Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mitel Analyst Update

This is Part 2 of what I was up to yesterday here in town. Mitel is in the midst of an analyst roadshow to update the community on the Inter-Tel integration.

I was part of the Toronto contingent, and for a full morning, Don Smith and Simon Gwatkin had our undivided attention. This was complemented by a full presentation led by Tim Kostyniuk, who was dialing in from Ottawa via a conference phone.

The session was a good mix of candid conversation from Don and Simon, and a detailed update on the new product portfolio from Tim. At a high level, all I can really say is that Mitel seems to have a good handle on bringing Inter-Tel into the fold, and a clear vision as to what markets they want to grow into, as well as how they're going to do that.

They definitely have been moving forward on many fronts, and one of the main benefits I think we'll see from the deal is a strong go-to-market capability for both SMBs and enterprises. Inter-Tel had a direct sales presence for the latter, and when combined with Mitel's product line, they now have a strong story for enterprises. On the SMB front, they found limited channel conflict with Inter-Tel, and indicated they are now becoming more attractive partners for resellers, often at the expense of their competitors.

They provided quite a bit of insight as to the rationale for Inter-Tel, along with broader capabilities it brings them today. I definitely have a clearer picture of this now, and can see why it made sense.

There was a fair bit of discussion around integrating the product lines, and while this is still a work in progress, it's clear to see how much focus there is on IP and SIP. They updated us on several other fronts, including their partnerhsip with Sun, collaboration and presence-based applications, vertical market solutions, IP phones, and mobility/FMC.

Maybe it's Mitel's culture, or their UK/Canada makeup, but they do a great job of being accessible and open with their updates. Of course, this also means I'm going to be careful and not broadcast the fine points. It's a two-way street. Not all vendors are as easy to engage with, and I hope they keep it this way. Makes our job a lot easier!



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