This excerpt taken from the ZBRA 10-Q filed May 8, 2009.
Zebra Enterprise Solutions
Zebra Enterprise Solutions (ZES) group sales remained stable in a challenging economy. Sales remained firm in hardware and licensing. Margins improved in services provided to customers due to reduced service costs.
ZES operating expenses for the first quarter of 2009 are lower than the first quarter of 2008 due to lower staffing levels, reduced outside service costs, and lower amortization of intangibles due to asset write downs in the fourth quarter of 2008.
This excerpt taken from the ZBRA 10-K filed Feb 29, 2008.
Zebra Enterprise Solutions
In 2007, we acquired WhereNet Corp., proveo AG and Navis Holdings, LLC, which we refer to as Zebra Enterprise Solutions. In 2008, we will be integrating these businesses into a single business unit, and intend to report their results separately from our specialty printing business. Together, these companies give Zebra the ability to deliver more high-value applications that help our customers identify, track and manage assets, transactions and people. We consider these solutions natural adjacencies to our core specialty printing business.
The solutions these companies provide are sold on a contract basis and are typically installed over several quarters. These contracts cover a range of services, including design, installation and ongoing maintenance services.
On January 25, 2007, we acquired WhereNet Corp., a provider of active RFID based wireless solutions to track and manage enterprise assets, for $127 million in cash. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, WhereNet provides integrated wireless real-time locating systems (RTLS) to companies primarily in the industrial manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and aerospace and defense sectors. These systems help companies locate and track high-value assets using battery-powered wireless tags, fixed-position antennae and Web-enabled software. They are employed in parts replenishment, vehicle inventory tracking, truck yard management, marine cargo tracking, and work-in-process tracking, among many other applications.
WhereNets solutions encompass hardware, middleware, application software, and services for project management, maintenance and support. Hardware consists primarily of proprietary battery-powered RFID transponders and various RFID reading devices. Manufacture of these products is accomplished by third-party contract manufacturers. Middleware, application software and services are designed and delivered by WhereNet personnel. Sales and service are made on a direct basis through contracts with end-user customers, in addition to follow-on sales of transponders and support services.
Active RFID technology is the basis on which WhereNet solutions are designed and built. Several companies compete with WhereNet employing multiple technologies aimed at optimizing the performance of supply chain, asset tracking and logistics networks. These technologies include passive RFID, other active RFID platforms, GPS-based
technologies, Wi-Fi-based technologies, and software platforms. Competing wireless location and RFID-focused companies include Aeroscout Inc., Ekahau Inc., I.D. Systems Inc., Identec Solutions, Intermec Inc., and RF Code Inc. Larger, diversified companies competing with WhereNet include Cisco Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Roper Industries, Inc., Siemens AG, and Motorola, Inc.
On July 2, 2007, we acquired proveo AG, for approximately $15 million in cash. Headquartered in Crailsheim, Germany, proveo provides a complete hardware and software system for tracking motorized vehicles utilizing GPS technology. Currently deployed on airport ground support equipment (GSE), proveo solutions help ground handlers manage GSE more effectively, increase safety and security, enhance quality and reduce environmental impact. The proveo system helps reduce GSE investment and operating costs by enabling improved vehicle management.
The proveo solution consists of a transponder module that is wired into the vehicle to monitor the vehicles operation and receive power. The module transmits vehicle location and operating information. Application software enables visibility and management of the GSE. Hardware manufacturing is performed by third-party contract manufacturers. Sales and service are made on a direct basis through contracts with customers, as are follow-on hardware sales and maintenance services.
The proveo solution uses primarily GPS location and general packet radio service (GPRS) and Wi-Fi communication technologies. Competing technologies would include proprietary communicating and locating systems. Several companies compete with proveo in vehicle tracking and management, including I.D. Systems, Siemens, Amicus and Pinnacle VTIS.
Navis Holdings, LLC
On December 14, 2007, we acquired Navis Holdings, LLC, for approximately $144 million in cash. Headquartered in Oakland, CA, Navis provides software solutions to optimize the flow of goods through marine terminals and other operations managing cargo in the supply chain. Navis automated container terminal operating systems improve velocity and visibility of cargo movement through ports and intermodal facilities. The Navis suite of products helps companies enhance productivity, efficiency and profitability by automating and integrating data input functions for real-time analysis and planning. These products unite various functions to streamline workflow and reduce overhead, administration and maintenance costs. Related services consist of product customization, installation, training, maintenance and global support.
Marine terminals currently operate on systems from many systems providers, including custom systems developed in-house. Of the larger companies, Navis competes with IBM, Cosmos, Embarcadero Systems, and Tideworks Technology.
Enterprise Solutions Technology
RTLS combines advanced tracking software systems with active RFID technology. RTLS asset tags enclose a company-designed 2.4GHz radio transmitter and battery inside a rugged enclosure resistant to harsh fluids and outdoor conditions. The tags are easily attached to vehicles, test equipment, containers, or other valuable mobile assets. The tag uses spread-spectrum radio technology to regularly transmit a short message at pre-programmed rates ranging from 1 second to multiple hours. Our radio and electronics technology ensures reliable transmission and tag lives of up to 7 years. The transmitted message is received by one or more company-designed location sensors which forward the information to software that determines the tags current location and performs other database functions and system management tasks. High-precision algorithms use Time Difference of Arrival technology to determine a tags location within 1.5 meters, and thus identify the location of the tracked asset.
Advanced algorithms within Zebras enterprise software use this real-time location information to manage and plan the movement of people, equipment, and cargo. This software runs on a variety of system platforms including UNIX, Linux, Microsoft® Windows®, and the Mac OS®. Specialized software for marine terminals, yard management, airports, and mobile asset management ensure data is provided in easily understood, actionable form and is localizable into any language.