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Mitel wants to be a Cloud business through direct customer engagement

Mitel wants to be a Cloud business through direct customer engagement

A focus on relationships will see vendor assist resellers rather than dictating quotas

Mitel South Pacific sales vice-president, Frank Skiffington.

Mitel South Pacific sales vice-president, Frank Skiffington.

With Aastra Technologies under its belt, Mitel Networks Corporation is working towards progressing to become a Cloud business to accommodate the market.

RELATED: Mitel and Aastra close $US374 million merger

The unified communications (UC) vendor currently has 300,000 end points in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), and plans to migrate 100,000 of those to the Cloud.

“Mitel has gone through big change moving from a hardware to software business,” Mitel South Pacific sales vice-president, Frank Skiffington, said.

“The next progression is becoming a Cloud-focused business.”

Since his appointment to his current role 10 months ago, Skiffington has compiled an operational expenditure (opex) model which contains short-term contracts, which he claims it will differentiate the company from its rivals.

“I want to be able to go to the government and say ‘you can buy a Mitel UC solution on a price per port basis on a month-to-month contract’.”

“You don’t need to spend $100,000 plus on a three to five-year contract, and if you have got a need to increase or decrease, you can.”

Remodelling

The Mitel Cloud business will be driven by a new end user-focused engagement model.

Skiffington said the vendor intends to boost its focus on end users itself rather than tasking resellers with quotas and expecting partners to maintain relationships.

“Gone are the days where manufacturers can appoint a reseller, give them a bunch of product with a discount, then phone them every month and ask how many are sold, what the forecast is, and where revenue is coming from,” Skiffington said.

Skiffington has implemented a professional services team and high-touch model which form the basis of the adjusted approach.

Read more: CA Technologies hedging bets on mobile app economy

The high-touch sales team will be meeting with clients and prospects regarding the Mitel proposition, while professional services staff will assist in the installation, support, and maintenance of those customers.

In this way, Mitel will act as somewhat of a mediator between customer and channel. Its staff will generate opportunities and transition those to the local resellers, while still being involved where relevant.

The go-to-market strategy is also designed to broaden the scope of its channel’s reach.

“We can’t rely on channels that are regionally focused,” Skiffington said. “Most of the channel’s business comes with 25km of their office. They walk away from large and complex rollout deals across Australia.”

Read more: Sophos claims fourfold performance boost with new UTM

“We want them to come to us to have problems resolved [instead].”

Ninety-eight (98) per cent of Mitel’s business in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) goes through the channel, the only exception being a contract with New Zealand Police. The vendor intends to keep its business operating in this manner.

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