After Adaptive Vision, you have now announced your intent to acquire Matrox Imaging. What are the reasons for this acquisition?
Donato Montanari: It’s driven by what our customers want and need from us to support their business and front-line workers. Namely, advancing digital decisioning capabilities through visibility and automation. I’d echo Zebra’s CEO Anders Gustafsson, who notes that customers are increasingly deploying automated solutions to augment their front-line workers, enabling them to focus on more complex, higher value workflows, and machine vision is a key technology to help them get there. The intent to acquire Matrox Imaging will enable us to meet the evolving needs of our customers, wherever they are on their automation journey-from capturing and analysing data to facilitate decision-making to deploying physical automation solutions – to accelerate the production and movement of goods and materials.
With the acquisition of Matrox Imaging, Zebra has massively expanded new machine vision hardware and software businesses at the same time. What does Zebra Technologies‘ new machine vision portfolio look like now?
It all comes back to having a portfolio that meets the needs of our customers to address their business challenges and opportunities and advancing their digital decisioning capabilities through visibility and automation. Our portfolio of machine vision solutions including those added through our recent acquisition of Adaptive Vision plus Zebra Aurora software and services are offered to customers to help them thrive in the on-demand economy that is constrained by both labour shortages and limited supply of upstream goods and materials. Acquiring Matrox Imaging will further expand Zebra’s offerings, by adding interoperable software, SDKs, high performance smart cameras, vision controllers, I/O cards and frame grabbers that are used to inspect, assess and record data from industrial vision systems used in factory automation, electronics, healthcare, semiconductors and more. Operations leaders within the automotive, pharmaceutical, electronics and food & beverage industries stand to gain the most from this exciting new combination. According to Zebra’s recent pharamceutical supply chain vision study, 96% of decision-makers agree supply chain visibility provides a clear competitive advantage.
Are there more acquisitions on the agenda? I still see gaps in the camera area.
Zebra will continue its strategic investments in the areas that will add the most value for our customers. If further acquisitions are made, we’ll be sure to inform our customers and the market.
Matrox Imaging’s MIL software has a strong presence, especially in America. Will MIL have a stronger presence in Europe as a result of the acquisition?
Yes indeed, once the acquisition is complete. Zebra’s customer base is global, including across Europe, and our acquisitions are made to benefit all our customers, wherever they are. For example, autonomous mobile robots from our US Fetch Robotics acquisition are in high demand across Europe. The machine vision expertise of Adaptive Vision, founded and based in Poland, is making a global impact. Another US software acquisition, Reflexis, is used by customers across Europe. We’ll bring the full range of machine vision capabilities, including Matrox Imaging, to Europe and the rest of our global markets.
What are your plans for the Matrox Imaging distributors worldwide?
Once the deal is closed, we will solidify our plans with Matrox Imaging distributors. Our distributors are incredibly important to us, which is why we keep investing to give our +10,000 partners across 100 countries the portfolio and service they and end-users need. Our award-winning PartnerConnect Program is a flexible program that’s focused on our partners‘ business model whether they’re reselling, distributing, influencing, integrating or developing software solutions. I’m happy to be able to say that our PartnerConnect program features a new specialised track for industrial automation distributors and systems integrators with existing fixed industrial scanning and/or vision automation expertise to help provide customers with the best possible experience.
Would you disagree if I said that Zebra Technologies has become one of the new key players in the machine vision industry with the acquisition of Matrox Imaging?
Zebra serves 94% of the Fortune 100. We’re already the market leader in several areas, including Android-based enterprise grade mobile computing, and indoor location services (RFID), with Gartner recognising us as such three years in a row. It puts us in a strong position to become „a key player“ among the global leaders in machine vision. Matrox Imaging will play a crucial role and make unique contributions on this journey. Our machine vision cameras and fixed industrial scanners, Zebra Aurora software, and Adaptive Vision acquisition are already playing an important role in helping build our portfolio for customers and in turn our leader profile in this space, and we’re delighted that Matrox Imaging will be part of this drive to be the best.