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Zebra Releases Enterprise MotionWorks Platform and New Reader Hardware

The company is offering its Savanna Location Engine with a portfolio of MotionWorks solutions so that large enterprises can integrate location data from multiple systems on a single platform, while Zebra's new fixed readers aim at manufacturing and retail point-of-sale use cases.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 29, 2018

Although Zebra Technologies' MotionWorks solution got its start in athletics, companies far beyond the sports industry—including manufacturers and logistics providers—are using the ultra-wideband (UWB) solution to understand the locations of assets and personnel. In many cases, however, these companies have multiple location technology solutions in place, at different sites or in different departments, with no integration.

As a business's technology use grows, so does the need to integrate and utilize the data from these systems. To meet growing demands on such large organizations, Zebra has developed an enterprise-wide MotionWorks solution aimed at helping companies integrate all of their MotionWorks- and other technology-based location data onto a single platform.

Zebra's Matt Seltz
The Lincolnshire, Ill., company's new MotionWorks platform is powered by Zebra's Savanna Internet of Things (IoT)-based location engine, enabling users to collect data from RFID and other location technologies across an entire enterprise, and to provide not only the locations of things and individuals, but also the analysis and context needed for decision making. Zebra released Savanna software for asset intelligence last year (see Companies Trialing Zebra Technologies' IoT Savanna Platform), and the new location engine now provides a layer that captures and manages data from multiple solutions across an enterprise, to be viewed and analyzed on a single platform.

Until now, says Matt Seltz, Zebra's general manager of location solutions, those using MotionWorks technology have been point-driven. That means they have employed specific solutions for particular applications, and have used a variety of RFID-based solutions across a single enterprise. That could include a handheld or fixed reader for tool tracking, or a reader portal for inventory management within a warehouse. This "edge" data serves a purpose for specific departments or operations, he notes, but doesn't deliver actionable insights to an entire enterprise. The data being collected, Seltz asserts, could be used for much more.

When Zebra acquired Motorola Solutions' enterprise business in 2014 (see Zebra Buys Motorola Solutions' Enterprise Business), it found its customers included companies using a variety of technologies formerly offered by Motorola, as well as systems created by Zebra, with little integration occurring between them. In many cases, Seltz says, they were collecting vast amounts of data that went unused by management, without a single platform on which the data could be integrated and provide greater context regarding the operation of the entire enterprise.

With the MotionWorks platform and Savanna location engine, Seltz says, "We tie all the solutions together." That can mean UHF or other RFID technologies, as well as UWB, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, bar codes and cameras. The portfolio also includes multiple MotionWorks solutions already in use by companies, such as MotionWorks Asset, MotionWorks Material and MotionWorks Yard solutions.

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