Why Mitel’s Unify Acquisition is a ‘Significant Opportunity’

How Mitel goes from strength to strength hinges on its three-plus-one business strategy.

Those three original pillars of success comprise organic growth through the UC vendor’s select verticals with an aligned go-to-market and portfolio, maximising its core install base, and re-energising the partner programme that Mitel prides itself on.

What about that plus one?

“Acquire,” Nick Riggott, Mitel’s Head of UKISA, told UC Today. “We’re always going to seek opportunities to inorganically accelerate by acquiring competitors or entering nearer to entities that serve the markets we’re focused on.”

Earlier this year, Mitel announced an impressive acquisition by bringing Unify, a UC and collaboration business previously attached to ATOS, into its fold. The transaction involves Mitel acquiring Unify’s voice platforms, collaboration and contact centre products, device and endpoint portfolio, and related intellectual property.

With the deal targeted to close in Q3, Unify will also bring a Managed Services operation to reinforce Mitel’s versatile UC-customer choices further.

“The Unify deal is incredibly exciting and is ultimately an acceleration of our strategy,” Riggott explained. “We have a significant opportunity with the acquisition. Together, we’ll be able to be the prominent UC leader globally with a collective customer base of more than 75 million users in over 100 countries and a channel community of more than 5,500 global partners.”

Riggott — who heads up Mitel’s UK, Ireland and South Africa branches — works with all of Mitel’s partner-facing teams, sales teams, sales engineering teams, and support teams, so he is well positioned to see what operational impact the Unify deal will have.

However, Riggott stressed that the move was not just about increasing global revenues and profitability but expanding Mitel’s organisational reach and operating leverage — the outcome of which will “cement the commitment that we’ve always had for the UC industry with this expanded portfolio”.

“The immediate opportunities for growth in enterprise with existing customers are huge, and it’s going to drive significant value for all stakeholders as well.”

Mitel isn’t resting on its laurels with the Unify acquisition. They aren’t content with an expanded portfolio or enhanced revenues. Riggott and the company understand that the deal is effectively a foundation for even more significant growth — and that’s what Riggott is keen to emphasise, that the Unify deal and Mitel’s 2023 and beyond will revolve around growing even further as a major force in UC.

“The next few years are going to be hugely dominated by the Unify acquisition,” Riggott said. “I think there are four key elements where we’re going to focus our time and energies. It’s about being able to deliver a broad, comprehensive go-to-market. This is going to really accelerate our ability to serve all of the evolving communication needs of global businesses, with an even broader range of on-premises hybrid private cloud and the soon-to-be enterprise-managed service offers.”

“We need to focus on the synergies and the complementary strengths of the organisations with mid-market expertise,” Riggott continued. “Unify’s incredibly successful enterprise-managed service for business will make our new organisation incredibly competitive across the mid-market and the enterprise organisation markets.”

However, Riggott acknowledged that Mitel’s short-term focus could not be exclusively on utilising Unify’s Managed Services operation and maximising its go-to-market services. Mitel will be partner-focused as well.

“We have to drive our partner engagement,” Riggott said. “We have to drive our accountability. We’ve said on a number of occasions that we’re partner-centric, but we are not partner-reliant.”

“We will share a common channel-driven, go-to-market approach that’s really well-suited to fuel successful channel partners. We’re going to have a broader portfolio of products and services with which to ensure customers have got the flexibility to choose the communication models they prefer, as well as providing more global resources to support the overall partner experience.”

Riggott underlined that while the three core components of Mitel’s strategy might revolve around lucrative select verticals, maximising bases, strengthening partner bases — and, of course, acquisitions like Unify — the epicentre of Mitel’s long-term strategy is the fundamental product.

“Ultimately, we’re about offering the best choice for customers who are looking for a communication solution that delivers choice, flexibility, control, security, quality, and reliability but without compromise to suit their commercial and technical needs and time scales,” Riggott said.

“The combined company is going to have an operational scale and portfolio geographic reach,” Riggott added, “as well as go-to-market resources and the financial profile required to modernise the UC experience for customers faster and more effectively than any other company can offer.”

The Unify deal is undoubtedly a significant opportunity for Mitel, but the company’s core values and underlying strategy will ensure that opportunity is seized.

UC Today’s full interview with Mitel’s Nick Riggott will be available soon.

This post originally appeared on Service Management - Enterprise - Channel News - UC Today.