Mitel Analyst Event 2015 Live Blog #MitelNext

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Mitel Analyst Event 2015 Live Blog #MitelNext

Mitel put on a nice event in Manhattan today. Wes Durow, CMO made a great presentation on where the company was and where its going.

A quote of note: "One out of three SMS messages goes across the Mitel network."

Some of what I am hearing is embargoed - so sadly, I'll have to keep you posted on some announcements at a later date.

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Rich McBee, CEO takes the stage.

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Are desk phones dead? "We ship a handset every 14 seconds and the pace is accelerating."

Our vision: Making communications and collaboration seamless.

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Important points:

They will continue to acquire legacy solutions and then grow them. The contact center is a more and more important part of the business.

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The intersection of mobile, cloud and enterprise is the next thing for us - we will accelerate products and solutions in this area.

"We have 3 billion potential subscribers with our current carrier customers."

Much discussion about Mavenir - the acquisition which gives them great mobile technology and low cost R&D centers.

Security is becoming a huge factor going forward.

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UCC is more complex than ever

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Simplifying this in an open environment  is what we're betting the company on.

We will continue to be a consolidator.

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Mitel Next Accelerator is a think tank working on the next big thing but it needs to have products in a customer in one year - and they have to be paying customers. Moreover, the new innovations have be able to be rolled out more broadly.

Steve Spooner CFO had a lot of positive things to say about the mobile, cloud and legacy businesses. The company's legacy base is helping to fuel cloud activations.

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Terry McCabe CTO of Mitel Mobility explained that customers were happy Mavenir was not acquired by Oracle.

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John Brinton, Executive VP explained how Mitel is leading in the cloud space.

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After lunch, Ron Wellard kicked things off and started with a video of MiCollab - not this one but it was the closest I could find.

Important points: The acquisition of Unify by Atos, changes at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and challenges at Avaya mean good things for Mitel's growth.

In addition he showed some great products which I am not allowed to tell you about. Stay tuned for more - Q1 2016.

60M user installed base to upgrade from.

Brian Spencer discussed the contact center opportunity - to give the best customer experience... Servicing the customer's customer in the Mitel base.

Conclusion

Rich McBee had a private conversation with me at the event where he discussed a hotel stay he had in Sweden. There were no phones in the room - just a QR code which you scanned, allowing you to have access to all hotel functions. He mentioned he could see this spreading quickly in Europe and Asia but not in North America for the foreseeable future.

The point was - things are changing very fast and you have to stay on the leading edge.

The future for Mitel will be one where companies leverage their APIs to embed UC into other applications. They will help carriers take their features and functions which have been developed over decades and roll them out to consumers and businesses. He feels they are the right size to move quickly but at scale to really focus on the intersection of cloud, mobile and enterprise. As carriers continue to expand into adjacent areas, he hopes Mitel will enable them. For example, when a cableco decides they want to provide a converged VoWiFi and MVNO service to customers, he wants Mitel to supply the solution.

Much of the legacy telecom space is really struggling these days. It's not like this is a surprise though. I looked back at a post I wrote in 2012. Shoretel had just purchased M5 to get into got into the cloud space and I said:
Cisco may now be forced to buy 8x8 and Avaya will likely make a move as well. This move could even push Vonage to go after the SMB space. Mitel is an interesting question - they have leading edge tech but a troubled stock to use as currency.
I guess I got things half right. Vonage is now in the business space, Mitel's stock was worth around $2 in early 2012 and now its worth almost $9 - thanks in-part to their cloud bets.

Ironically, these are the two things I considered long-shots! Avaya and Cisco have peripheral cloud solutions but nothing near what they need to be competitive with Mitel and the pure-plays in cloud. Not to mention Microsoft's upcoming cloud onslaught.

Mitel has taken the slowing customer premise business and turned lemons into lemonade. Its been impressive to watch. Now that the company supplies carriers as well, it will be interesting to see how they compete in a market where other major players such as Nortel, Alcatel-Lucent and Siemens have separated their carrier and enterprise divisions into different companies.


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