RhoMobile Seeks Mind Share, Enterprise Developers Under New Parent Company

Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Motorola goes from internal MEAP focus to support external non-Motorola devices/solutions

• Backend integration and hosted cloud are at the core of its new strategy

After losing significant mind share in the MEAP market space due to an internal focus on core Motorola products, RhoMobile, now operating under the wing of Zebra Technologies, has a new go to market strategy. It plans to take on competitors through its mature platform with an emphasis on backend integration, IoT focus, and strong channel partnerships.

The marriage between RhoMobile and Zebra combines the physical and digital worlds: Zebra, with its scanning and printing technologies, referred to as rugged because they’re primarily used by field workers such as car rental agents, and RhoMobile for its enterprise mobile app platform. Both target the enterprise, helping drive the operational efficiencies of key verticals including retail, field service, warehouse, manufacturing, and hospitality.

Recapping the RhoMobile Suite, the portfolio consists of RhoStudio, IDE for cross-platform development, Rhodes open source cross-platform framework based on Eclipse, RhoElements, HTML5 framework and container for native and hybrid mobile apps, and RhoConnect for backend system integration. Like its rivals, backend integration is a core part of RhoMobile’s messaging to support mission critical applications that are data centric.

To achieve its new go to market strategy, RhoMobile has just rolled out a developer-focused website with improved support and tools, along with more attractive developer pricing, and new hosted cloud services. Realizing it’s under pressure to differentiate from leading MEAP competitors, RhoMobile is also emphasizing its IoT efforts, claiming levels of scalability by leveraging hosted services that support not just 1:1 Internet connections, but 1:10,000 sensors that a large enterprise customer would need to support its clients.
It’s hard to determine if RhoMobile’s merely gone from being internally focused on Motorola products to now having to focus on Zebra’s products, but time will tell whether developers find a broader non-Motorola play opportunity. Meantime, RhoMobile faces a highly competitive market, including IBM, SAP, Kony, and Salesforce, focused not only on backend integration via hosted services, but on application development frameworks to ease front-end development for LoB users as well. (Please see Next-gen Development Frameworks Drive Democratization of App Development, October 23, 2014)

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