Motorola Solutions cites command-center success, LMR challenges during earnings call
Motorola Solutions highlighted growth in its video, services and command-center software businesses, which helped offset notable declines in the company’s land-mobile-radio (LMR) sales, company officials said this week.
“I’m very pleased with the progress we’re making in our command-center software business,” Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “Our command-center software suite now covers the entire mission workflow from 911 intake to case closure and management. It’s a $500 million business, which has been growing consistently and improving its profitability while also transitioning towards the SaaS model.
“Just this month, we announced our PremierOne Cloud suite, which includes fully functional CAD, and mobile and records solutions available on the secure Azure Government Cloud. So, this means we now can provide our customers the flexibility of deploying their software, either on-prem [on-premise] or in a fully featured cloud deployment. Currently, we have over 3,500 command-center software customers with over 500 of those using two or more components of the suite.”
At the moment, the only aspect of the command-center software suite that is not yet cloud-enabled is 911 call-taking, but that component also is expected to be offered as a cloud-based product during the first half of next year, Brown said.
Cloud-based services also are becoming more popular elsewhere, which is why Motorola Solutions has video-as-a-service offerings for body-worn cameras and the recently launched CirrusCentral solution to help manage P25 networks, he said.
Despite healthy gains in video security, Motorola Solutions reported a 14% decrease in the company’s Products and System Integration business, primarily because of a significant decline in LMR sales—both in profession and commercial radio (PCR) and public-safety radio systems.
After a very poor second quarter, the PCR business improved slightly during the third quarter and should be a bit better in the fourth quarter, according to Brown. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be problematic.
“PCR [sales have hit] the critical industries that have gotten slammed by COVID the most—hospitality, entertainment, transportation, oil and gas,” Brown said. “Quite frankly, I think that we expect PCR to return to some form of growth in 2021, and that’s in part what informs our expectations for the product segment to return to growth as well.”
In the public-safety sector, Brown reiterated his belief that LMR simply have been delayed—or “pushed to the right”—as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the lower LMR revenue totals should not be interpreted as an indication that public-safety entities are less enthusiastic about using the radio technology.
Brown also said public-safety LTE remains no threat to mission-critical LMR.
“LTE or 5G is a complementary technology to mission-critical land mobile radio,” Brown said.