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February 24, 2009

Visto snaps up Good Technology from Motorola

Ups ante in enterprise wireless email services

By CBR Staff Writer

Motorola Inc is to let go of its mobile messaging unit and will sell the Good Technology business it paid $500 million for just a couple of years ago to rival wireless e-mail provider Visto Corp.

The companies are not saying anything about terms, but Visto will feel it has snapped itself a bargain.

Wireless email software maker and service provider Good was at one time one of the best-funded outfits in Silicon Valley, and was positioned as a likely rival to Research In Motion’s popular BlackBerry service.

Like all too many businesses, Motorola is having to work hard to cut costs and although it has insisted to Wall Street that it remains committed to turning around its mobile phone business, it is being outperformed by other divisions of Motorola’s and is losing market share. 

The company has recently announced plans to lay off 4,000 workers, including 3,000 staff from its handset division.

The mobile phone-maker is having to act fast, and has said that the deal with Visto is expected to close by the end of February.

For Visto, the CEO Brian Bogosian said, Good’s robust enterprise and government solution will complement Visto’s strong operator presence in business and consumer markets.

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Visto produces software for a long list of operators including Vodafone, T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel and others that want to provide push email that compete with BlackBerry services. 

Visto also sees RIM as a main rival. In 2006, Visto filed a suit claiming that RIM was using its wireless email technology without a license. It asked for unspecified damages and for RIM’s network to be shut down.

Once it has taken on board Good Technology, Redwood City, California-based Visto said it would be able to provide enterprise customers in over 100 countries with secure mobile on over 400 different mobile devices.


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