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Moto Trims Video Division

Jeff Baumgartner
12/19/2008

Multiple industry sources have confirmed that Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has laid off as many as 85 employees at the company’s video-on-demand (VoD) and switched digital video (SDV) divisions in recent weeks.

Multichannel News reported Friday that about half of the 150 employees in Motorola's VoD unit were let go, while 10 of 26 staffers at the SDV department were laid off. Both areas operate out of Motorola's Home and Networks Mobility unit.

Motorola declined to confirm those figures, but noted that a workforce reduction announced in late October that affected 3,000 employees is occurring across all division lines, with a bit over two thirds of those layoffs happening in its handset division. Motorola expects to complete the layoffs between the final quarter of this year and through the first quarter of 2009. Earlier this week, Motorola made further moves to deal with a tumbling economy, announcing it would permanently freeze its U.S. pension plans and not award raises next year. (See Moto Freezes Benefits, Salaries.)

Motorola shored up its VoD strategy in the summer of 2006 via the purchase of video server specialist Broadbus Technologies. That fall, it added important SDV components with its acquisition of Vertasent LLC. (See Motorola Scoops Up Broadbus, Motorola Buys Vertasent, and Motorola Buys Switched Digital Player .)

Motorola’s SDV strategy appeared to be on a fast track about a year ago when it disclosed “deployment commitments” for 24 million homes passed with three cable MSOs. (See SDV Turf Battle Heating Up.)

However, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), one of Motorola’s largest cable customers, has yet to unleash SDV on a broad scale, launching just a handful of trials as it instead pursues an aggressive analog reclamation strategy centered on digital terminal adapters (DTAs). (See Comcast Expands SDV Test Pool.) Motorola’s position as a key supplier of DTAs with Comcast, however, has helped offset some of the shortcomings on the SDV deployment front at the MSO. (See Comcast's DTAs: Security Optional and Comcast Seeds Digital Shift With Free Boxes.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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lightreader1215
lightreader1215
12/5/2012 | 3:24:45 PM
re: Moto Trims Video Division
With half the employees in the VoD unit let go, what happens to the B1 product? Does this mean it will be EOL? What happens to existing customers?
bollocks187
bollocks187
12/5/2012 | 3:24:44 PM
re: Moto Trims Video Division
Mot is you would expect is a slow moving company.

Lacks internal drive and leadership at all levels.

It cannot compete in the Data/Telecom market.
lightreader1215
lightreader1215
12/5/2012 | 3:24:44 PM
re: Moto Trims Video Division
Mot claimed the B1 was deployed at Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and others. What do these customers do now?

The 75 remaining (half of the 150) employees will be relegated to bug fixing for existing installs. Eventually they will all leave for more intersting work. There will be no new features or innovation. Competition will have a field day!
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner
12/5/2012 | 3:24:43 PM
re: Moto Trims Video Division
I'll have to check with Moto to confirm, but my sources indicate that Moto will continue to support the B1 and the B1 deployments even with the cutbacks in the unit. The question is whether Moto will continue to upgrade and add features to it, something that seems less likely now. Likewise, the decision at Moto will open up opportunities for a new breed of video "pump" vendors...i'm digging into some of those now. JB
lightreader1215
lightreader1215
12/5/2012 | 3:24:42 PM
re: Moto Trims Video Division
If Moto is unable to upgrade and add features to B1, then it is essentially dead. Engineers by nature want to innovate, and most hate just fixing bugs. They will start looking for more interesting work and will leave the company when they find it. Products caught in this kind of negative spiral never recover.

I agree there needs to be a new breed of video "pump" anyway. For one thing, more people are accessing their video entertainment over the internet. Support for Internet streaming is a must going forward.
Michael Harris
Michael Harris
12/5/2012 | 3:24:37 PM
re: Moto Trims Video Division
Engineers by nature want to innovate, and most hate just fixing bugs. They will start looking for more interesting work and will leave the company when they find it. Products caught in this kind of negative spiral never recover.


Maybe they'll ring up their old BB bosses now at Genovation and ask for a check to fund the next big thing. ;)

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

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