Monday, December 5, 2011

Openwave changes gear and positioning

In the latest installment of Openwave's transformation, the company sees two high profile appointments to beef up its licensing strategy.

Daniel Mendez and Tim Robbins are appointed at General Managers of Openwave's patent portfolio, in a clear move towards further monetizing Openwave's intellectual property in deals similar to Microsoft's announced earlier this year and generating $18M last quarter in licensing. This deal followed the successful re-acquisition this year of the patents previously sold to the Myriad group.

Daniel and Tim hail from Visto, who acquired and merged with Good Technology and created $350M in license revenue from intellectual property.

What I find the most interesting in the announcement, though, is the change in tag line describing Openwave over the last press releases. Openwave used to describe itself as "a global software innovator delivering all-Internet Protocol (all-IP) mediation and messaging solutions". A somewhat accurate description but really  wishy-washy and referring to "old" technology and positioning (IP communication was a revolution in the 90's and messaging, well, is not really very innovative nowadays). 

The new Openwave is "a global software innovator and the inventor of the mobile internet". That's bold, and while I can imagine many company would and might challenge that Openwave is the sole inventor of the mobile internet, it looks at last like someone at Openwave might have read my blog post from August and taken a clue. I think that is definitively the right positioning for the company to generate more traction. It will be interesting to see how vision and strategy align with the message and positioning over the next year.

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