8 am: CEO Rich McBee takes the stage.
The company won’t overpay for a company but will look for strategic acquisitions. Digital transformation is a key element of their strategy – they will provide software and services to their installed base. Digital connects things – transformation is the realignment of the business – “How I operate my business.”
UC and collaboration will be a great enabler. Mitel too is transforming – they are reducing their CRM solutions to a single vendor – likewise for ERP. Digital transformation allows you to run your business more effectively with less people and that’s what we enable.
They will have more vertically-oriented channels in the future as they grow.
The company will expand into IoT and business productivity. They will continue to embed communications as an application. The mobile business they acquired was not part of the core consolidation strategy. They are soley focused on UC&C.
They have 540,000 cloud seats and a total of over 3M seats. They are number 1 in cloud seats. “Every customer will move to some kind of cloud.” They are making everything they make, cloud capable – public, private, hybrid.
- Everything is going to the cloud
- Vertical applications will differentiate companies
- They are the strongest financially they have ever been
- They are well positioned to lead digital transformation
Bob Agnes EVP takes the stage
“We are at a very interesting place in the evolution of Mitel as a company and the market. Our competitors are falling apart to some degree.”
Our vision of the future is tied to how customers are changing – with younger people coming into the workforce and tech – in the form of cloud are converging to create new opportunities and cause customers to change workflows to take advantage of these changes and how Mitel plays in the space.
Discussion of how the company is best-positioned for the future with a global footprint and a breadth of solutions from public to private cloud as well as hardware of various sizes.
The future differentiator will be the applications which allow companies to be more efficient and productive.
Applications will be consumed on a recurring revenue basis like on an iPhone.
Competitors have spent up to billions to develop dedicated solutions with a few apps. Mitel doesn’t just provide an API – they have an API platform, client SDK, business logic and UX.
They were able to cut over 60k Unify phones in a private cloud deployment in the UK – all in one weekend. They let the customer keep their legacy devices while positioning them for the future – now they get to sell them new applications.
John Brinton takes the stage
Reiterated that small, medium and large organizations have different requirements – medium companies might want a private cloud for example.
Multinational companies are an interesting area of growth for them – due to the single plane of glass Mitel provides, their management and administration burden is reduced.
We provide recurring cloud solutions and service provider channel-based solutions. We have hosted retail, hosted wholesale for carriers and MSPs as Service Provider-build wholesale.
“Mitel will win in cloud transition by expanding footprint – service provider relationships and capabilities through innovation.”
Jim Davies VP Advanced Applications
Product demo: mass notification. Started with Alexa demo. He showed emergency notification broadcast throughout school by just speaking with the digital assistant. Now we are are off to real demos in another location. More to come.
Connected Guests showed the integration between reservations, in-room WiFi and phones. A centralized system allows hotel management to communicate with guests in real-time via text messages. For example, a welcome message can be sent to guests as they check in. Fully automated check-in could be possible but depends on local regulations which might require a person to verify a passport.
Seamless Communications showed Mitel able tohandle legacy handsets from various vendors – which allows customers to upgrade their phoen systems to be cloud and application ready but without the need to replace all the phones.
Nex-Gen Applications showed Mitel able to provide emergency notification alerts to thousands of endpoints with a single voice command or other triggering event. The system simultaneously was able to ring phones, text, send alerts on social and do this in a password protected fashion so only authorized people can initiate the procedure. Wes Durow explained the system is used in Airports to alert the crew and others who need to know when an airplane lands.
Secure Collaboration allows people such as healthcare workers and emergency personnel to communicate via text, voice and video. In an emergency situation, you likely don’t want to use alternatives such as SMS/texting because if you do, your device with all its personal information can be subpoenaed. They went through a real-word example of how the technology worked in a stadium to keep people safe.
Exclusive Interview with CEO Rich McBee
Rich confirmed for me that the emergency notification tech was purchased from Benbria – recall Sir Terry Matthews talking about the company he launched at ITEXPO.
Since this was Mitel’s analyst day – they are going to focus on the positives – what I wanted to achieve was balance – so readers can get a fair perspective. So I asked Rich about the various competitors to get his feedback.
I mentioned that analysts believe Microsoft’s Skype for Business will “own” the Fortune 1,000. How does Mitel compete? He responded that the call quality isn’t great for Microsoft in large installs while acknowledging the systems are generally bulletproof for texting and other functions such as Office integration. He says they will continue to coexist with Microsoft by providing the call path solutions.
I mentioned to him at the cloud communications keynote panel at ITEXPO that only a few people in the audience of many hundreds said they planned on switching out Avaya due to the bankruptcy. What are his thoughts? He said that the latest data he has seen shows Avaya losing a lot of share last quarter. Moreover, he says Avaya customers are generally on the leading edge. Finally, he said that every vendor has a program to take Avaya customers and steal their channel partners. the company just put out an official statement on Avaya yesterday.
From there I asked about competi
tion with Cloud Providers such as Vonage and RingCentral – the UCaaS players. He said not everyone wants a true hosted solution. He explained that for companies under 70-100 people with little infrastructure, cloud makes sense but as companies grow to 100-500 they can handle the phone system within their current IT infrastructure. Above 500, he said its a strategic long-term decision on whether to buy or rent and procurement helps make the decision. He concluded that in 22-24 months of paying for cloud, you could have just purchased a system.
At the aforementioned ITEXPO panel, Mark Straton of Broadsoft made a bold predicition – the future will be Broadsoft versus Microsoft – ostensibly – everyone else will be gone.
Rich countered this statement by saying 50% of carriers aren’t selling Broadsoft – they are selling solutions like Cisco and Avaya and in 30 countries around the world, multiple carriers are reselling Mitel. These companies he said, aren’t going to easily give their customers to Broadsoft or Microsoft.
He concluded by saying, “If Broadsoft is going to dominate the world, they better get moving on it.”
As a closing statement, Rich said Mitel is all about the applications and the change they are seeing in the market is customers are choosing vendors because of these applications, allowing them to expand their market share while keeping current customers happy.