By now everyone has likely heard about the business struggles that RIM continues to face. They have cut total employment significantly over the past few years. As a side note, they were a leading company is a high dollar industry that did everything in house – R&D, software development, security, manufacturing. That’s a lot of expertise.
So it’s a bit of a surprise that it took until now for this announcement – Motorola announced an engineering hub in Kitchener-Waterloo which is in RIM’s back yard. They will leverage the experience and capabilities that RIM gave to their previously extremely successful teams. Where else can you put down a major location in a specialized industry with almost no training needed for a potential hire-able workforce in the multiple thousands? If you are a major player with plans to grow, there is no better spot.
In addition it gives you instant innovation. Those new employees come from a different culture with different ideas on what makes a successful phone and phone software. By all accounts, RIM didn’t fail due to hardware or software capabilities – they failed because they didn’t deploy their engineering resources in the correct directions. This influx of ideas and creativity can only provide a second tremendous benefit to Motorola if they are able to correctly capture and direct the ideas.
In short- opportunistic Location Optimization should be looked at the same way that Mergers and Acquisitions are. If you don’t take advantage to the market opening, one of your competitors will. Worst case, the investment will give you additional business flexibility by giving you access to proven talent and capabilities.