Motorola has been around for close to 86 years now, and its history of invention is rich, including a number of pioneering products such as the first walkie-talkie, the first pager, and the first cell phone. “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong’s famous words when he became the first person to step on the moon in 1969, were spoken on a Motorola radio transponder.
The telecommunications giant currently spends roughly $700 million on research and development a year—as much as all its competitors combined—and its ambition to innovate trickles down to all its employees, including George Krausz, president of Motorola Solutions Canada, which provides mission-critical communication solutions and services to public-safety organizations. “Things change so quickly these days,” he says. “If you’re not thinking outside the box and reinventing yourself, you’re going to be yesterday’s news.” Since joining his arm of the company in 2004, he’s been working to transform its operations to better support Canadian government and public-safety customers.
Motorola’s global annual spending on research and development
Increase in Motorola Solutions Canada’s customer-satisfaction rate over the past 10 years, surpassing the industry benchmark
Current customer satisfaction rate for Motorola Solutions Canada
Increase in Motorola Solutions Canada’s orders, revenue, and per-employee productivity over the past 10 years
Motorola Solutions Canada was a natural fit for Krausz, but he didn’t find it immediately. After graduating with a degree in engineering from the University of Waterloo, he decided the field wasn’t his calling, and he instead spent the first few years of his career working as a marketing manager for Unisys, which competed against IBM in the hardware space. “I remember telling the president I wanted to be sales manager, and he said to me, ‘You’ll never be a sales manager until you carry a bag,’ by which he meant, ‘be a salesperson,’” says Krausz, who recognized the moment as a pivotal one. “My father was a professional salesman, and the furthest thing from my mind was following in his footsteps, but I said, ‘OK, I should do this.’”
Motorola Solutions Canada has tripled its revenues since Krausz joined, in part thanks to common strategies he implemented organization-wide after being promoted to president in 2010. “When I first arrived, there were a bunch of people running their own businesses across the country, and I made sure we were all focused on the same things,” he says.He hasn’t looked back since, and after rounding out his experience in consulting, he ended up at Motorola Solutions Canada, first as its vice president of the government business, seeing an opportunity to transform the organization. “They usually hired from within, but they didn’t this time because they were looking for transformation, and the challenge of being able to move an organization forward appealed to me,” Krausz says.
He also changed the organizational structure, putting decision-makers closer to the field by installing sales directors in each of Canada’s regions. And he brought in more new blood. “The company was going through a transition, from what I call product selling to solution selling, and I brought people in who could help us with that,” Krausz says. “All of my sales-management team [is] new, and a number of sales people are as well.”
Looking to the future, Motorola is now spending a significant portion of its research dollars on “smart policing,” the collection and distribution of data to intelligently predict policing needs. The company is also looking into video—as vehicle- and body-mounted cameras become more prevalent within police forces—and LTE data networks to transfer the video. Krausz also sees the managing of networks as a growth area. “For many public-safety organizations, it’s not core competency, so they are investigating viable alternatives from the private sector,” he says.
“Things change so quickly these days. If you’’re not thinking outside the box and reinventing yourself, you’’re going to be yesterday’’s news.”
As Krausz sees it, his company’s customer focus has been its biggest key to success. “People here feel, to their core, that they’re on a mission to help public-safety workers apprehend criminals and maintain community safety, and that really drives them to deliver quality service,” he says.
Reinforcing that vision is the company’s commitment to giving back through the Motorola Solutions Foundation, which, for example, along with the RCMP Foundation and Canadian Police College, created the Aboriginal Policing Professional Development Fund, which provides First Nations Police Professionals with opportunities to take part in much-needed specialized police training. It also works with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to support the Special Olympics, and it provides disaster-recovery support.
“It’s logical for us because public-safety responders are the first ones in during an emergency, and they need communications,” Krausz says. “We’re right behind them.”