Is Mitel Summit a CPaaS Contender?

Can the old ShoreTel platform challenge the likes of Twilio and Vonage?

Is Mitel Summit a CPaaS Contender?

When my editor asked me to write an article on Mitel Summit, I was a little confused. At first, I assumed it was a Mitel event. I don’t usually cover events so you can see my confusion. When he told me that it was Mitel’s CPaaS offering, my interest was piqued but it left me wondering. How could a UC player as big as Mitel, have a CPaaS offering without me hearing about it? One of us isn’t doing our job properly.

Hosted First

Before I accidentally bash Mitel, which is not my intention, I must make a confession. I always thought of players like Mitel, Avaya and even Cisco until fairly recently as leaders in the tin market. The on-premises phone system market is not one that I found greatly attractive. Dan Barrett, Senior Sales Training Manager for EMEA at 8×8, summed me up the first time we met. I briefed him on my experience in the UC world and he labelled me as “first generation hosted”. Of course, he was correct. Which is why I both queried why I had never heard of Mitel Summit and looked forward to seeing what their play was in the CPaaS market.

Mitel Summit

Mitel Summit is the CPaaS output of Mitel’s acquisition of ShoreTel in September 2017. At the time, Rich McBee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitel, said,

“In an apps economy and IoT world that depends on real-time communications, providing an agile, responsive and brilliantly simple customer experience becomes wildly important”.

This statement has aged incredibly well. The app economy, as Rich coined it, is booming. According to Statistica, 23.14 billion IoT devices were installed worldwide at the end of 2018. My excitement that Mitel Summit could be a genuine CPaaS contender started to build.

As I scoured the internet for information of Mitel Summit, my excitement dwindled. Mitel’s product page left me wanting and the page redirect classified Summit in the “other” category.

Features and Functionality

The Mitel product page did list the key features of its CPaaS offering as:

  • Options for Development – Have in-house developers build the app of your dreams, or choose to work with a Summit Solution Partner
  • More Than Just APIs – Summit goes beyond just APIs with a full programming language and rich developer tools, giving you more flexibility in what you can build
  • No Hardware Required – Apps are hosted, scaled and supported by Summit’s cloud infrastructure, letting you focus resources and energy on solutions instead of setup
  • Secure & Compliant – Carrier-class security plus compliance for PCI, HIPAA and SOX helps ensure your apps meet industry demands

ShoreTel Lives On

As I mentioned above, Mitel acquired ShoreTel nearly 18 months ago. So, I was surprised to find a ShoreTel landing page showcasing the Summit product in more detail. Here, you can find more information of what the product offers and lists a few use cases:

  • Call Processing
  • Text Messaging
  • Customer Support
  • Account Information
  • Marketing
  • System Alerts

Despite this, my confusion surrounding Mitel’s CPaaS offering remains. Mitel do rely on their partner programmes extensively so I don’t doubt that they have sales people clued up and armed to market and sell Mitel Summit. However, my Google search of Mitel CPaaS summed up whether Mitel Summit is a CPaaS contender. The first words I was greeted with were: “Did you mean: Mitel UCaaS?”

Got a comment?

AvatarAnthony Minessale 19:56, 24 Sep 2019

I was super surprised when Mitel first called me and told me they were using FreeSWITCH. They were always so anti-open-source. But it was also cool that they used it on Windows which was a more rare usage pattern. When Shoretel called me saying they use FS, I was less surprised because I know they acquired a company to get there. When the 2 combined I was kind of *facepalm* Everyone has been trying to figure out how to leverage our stack and makes many of the same mistakes. That’s basically why we started SignalWire……Doing it right at scale will take the original engineers and pioneers of Software-Defined Telecom.

Reply to this comment
Ian TaylorIan Taylor 12:09, 17 Jan 2019

I thought it was an event, too. Good piece Dominic!

Reply to this comment
AvatarPatrick Watson 11:36, 16 Jan 2019

Really interesting, there seems to be so much confusion surrounding the Mitel portfolio in general in terms of which offerings are going to take the lead in each area. I wonder if market pressure in 2019 will bring more clarification?

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