Motorola Solutions and Malaysia – an innovation story spanning 45 years

Motorola Solutions celebrates its 45th year in Malaysia this year. But its story in Malaysia is incomplete without the nine decades of innovation that the company has gone through, on a global level.

In its 90-year history, Motorola Solutions has made many memorable moments possible – their technology that broadcasted those famous first words from the moon – “One Giant Leap for Mankind”.

And there were other firsts as well.

For example, the company produced the first commercial portable cellular phone in 1983, and the first two-way pager in 1995, and many other innovative technologies. Needless to say, these were important milestones that helped shape the consumer communications landscape during a significant period for that industry.

While all of this was happening, Motorola Solutions’ customer base grew in different markets as well as expanding into different industries with different needs.

To better meet those needs, Motorola Solutions firstly set up first a manufacturing presence in Penang, Malaysia – its first manufacturing facility outside of the United States.

According to its Malaysia Country President, Mohd Rauf Nasir, operations in Penang have grown significantly and in 2014, the company opened the Innoplex, its largest R&D presence outside of North America.

Today, it is the base for over 1000 R&D engineers, who are highly skilled in industrial design, software, electrical, electronics and mechanical engineering.

Motorola Solutions has a vast software engineering workforce in Asia Pacific approaching a headcount of 2,000 and this resource is supported by multi-disciplinary R&D engineers in Penang.

Now, the Innoplex offer vital services including 24/7 network monitoring and management for its customers, many of whom are public safety organisations that depend on having always on communication.

Innovation in the DNA

Innovation has always been central to  Motorola Solutions’ ability to develop  technologt to meet the mission-critical needs of emergency services and enterprises.

The work of Motorola Solutions’ APAC software engineering team  is vital to the company’s future pipeline of future products and services. These teams comprise skills and expertise that came to the company through acquisitions like VaaS International Holdings,  provider of data and image analytics services for vehicle location, and Gridstone, a smart mobile application development firm

Today, besides supporting software engineering for product development in APAC and the world, Penang designs and develops solutions including Land Mobile Radio (LMR), broadband LTE devices and communication system solutions. These solutions have been deployed by public safety agencies across the world, and are routinely used by emergency teams to manage extremely challenging events including disaster response and recovery.

For 45 years, Malaysia has played a significant role in developing these technologies and accelerating their adoption all over the world. The country will likely continue to do so as Motorola Solutions opens a new chapter with enhanced solutions based on new technologies and requirements.

This includes a variety of technologies across voice communication, video security, command centre software and managed services.

Meanwhile, Malaysia reciprocates investments made by multinational companies like Motorola Solutions, with a rejuvenated focus upon the manufacturing sector through its nationwide Industry 4.0 policy.

A huge part of this effort includes developing a pipeline of engineering-ready graduates to meet the requirements for a manufacturing sector that demands innovation and industrial skills.

One field of study targeted for development, is research and development.The Malaysian Prime Minister himself recently announced how the country’s education system would be more closely aligned to its economic needs.

Working with law enforcement and public safety in this region

One notable customer of the organisation in Malaysia, is the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).

Leveraging Motorola Solutions’ robust infrastructure, the RMP has one of the best solutions to maintain law and order and has successfully supported major events including the Commonwealth Head of Government meeting in Malaysia.

But beyond law and order, disaster response is where critical communications technologies come to the fore.

Aid agencies and governments in this region are looking to improve disaster response capabilities with more robust,  and reliable communications networks to warn people of upcoming dangers.

An early warning system can mean all the difference in the number of lives lost and the value of economic losses incurred.

An eye to the future

Although Motorola Solutions started off as a communications company, it has changed and diversified considerably over the years – eventually selling its consumer hand phone business to return to its foundations in mission critical communications for the public safety and enterprise sectors.

In today’s complex and changing world their mission critical technologies are more essential than ever before.

And for more than four decades, Malaysia has played an important role in the company’s global journey.

As the company moves forward to develop more new technologies and solutions in response to changing needs,  Motorola Solutions is discovering that its own evolution may never really stop.

Rauf opined, “I am very proud about Motorola Solutions being in Malaysia for the last 45 years. Our organisation has never really stayed doing the one thing but we continue to invest to expand its operations and resources here.

“Malaysia continues to be a very important country for Motorola Solutions. Ultimately, this is good for the country, it’s good for Malaysians, and it’s good for the ecosystems that we have established over the years, here,” Rauf concluded.


Watch the video of Motorola’s anniversary story, below.