving slowly into the channel with the product, choosing to work with relatively few partners, and for now, it’s eschewing its usual distribution partners with the product.
“We want to make sure we have partners who can help us in this market, then go from there. It’s just not a broad-based channel in the beginning for LINCworks,” Ball said.
The strategy is to connect with those who have experience with enterprise-class wireless infrastructure and who know security. Ultimately, Ball said he sees the company working with three types of partners, DMRs and telcos, vertically-focused partners, and industry specialists. The goal will be to further define the market for the products, and to learn along the way before potentially connecting with more solution providers down the road.
“We’re looking for specialized partners who can help us understand where it fits and where it doesn’t,” Ball said. “We don’t claim to know everything, and we’re looking to learn as well.”