Moving into The Future with Mitel
Mitel discusses options for Channel Partners
The evolving communication industry isn’t just having an impact on vendors and their customers, but the people in the middle of the sales cycle too. For years, resellers have worked to create portfolios that appeal to their target audience and deliver value to their bottom line in return. However, now that the cloud model is growing increasingly desirable, today’s resellers may need to rethink the way that they go to market, so they can continue accessing the same value.
Mitel, a global market leader in communication solutions, supports more than 70 million users in almost 100 countries. To drive the best results for all of those customers, Mitel relies on an incredible partner network. Now the company is focusing on finding new ways to simplify the move to cloud for partners, helping them to overcome the challenges of a new age of transformation.
I spoke to Colin Mann, Cloud Growth Marketing Director at Mitel, to find out more about the options available for Mitel’s channel partners.
Cloud vs. PBX Sales are very Different
Historically, Mitel has always focused heavily on delivering a wide variety of telecoms solutions to the channel. For many years, they’ve been a business that’s gone to market with a range of unified communications and contact centre solutions to choose from, including options in the cloud. However, now Mitel has built a dedicated selection of resources around their UCaaS proposition too.
“A big reason why we’ve taken this next step to support UCaaS options for our partners is that the sales process for UCaaS and typical PBX solutions are very different.”
“If you’re selling a PBX based solution to a large enterprise, for instance, it can take a year or even more to get everything set up and fully rolled out. If you’re dealing with UCaaS, the sales cycle can be as little as 30 days”
The UCaaS environment for channel partners and resellers is much faster paced, and the channel needs the support to explore this new environment. It’s a very different experience for partners, and it requires a unique set of skills, which Mitel is supporting partners to offer. “Not everyone will embrace this new model, but the cloud is definitely the way the market is going.”
Cloud Multiples are Stronger than PBX Valuations
According to Mitel, there can even be better opportunities for resellers taking the UCaaS route, if they know how to approach their new business model. “You can end up adding a lot of valuable recurring revenue to your books, which can add multiple times more value to your business if you ever try to sell it. That’s a huge different to a PBX modelled businesses.”
Mitel told me that it’s challenging to recognise the industry today compared to how it was only a few years ago. In the company’s opinion, the world is at a tipping point now where virtually everything is becoming more cloud driven. While people still stick to PBXs when they need to, many companies are moving to the cloud and the flexibility it can offer.
“Historically, people have just seen the cloud as yet another deployment solution. However, I think it’s going to be cloud-first going forward. You now have all these different applications that people use in their home and working environment. The pressure to move to cloud is coming from user experience.”
In the past, many of the decisions made about future communication models would have been pushed by an IT team looking for the best budget-friendly functionality. Now, companies are focusing more on the user experience side of things. Plus, the cloud makes scaling much simpler, so businesses don’t have to face the challenges of embedding new technologies that you would have previously.
Making your Move to UCaaS
There’s a lot of challenges facing the channel if they want to move into the new cloud model safely. A lot of companies will need to leave engineers and their old way of doing things behind.
“One of the biggest challenges resellers face is moving into the cloud when they don’t know what’s going to happen to their business and the people they’re working with. Some people will want to stick to a PBX strategy because of this; other companies will want to take both paths”
There is an option available to sell both UCaaS and PBX solutions at the same time so that you have more variety to offer when you’re approaching your customers. The key to success is to stop and think about what you need in the market today. Continuing as you are without thinking about the future could be a dangerous move.
Although some resellers may decide to ignore the rising demand for UCaaS completely, Mitel believes that this isn’t the right way to go. Instead, it’s important to recognise that the market is becoming increasingly cloud-driven. The best option for companies who aren’t ready to evolve complete is to offer a little bit of both worlds.
What’s the Next Step for Resellers?
There’s still a lot of opportunity, in Mitel’s opinion, for resellers to choose their ideal path to cloud. Some will go hybrid, and some will move entirely into the UCaaS world. On the plus side, there are still opportunities for the engineers that are part of the reseller family too, as they can begin to offer service solutions and support around the platform and admin portal, onboarding and more, to continue providing value.
To be successful, resellers need to think carefully about their opportunities, and the importance of having the right brand powering their UCaaS, bringing extra impact to their offering.
For many organisations, simply white-labelling a UCaaS solution might not be the right option. Instead, the branded “powered by” solutions that Mitel has to offer can give today’s resellers the right heritage and reputation as they continue to compete in a challenging marketplace. With the right brand behind them, resellers can continue to stand out and show their leadership in today’s complex and transforming marketplace.