Motorola Solutions Ships First Enterprise-Ready Android Devices, Mobile Extensions

Motorola Solutions is expanding its enterprise mobile portfolio by adding its first set of Android-based, enterprise-caliber software technologies and purpose-built mobile devices. IDN speaks with Motorola’s Geoff Poremba about mobile devices for Android Jelly Bean OS, as well as added support for security, management and integration.

Tags: Android, enterprise mobility, Jelly Bean, MDM, Motorola, RhoConnect, RhoMobile, expert voice,

Geoff Poremba
senior product
manager for software

"Enterprise IT continues to have concerns over Android’s security and manageability, so...we’ve gone above and beyond what’s available."

Motorola Solutions is expanding its enterprise mobile portfolio by adding its first set of Android-based enterprise-caliber software technologies and purpose-built mobile devices. Motorola’s mobile devices will run on the Android Jelly Bean OS. To improve security and management capabilities, Motorola is adding extra software extensions to the device dubbed Mx. 

“Enterprise IT continues to have concerns over Android’s security and manageability, so we have out extensions for our Android product portfolio that will let internal IT and partners secure and manage these mobile devices,” Geoff Poremba, Motorola Solutions senior product manager for software, told IDN.

“Samsung and Motorola have been on a parallel track to secure and manage enterprise mobility, but we think with our first releases for Android we’ve gone above and beyond what’s available,” he added. The announced set of Mx Extensions support MDM (mobile device management), applications management, security, data capture and wireless connectivity.

“With Mx, IT admins can enforce which business apps are allowed to run on a device, and third-party mobile device management vendors can provide real-time remote management control,”   Poremba said. Further, Mx supports rapid data capture, intelligent pre-emptive roaming and even what Poremba called “edge awareness” to provide mobile workers a better user experience.

Architecturally, Mx extensions will not compromise Android functions, nor create application incompatibility, according to Poremba. “This allows for easy and seamless access of these capabilities by both internal IT developers and administrators, as well as third-party providers – without the need to learn a new SDK,” he said. Further, Mx Extensions are written to be compatible with the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

The latest Motorola Solutions Android devices can run natively-developed Android apps or with other frameworks, such as Motorola’s RhoMobile Suite 4.0. That said, Motorola’s Mx Extensions offer added advantage when run in conjunction with RhoMobile Suite 4, Poremba noted.

Devs can write mobile apps once and run them across Android, iOS 7 and Windows Phone 8 – as well as future OS platforms and devices. They can also leverage and develop standard Android applications or HTML5 cross-platform applications using RhoMobile Suite’s upgrade.

In addition, RhoConnect universal application integration server will simplify enterprise integration to mobile devices. Connecting to backend web services is achievable using SOAP or REST, and data can be retrieved via XML or JSON. The need to parse retrieved data is also removed and RhoConnect also eases tasks related to populating and managing data on a local device, Poremba added.

Further, RhoConnect helps simplify end-to-end integration and operations with support for offline sync, bulk and incremental updates, and metadata management to add source adapters for popular CRM systems. It also offers “seamless no source code” integration with enterprise apps written in Java, .NET, JavaScrpt, Ruby/Rails, as well as support for  NoSQL and “native” smartphone push technologies. RhoConnect’s metadata framework also synchronizes any changed metadata (not just the regular data), so that when new data fields get added to the backend enterprise app, they are available in forms and screens to the device right away.

Motorola Solutions’ new Android devices, including ET1, MC40 and MC67, are suitable for a range of enterprise use cases, including sales/order tracking, inventory management, payment processing, invoicing and signature capture. 

The Motorola Solution mobile device and software portfolio is the company’s first foray into Android. The company, which has been focused on producing products for the Microsoft Windows mobile line of OSes.