Mitel Industry Event Update

20 Nov 2016

The week before last I got to spend a couple of days with the Mitel management team and a small selected group of analysts and consultants. The sessions showed the ongoing progress of the Mitel team and their products. The following are few highlights I came away with from the event.

Consolidation Strategy - Mitel CEO Rich McBee has publicly stated that the Mitel goal is to consolidate an increasing number of business communications seats. While they appear to be generally interested in all available options to grow the installed base, the focus is on reasonable value based acquisitions. The consolidation strategy has resulted in a base of over 60M seats, top four in the industry. Based on Rich's comments at the event, I expect some Mitel news on the acquisition front in 2017.

Applications Overlay and API Strategy - Mitel currently has a number of telephony platforms in the market. This has been driven by the acquisition strategy and will likely grow more. The challenge is how to deliver new value to these platforms and the customers that use them. To accomplish this, Mitel has built an API-based overlay that integrates to all the platforms and enables a common set of advanced UC applications and CPaaS to integrate with all the platforms. This technology was demonstrated and is a clear part of the overall strategy. As part of the demos they showed how this can be used to deliver a full range of value added capabilities from the cloud to the range of Mitel PBX platforms.

Collaboration and Teams - Mitel showed both their MiCollab product that has been in the market as well as the new MiTeam team and work stream messaging platform. They showed the MiTeam on both the premises and cloud communications platforms and are making it available across the installed base.

Mobile IoT - Mitel has a clear difference from most of the enterprise communications players in the mobile IMS capabilities that came with the Mavenir acquisition. While there was no major news on mobile enterprise solutions, there was a lot of discussion about how Mitel is participating in the Internet of Thinks market, both as an underlying vender through their mobile IMS products, but also through a range of integrations, including real time integration with the Internet of Things. The concept of turning IoT events into real time actions seems to have significant potential value, giving "IoT a Voice." A few specific initial implementations were discussed, including advanced IoT environments like airports.

Overall the event showed the continuing progress that Mitel is making and opened the Kimono on some exciting future technologies and solutions. I look forward to seeing some of these in the market in the next year as well as monitoring how Mitel continues its transformation and growth in the industry. I think the API strategy holds significant promise for Mitel to both add value for the full range of the installed base, but also to grow significantly beyond telephony services into a full range of new business applications.


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