Mitel Shoretel Acquisition Updates

Mitel ShoreTel Acquisition

Mitel’s Executive Gives New Details on the ShoreTel Acquisition

By Inflow Communications

 

At Inflow, we’ve been following Mitel’s acquisition of ShoreTel very closely over the last couple of months. We’ve written blog posts, conducted a survey among our ShoreTel users, and started a webinar series on the topic. Our goal is to bring you as much information on the acquisition as possible as it develops.

Yesterday, Rich Long, President of ScanSource (a UC hardware provider) sat down with Todd Abott, Mitel’s SVP of Global Sales to find more details on Mitel’s acquisition of ShoreTel and what it means for Partners and customers.

Keep in mind, this interview was conducted for the benefit of ShoreTel partners and vendors, not end-users and customers. That said, there is a lot of good information that is applicable to customers. To save you time, we’ve extracted the pieces that are most applicable to you, the customer. We’ve also added our own comments along with a link to the video-interview at the bottom of this article.

 

Q: What can ShoreTel partners expect?

A: The advice I would give to partners is first of all, relax, and keep doing what you’re doing. Part of the due-diligence that we did in justifying this acquisition, is we identified that there was very little overlap. ShoreTel was very strong in the “S” part of “SMB”, moved up into the medium and into some of the large. We tended to be much stronger in the medium and large. Yes, we did a lot of small as well, but there was a lot of synergy and very little overlap. While I recognize some of those partners may have been competing, and do compete, on an overall basis it’s actually very accretive. What that means for the ShoreTel partners is that we are absolutely going to be welcoming them into the ecosystem. We don’t feel like we are over covered and the combination doesn’t make us over covered. There’s going to always be some competition, you can never eliminate that. We come into this with an expectation to incorporate all of these partners into our ecosystem with open arms.

What does this mean for you?

Mitel was interested in ShoreTel largely for their customer base and technology. Although we’ve always believed that ShoreTel fits nicely in the mid-to-enterprise space (we have many customers that have north of 5000 users), Mitel feels that by adding ShoreTel to their product portfolio, they’ll round out their ecosystem of offerings to cover the full spectrum of customers and sizes. Mitel also reinforces that they are going to do very little to change what ShoreTel has already established. It’s important to also note that Mitel was very interested in ShoreTel’s cloud platform, which is built on ShoreTel’s newest code-base, Connect. Connect is also the code behind ShoreTel’s latest on-site technology.

Q: What’s the future for the technology portfolio?

A: The brand will change day one. The product branding will take a little bit of time. It will take us a little while to change the UI and the software, and get the manufacturing supply chain to change the brand on the phones. That will all take a period of 3-5 months. It comes in different stages.

What you’ll see first are the phones, we’ll try to get the phones rebranded as soon as possible. You’ll still see some mixed branding for the first 3-6 months. We will consolidate phones through the first half of next year.

What does this mean for you?

Colors and logos will change on the products, buildings, websites etc. But overall the software and hardware will remain close to what you’re used to. Again, Mitel acquired ShoreTel mostly for their customer base and technology, so they’ll want to keep as much of that around as possible.

Q: What can Partners expect regarding the product lines?

A: As we go into Q4, no change in programs. No change in products. We’re going to keep the ShoreTel team intact, and in the current sales motion through the end of the quarter.

What does this mean for you?

Mitel was interested in ShoreTel largely for their customer base and technology. Although we’ve always believed that ShoreTel fits nicely in the mid-to-enterprise space (we have many customers that have north of 5000 users), Mitel feels that by adding ShoreTel to their product portfolio, they’ll round out their ecosystem of offerings to cover the full spectrum of customers and sizes. Mitel also reinforces that they are going to do very little to change what ShoreTel has already established. It’s important to also note that Mitel was very interested in ShoreTel’s cloud platform, which is built on ShoreTel’s newest code-base, Connect. Connect is also the code behind ShoreTel’s latest on-site technology.

Q: What can Partners expect regarding current or potential deals?

A: Our message to customers is, relax. ShoreTel products are going to have a long life. You’re not buying a dead-end product. We think the technology is very good. Both from a cloud and a premise standpoint. My advice to those customers is be very comfortable and confident that you’re not throwing away your hard-earned dollars on an asset that’s going to be end of life. We have a history of buying companies and embracing the investments that companies have made. We continue to invest in that technology. If you end of life and force customers to rip and replace you really put at risk the justification we’re spending on this asset. The last thing I want to do is force the customer to do a rip and replace, and then get into how many am I going to retain? I want to retain as much of them as possible. We are still innovating with Astra and other past acquisitions.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re on the fence about buying a ShoreTel system, or worried your current system has an end date, don’t over think it. Mitel has a history of taking companies under their umbrella, and continuing innovation efforts to please new and existing customers. They would rather keep happy customers than scare them off by changing everything. More importantly, Mitel isn’t going to risk customer dissatisfaction, and eventually attrition, by forcing the native ShoreTel customers to rip out their investment. A happy customer is much easier to migrate to your cloud platform than an unhappy customer. It’s nice to see some common sense here.

 

Watch the Full Mitel’s Interview

About Inflow

Founded in 1997, Inflow Communications is a national leader in unified communications and Contact Centers. With over to 100,000 endpoints under Inflow’s innovative support plans around the world, their dedication to knowledge, innovation, and unrivaled customer support has landed them in ShoreTel’s top 2% in global customer satisfaction, and as a winner of ShoreTel’s coveted Circle of Excellence Partners award. For two years in a row, Inflow is a ShoreTel Platinum Partner, the highest level of partnership, and is their fastest growing partner globally. In addition, Inflow is one of the few Cloud Contact Center providers that offer implementation, ongoing support, and comprehensive consulting and training programs.  Inflow services clients across the globe and has local offices in over 10 major cities in the US.

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