Saturday, April 4, 2009

This blog gets personal again - the sale of Motorola's biometric software business to Safran is complete

A little caveat is in order here - this post is my own and is not offered on behalf of any of the business entities mentioned below, nor does it necessarily represent the views of any of the business entities mentioned below.

I rarely talk about my day job on this blog, but this announcement on the Motorola web site merits some attention.

Motorola Has Sold its Printrak Biometrics Software Business to Sagem Sécurité, a Division of Paris-based SAFRAN

The Biometrics business unit has been a leading global provider of biometric systems for more than 34 years, providing integrated identity management solutions and systems to more than 300 customers in 40 countries worldwide. You can still find information about the products and solutions in this portfolio on these pages, or visit Sagem to learn about the new owner.

This deal was originally announced via a joint press release on October 15, 2008, but the joint press release included this caveat.

The transaction is targeted to close first quarter of 2009 at the latest and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Well, it took a while to get the regulatory approvals, which were not only required in the United States, but in other countries as well, since Motorola and Safran are worldwide firms, and the biometrics unit in question does business in more than 40 countries. But all approvals were received, and the Biometrics employees found out about the completion of the process at 4:23 pm on Friday. (Not that I was checking or anything.)

So I left work on Friday as a Motorola employee, and I will report to work on Monday as a Safran employee.

Interesting times. Not that anything will change. Not at all. But I'm prepared.

But seriously, if you're interested in the products in question (or one of them, anyway), here are portions of an interview that I conducted with Mark Brunelli during Oracle OpenWorld 2006.

Speaking during an interview at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco...John Bredehoft, Motorola's biometrics product manager, said his company uses Oracle Database 10g to manage that image data and recommends the same database management system to its customers....

The company...needed the ability to easily store images of fingerprints, palm prints, facial features and iris scans, as well as the feature data associated with those images and the textual data....

"A lot of our business is state and local, and they're not necessarily going to have an Oracle DBA on staff," Bredehoft said. "The self-service capabilities were really important."

Today, Motorola's palm print, mug shot and fingerprint-matching biometric products cover a wide variety of areas where keeping track of individuals is essential. The company says its customers include border patrols, police departments and other government agencies. The company also makes mobile devices that let police take and match fingerprints from the comfort of their cruisers....

Well, since 2006, a few things have changed. The main product now uses Oracle Database 11g. And, as of this weekend, the software is no longer a Motorola product (although Motorola continues to offer biometric hardware for its enterprise digital assistants).

Obviously there will be more news on this, coming through the proper channels (and no, this blog is not an official channel for news on the entity).


But I did want to share the fact that the deal is (finally) done.

And yes, Louis Gray, I'm still keeping the Motorola Q that I got in the fall of 2006. At least for a while.
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