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Mitel’s channel has been put on notice that once the deal to acquire Unify closes, it will get the opportunity to take advantage of cross-sell opportunities.
The supplier announced a €700m move for the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) and communication and collaboration services (CCS) businesses of the Atos Group earlier this week, heralding the move as a positive one for the channel.
Graham Bevington, chief sales officer at Mitel, explained what the deal meant for channel partners of both organisations.
“Mitel and Unify share a common, channel-driven go-to-market approach that is well-suited to fuel success for channel partners,” he said. “Partners would have a broader portfolio of products and services with which to ensure customers have the flexibility to choose the communications model they prefer, as well as more global resources to support the overall partner experience.
“The combined company would have the operational scale, portfolio, geographic reach and financial profile to modernise the UC experience for customers faster and more effectively than either company could alone – ultimately making Mitel an even stronger partner for the channel community,” said Bevington.
The next question for the channel is around the timing of access to all of those benefits, with the deal expected to close at some point in the second half of the year if it gets the necessary backing of shareholders. Once that moment comes, the expectation is that partners will quickly start to exploit the fresh opportunities.
“Until the transaction closes, Mitel and Unify will continue to operate as separate entities and partners will not have the opportunity to cross-sell solutions,” said Bevington. “Following the close of the transaction, we expect adjacent cross-sell opportunities would deliver increased support for customer needs and opportunities for revenue growth for partners.”
Increase in demand
There has been an increase in demand for UCC, driven by the shift towards hybrid working, but research issues last year indicated there were challenges for customers managing systems, opening the door for the channel.
According to a study from Kurmi Software and Pulse Research, UCC management impact report: The true cost of unified communications and collaboration, issued last year, many customers were using systems that were cumbersome to manage.
“The shift towards hybrid working, combined with the convergence of UC and business collaboration apps, means that UCC is now seen as a platform that fundamentally improves productivity,” said Pascal Moindrot, chief operating officer at Kurmi Software, last February. “As our impact report has found, however, the challenge for organisations managing this at scale is that provisioning users across multiple apps and communications platforms is both costly and labour intensive.”
That sense of Mitel being able to reach out to those customers with this deal was spotted by market watchers who have charted the explosion in the market and the emergence of a large target base of users the channel can go after.
“Demand for UC globally is massive and full of potential,” said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research. “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.”