Clover’s Week: Around with Arris

Julian Clover in Berlin with the artist formerly known as Motorola.

There is always an automatic suspicion when one company folds into another and let’s face it, we’ve all seen a few.

At the Arris Video Leadership Forum in Berlin there was a new confidence, beyond that which can be taught, which was apparent as customers and media were guided through the plans of the company that has taken on the Motorola Home business.

It is hardly surprising; the last three or so years have been full of uncertainty first with the sale of half of Motorola to Google – the set-top and headend equipment side could have easily end up in the other half – and then the mist around the sale by Google.

For those who yearn for the past the necessary paperwork in setting up new European entities has seen a temporary return to the General Instrument moniker, but only for the taxman.

In Europe there is a pretty neat fit between Arris, which has gradually extended its product range beyond that of modems and CMTS units, and towards Motorola’s set-top side of the business. From network DVR, VOD and analytics, across ad insertion and video processing and towards modems, set-tops, connected clients and the emerging home control, it is a solid portfolio.

From its headquarters in Suwanee, Georgia, United States, Arris now has a presence in over 85 countries.

The urgency at which Arris has sought to get its name on the label, less than two months after the deal closed, is witnessed by the last two major trade shows. At ANGA COM there were two stands, but by The Cable Show in Washington DC last week one of the two stands booked there had turned into meeting room.

It is a modern approach that paints a picture of a consistent experience across devices and takes in the growing importance of second screen.

There is also an acknowledgment that the set-top may not be what it was, but equally we enter a world where as Motorola becomes Arris the set-top is now a home gateway.