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Mitel's move for Unify will bolster UC pitch for its channel

With both Mitel and Unify using the channel, the consequences of a tie-up should benefit a wide number of partners

Mitel has made a move to acquire Atos’s unified comms (UC) business in a move described as significant for channel partners across Europe and the US.

The tie-up means the combined operations would have a partner base that tops 5,000 globally, targeting 75 million users in more than 100 countries.

The plan to acquire Unify, the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) and communication and collaboration services businesses (CCS) of the Atos group, should close in the second half if given the green light.

Mitel sketched out the implications for its channel, pointing to the increased operational scale, portfolio and geographic reach all being positives. It would also have a larger profile in the market around UC.

Both firms work with partners, and the commitment to provide support on a global level would remain, with the channel getting the chance to add more depth to their portfolios as Mitel looked to add Unify UCC and CCs expertise into the mix.

The deal would place Mitel in a strong position in the unified comms market, which is growing and presenting opportunities to the channel.

Under the plans, Tarun Loomba, president and chief executive officer of Mitel, would serve as president and CEO of the combined company. Additional members of the management team would be selected from both companies in the time between now and the deal closing.

“The UC industry today holds significant opportunities to grow through M&A, aligning well with Mitel’s strategy and expertise,” said Loomba. “The addition of Unify’s portfolio, partners and talent would significantly expand Mitel’s scale and offerings, enabling us together to offer customers even greater choice and flexibility throughout the lifecycle of their business communications.

“The value this deal creates for customers, partners, investors and employees is exciting,” added Loomba. “Mitel and Unify’s channel partner communities represent a wealth of expertise available to guide customers forward as they aim to communicate and collaborate more effectively, particularly in this new world of hybrid work. Together, our portfolios and channel community would empower customers anywhere to leverage communications in ways that best support their needs and help them thrive.”

In response, Marcus Hänsel, chief executive officer of Unify at Atos, said that it would be going into good hands with the Mitel deal.

“Unify and Mitel both have a deep heritage in the communications market centred around customer needs and a channel-driven, go-to-market strategy,” he added. “Mitel’s commitment to UC, heritage of success, and experience integrating complementary global businesses gives us great confidence in our future together.”

The deal also got the backing of analysts, with Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research, giving it the thumbs up: “Demand for UC globally is massive and full of potential. This announcement makes that even more interesting by putting the combined Mitel-Unify organisation in a compelling position to capitalise on the market opportunity that lies ahead.

“The complementary strengths of Mitel’s mid-market expertise and Unify’s successful enterprise managed services business will make Mitel a highly competitive option for mid-to-enterprise organisations.”

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