Powering Connections with Mitel
Mitel’s Elite Experience Americas conference brought together some of Mitel’s top partners, as well as customers, analysts, and consultants, who enjoyed great food, Texan hospitality, and some not-so-great weather in San Antonio. The theme of the event was “Powering Connections,” and CEO Rich McBee provided the audience with Mitel’s vision for the future. He opened the event by saying that “It’s all about being seamless, connected, intelligent, real time, customizable, and multiplatform,” adding, “Anything that can be connected, will be.” He emphasized the need for communication tools to be easy to use, simple to manage, affordable, and easy to deploy. Openness is essential, and Mitel is committed to connecting into existing tools seamlessly by taking an open approach to help customers leverage the investments they’ve already made.
Path to the Cloud
Mitel’s vision includes making everything cloud capable and helping customers migrate to the cloud when they’re ready. Several presenters discussed Mitel’s new CloudLink, which connects premises-based telephony platforms to Mitel cloud apps. Similar to CTI middleware, it acts as a gateway to call control and IoT, and will interconnect with not only Mitel PBXs, but also other vendors’ switches as well. I expect that CloudLink will be useful as Mitel migrates its Toshiba customers to the cloud and Mitel apps, and will come in handy as Mitel acquires other UCC vendors.
During the event, I conducted video interviews with several Mitel executives about Mitel’s current and future plans. In this first video interview, Jon Brinton, EVP and President of Mitel's Cloud Division, discussed digital transformation, CloudLink and Mitel’s approach to the cloud, as well as IoT (the Internet of things).
IoT, AI, and More
As Brinton noted, digital transformation and IoT are key elements of Mitel’s go-forward strategy. Mitel’s role in IoT is “giving machines a voice,” and the company will leverage its heritage around voice quality and call control to be extensions to IoT devices.
I also spoke with Tony Pereira, VP, Business Accelerator, about Mitel’s IoT initiative and how Mitel connects the world of IoT to the world of UC. In this video interview, Pereira talks about IoT, as well as how Mitel will work with AI vendors and products to provide real-world solutions to customers.
In this next video interview, Jim Davies, Mitel Enterprise CTO, also discusses AI and how Mitel is working with third parties to provide AI solutions for customers. In addition, Davies explains Mitel’s new Bluebird application for small businesses, as well as how Mitel is using Amazon Web Services and microservices.
I also spoke with Mitel CMO Wes Durow about the key takeaways from the event. We discussed how the Mitel communication platform connects to the customers’ business applications to embed communications in business workflows.
Mitel is very focused on several vertical markets, most notably the hospitality market. I spoke with Speleos Dravillas, Manager of Vertical Sales, about Mitel’s activities in the hospitality market. He explained how Mitel is building a call control platform for hotels and cruise ships, and building on Mitel’s “Connected Guest Experience.” For more information on the Connected Guest Experience, you can watch the webinar I did a few months ago with Speleos and Jim Davies.
Innovation – Alive and Well
McBee wrapped up the event by noting, “Innovation is alive and well at Mitel,” and that the company is positioned to be one of the top three players in the UCC industry. Based on what I saw and heard, I have to agree that Mitel is certainly being innovative, and has big plans for IoT, embedded applications, and more. As with every vendor, the key is execution and working with channel partners. We’ll be watching to see how Mitel delivers on its promises.