Mitel seals Unify move and promises smooth transition for partners

Ambition to become major unified comms player should benefit partners from both suppliers

Mitel has indicated it expects the channel to benefit as the firm looks to become the major unified comms provider across EMEA with the completion of its deal for Unify.

The Unify deal first emerged as a prospect back in January, with Mitel looking to spend €700m for the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) company, as well as communication and collaboration services (CCS) firm Atos.

From the very start, Mitel signalled to its channel there were going to be cross-selling opportunities once the deal was completed.

Mitel will now be looking to add Unify’s voice platforms, collaboration and contact centre products, devices and endpoints to its portfolio. There is also an intention to start driving activity around UC in key verticals, including healthcare, public sector, hospitality and financial services through offering a number of targeted services. 

With the deal closed, there have been some executive moves to go with it, with Tarun Loomba, president and CEO of Mitel, now serving as president and CEO of the combined company. Marcus Hänsel, CEO of Unify, has been appointed chief sales officer, and will lead Mitel’s sales and services functions globally.

As a combined entity, the company now has more than 5,000 employees worldwide, which it views as an opportunity to strengthen the service it can provide to partners. The deal also puts Mitel into number-two position in global market share for enterprise UC, as well as first position in EMEA and more than 10 individual countries.

“This is a transformative milestone for the Mitel and Unify teams, and for the broader communication and collaboration industry,” said Loomba. “Unify brings a strong geographic footprint, rich portfolio, deep enterprise expertise and a talented team that perfectly complements Mitel’s strengths. I am truly excited about the future we will build together and the critical communications innovation we will deliver for our customers, partners and employees.”

Business as usual

Mitel moved quickly to reassure customers it would not be making any major changes to product roadmaps without plenty of notice and that life would continue as normal. The same message was given to partners, with the channels of both vendors indicating there would be no major changes to partner programmes or relationships this year.

It was made clear that as the two firms come together, the ambition was to establish a unified partner and alliance programme as a “top priority”, that could ensure there was value for all channel partners.

One of the advantages that comes from adding Unify, which Mitel highlighted early on, is the strong managed services partner base the unified comms player has built up.

“I am very optimistic about the potential that lies ahead for customers, partners and employees,” said former Unify boss Hänsel.

“It has been a privilege to lead Unify to this pivotal moment as a resilient, profitable and growing business, and I am confident that the union of our two organisations will not only strengthen our market position, but also drive innovation, growth and lasting success.”

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