Mitel/ShoreTel Acquisition: The Biggest Fear Among ShoreTel Adopters Revealed
By Inflow Communications
Change is inevitable. Wait a few minutes and something changes. It’s part of life. But for many, change is hard and can create a lot of unease. Case in point: the latest Mitel ShoreTel Acquisition. There’s a lot of concern about this latest development and how it will play out in the coming months and years.
At Inflow, we make it our business to be in the know. We decided to send out a survey to hundreds of ShoreTel adopters of Contact Center and business phone systems. Respondents ranged from CIOs, CEOs, Voice engineers, IT managers and Directors, Network Administrators, and IT Operations experts nationwide. We wanted to find out how these ShoreTel adopters were feeling in light of this change and what their concerns were. Below are the key takeaways.
When asked to rate their opinion on the acquisition (very favorable or very concerned), most respondents had either no opinion or were more concerned as opposed to favorable to the acquisition.
While these results could point to a simple indifference, it’s clear there isn’t an overwhelming favorable opinion of Mitel. When we asked respondents why they felt that way, here’s what they had to say:
- I‘m worried about a negative change in innovation
- I’m worried about a negative change in support in service
- I’m worried about my investment in ShoreTel
The bulk of these responses points to an overall perception of Mitel — whether it’s well-founded or not. But to be frank, Mitel is perceived by many to use legacy products while ShoreTel is considered more future thinking. It should be noted though that many respondents are with ShoreTel, and likely chose not to go with Mitel for a specific reason at some point in their career. Or they were once Mitel customers and had to remove a Mitel product to replace with a ShoreTel product several years ago. It’s common in the industry to form an opinion about a particular company and product line and stick with their opinions for the rest of their career. While Mitel may not be getting a fair shake, it’s worth noting that ShoreTel users tend to perceive Mitel as an industry laggard.
Another interesting responses had to do with ShoreTel’s cloud platform. Since Mitel is purchasing ShoreTel largely in part for it’s cloud platform, we asked, One a scale of 1 to 10, please indicate your plans for moving all or part of your Unified Communications and/or Contact Center into the cloud in the next 24 months.
The response: 53 percent are not moving the cloud.
If you ask any industry pundit out there, most companies are flocking to the cloud. So this response may come as a surprise to many. However, there are a lot of strong opinions against cloud out there. When we asked these respondents why they aren’t considering cloud, they said:
- We have concerns about voice quality
- We have concerns about stability
- We have concerns about security
Among many others. But first, the stability and security concerns we’ve heard before and are not uncommon. For industries in banking or hospitals, it makes sense. When proprietary information like social security numbers, credit card information, etc., is disclosed over an internet connection, it’s always a concern.
The concern about voice quality is an interesting one. We get this concern a lot — many people don’t realize if their networking isn’t setup properly, the voice quality can and often will be bad. But few realize that this is a concern easily overcome by setting up the network properly – it’s an extremely common misconception about cloud in the industry.
It’s clear to see that Mitel has some work to do in convincing current ShoreTel IT professional that they have an interest in innovating outstanding unified communications technology. But at the end of the day, there are still a lot of unknowns – and when there are a lot of unknowns, there’s bound to be a lot of worries.
While it’s easy to sit back and “wait and see,” there’s more you can do to gain confidence and develop firmer plans for your organization’s future. Stay up to date by following the conversation as it unfolds. As the nation’s leading Platinum ShoreTel provider, we have our finger on the pulse on this transaction. We will be providing ongoing updates on this acquisition, future strategy details, product roadmap, analysis, opinions and other important details on this topic. Make sure to follow along as we post case studies, articles, host webinars and more. And to read more about this insightful survey and to see the full break down in graphs, check out our case study here.