Motorola to take on BlackBerry

another buy for handset maker

In another major acquisition, Motorola is to buy mobile email vendor Good Technology.

The deal will give Motorola a set of software products, and carrier and enterprise customers that use them, not only for wireless push-email but also for building handheld applications that link to corporate databases and applications.

As more employees become mobile more often, wireless email will play a critical role in communications and business processes such as customer service, sales and field service.

Good is competing with market leader Research in Motion, as well as companies like Seven Networks and now Microsoft. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Good, based in Santa Clara, California, will fall under Motorola’s mobile device business unit, and complements the recent acquisition of Symbol Technologies, which will now form the core of Motorola’s enterprise hardware and software offerings. Good says it has 12,000 enterprise customers around the world.

Motorola faces the challenge of integrating yet another company and product line into its offerings, a task it has had mixed results with in the past, says Jack Gold, principal of J Gold Associates.

One critical issue, Gold says, is how or even whether Motorola will manage what has been a key third-party relationship for Good: with Palm, a Motorola rival in the handheld device market.

“The acquisition will severely constrain a major relationship that has put Good on the map — the one with Palm and the Treo devices, which are a very large part of Good’s business,” Gold says.

Motorola says the deal is expected to close in early 2007.

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