Psion Gobbled up by Motorola Solutions

So without further ado Motorola and Psion both announced confirmation of the take-over which sees Motorola Solutions buy one of the grandmother founders of the PDA!  It didn’t come as a surprise as we blogged about it a few months ago, Psion’s share price had been gradually falling, bar a few spikes here and there, the service and management have gone very quiet and for those of us that have already lived through big buy outs or takeovers here at Rugged and Mobile, all the signs were there and continue to be there!  This is about opinion and debate of what this means to customers so please join in with your 2 penneth by commenting below.

So what will this mean to Psion?

We think their “field” devices will go.  The EP-10, IKON and even Neo have all struggled, we know because of the prices they are going to on recent projects to win against rivals.  Their’s simply no room or reason to run both these and the MC65/75A etc.

The brand, whilst losing a lot of kudos recently, is still quite loved by many in the right markets so we’ll have to see how well Motorola can deal with this.  People don’t like big companies any more, they want to work with hard-working, niche, knowledgable and caring smaller businesses so this will be a challenge for them.  Just look at how long they took to finally remove the Symbol brand they bought in the last decade.

What will this mean to Motorola Solutions?

For those of you who don’t know Motorola is split into 2 sides.  The first side is the mobile a telecoms business.   This is the bit that Google recently bought, it’s the smartphone side of the business which was once worth billions.  The solutions side of Motorola is the data capture part that was once Symbol.  Motorola bought their way into this market through acquisition.

We’re not sure why Motorola bought Psion and no-one has come forward and told us yet, all being a bit too secretive for my liking.  Often its to simply remove a competitor, often its about the technology or did Motorola simply have some bucks to spend?  We do know that Psion had a few things up their sleeve but until moto open up to us we know nothing about this!

What does it mean to the customers

Most importantly how will this affect customers bot present and in the future?  It’s never good for customers when a competitor buys another one.  Firstly the customer loses an option, whether that’s technology or for commercial reasons.  Secondly we will see 12 months loss of customer focus as the 2 companies (and the poor little people in them) fight to keep their jobs, work out where they go from here and trust me, all eyes will be pointed inwards as they do it.

But in terms of the technology we got an insight from a journal we do research for in so much as they think Motorola will take the strengths of the warehouse from Psion, add them to the strengths of their field devices and hopefully put that together to from a better offering all round.  Does that help customers who already kind of have that?  Well no, but maybe if Motorola can somehow remedy the service problems Psion have right now and make their own service better with Psion will have to remain a story to be told.

What do I think?

I think buying a company for no clear reason is one of the 10 signs a business is failing :-0! I personally lived through the HP/Compaq takeover and I also heard a lot of stories from Compaq about how they took over Tandem and DEC.  At the end of the day all that happened was employees suffered for years, all the good people left while redundancies where in the 10’s of thousands and has it helped HP?  With recent announcements of 30K more jobs to go world-wide…that’ll be a no then.

Business is about people these days, not profit.  If Motorola can focus on the people, create a better customer service with more innovation and USP’s then that’s great and we’ll be the first to applaud and write about all the wonderful things they do right here.  If it’s the same old “PLC” exercise by bean counters to boost flailing share holder pricing then what shame.  Lets hope it’s the former.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

6 Responses

  1. Peter Ramore

    Well written post and I wish more people would stand up and share their opinion like you lot do. Here’s mine, always the same, big company buys slightly smaller company and customers lose out. Its like they run out of ideas hey?

    • ruggedandmobile

      Cheers Peter, I agree, in fact some would argue buying companies is one of the 10 signs of business failure (Can’t remember the author!). Either way Motorola have a big job now of keeping their eye on customers while they sort out merging the 2 companies.

  2. Peter Ramore

    Definitely with you on that point, we’ve been stung before like this. Do you think this will help Psion support at all? We’re getting 10 weeks and more for some devices to be repaired these days.

    • ruggedandmobile

      Well it’s just natural when you buy another company. You have 1000’s of people wondering what will happen to their jobs, a product line that overlaps and there’s no way round the fact there’s a lot of uncertainty. The thing is many people like you and me have lived through mergers and buyouts etc etc so we all know what happens, despoite the same old managment spiel we get. The point of the article was to just give a laymans term reason for this and to generate debate.

      We have had countless discussions about Psion warranty and out of warranty (No iServe) repairs with noone evcer getting back to us from Psion (What did i say above!!). We have also spoken to people all across Europe so can verify the problem is endemic and 10 weeks is average from our experience. We are in fact starting to repair our own customers devices now when they go OOW. The answer is can it really get any worse?

  3. Jaeson

    has anyone ever commented from either motorola or psion on this?