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“We’ve learned this past year that the tracking system we have with the NFL is actually considered to be the best by the broadcasters, coaches, and the fans,” says Zebra Technologies CEO Anders Gustafsson. “Our type of technology works particularly well with football but it would also work for basketball, ice hockey, and soccer. With ice hockey, the challenge is the puck. How do you track the puck and put the tag inside the puck? We can do it but it’s more costly. With basketball, they have been more focused on the ball than the players.”

Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies, discusses how their tracking technology is being integrated deeply within sports and business in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC:

Our Tracking Technology Works Particularly Well With Football

We’ve learned now this past year that the tracking system we have with the NFL is actually considered to be the best by the broadcasters, coaches, and the fans. The NFL owns the data so we can’t give (fantasy players) access to the data. I think they give access to some of the data but not all the data. Then you would have all the information you could possibly want to have about every player on all of the teams. 

Our type of technology works particularly well with football but it would also work for basketball, ice hockey, and soccer. With ice hockey, the challenge is the puck. How do you track the puck and put the tag inside the puck? We can do it but it’s more costly. With basketball, they have been more focused on the ball than the players. 

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Zebra Tracking Technology Works Particularly Well With Football

We Are Becoming An Essential Part of Retailers’ Strategies

Savannah is our data platform. We can connect all sorts of devices or sensors on the south side and on the north side we can have APIs to all sorts of other applications. We can provide a lot of analytics around what’s happening there. We integrate with a lot of independent software vendors. If you look at large companies like Oracle, SAP, Manhattan, and JDA, they’re all partners of ours. We exchange data with them and we provide data that they use for their operations. We also have our own software capabilities. We bought a company called Profitect. It does any predictive analytics. This is a good example of this but we have other software capabilities also.

We are now becoming an essential part of retailers’ strategies for building omnichannel and ecommerce capabilities. Historically, we were probably viewed a bit more as a tactical device supplier. Today we’re much more of an integral part of enabling them to execute on their strategy. We moved ourselves up the solution stack to be able to deliver more value to them.

Companies are now tracking employees, patients, assets

Today, more and more things are being tracked and there are more and more efficiencies out of this. Companies are now tracking employees, patients, assets, all of these things. We said we provide the performance edge to the front line of business by having every employee, device, and technical thing being connected and optimally utilized and visible to the network. 

Tableau (a company recently bought by Salesforce) would more than likely integrate our data. We could be a source for data insight analytics for them. We aspire to get those kinds of valuations (and the higher multiples that Tableau got when they sold to Salesforce). We also overlap (with Honeywell) in a number of areas but we do quite a few different things also. We have our own strengths and we compete with them but not everywhere.

Zebra Tech Tracking Technology Integrating Deep Into Sports and Business – CEO Anders Gustafsson



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