Mitel completed the acquisition of the Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) and Communication and Collaboration Services (CCS) units of the Atos group (Unify) announced in January 2023.

The addition of Unify’s 45 million users more than doubles Mitel’s customer base to over 75 million users in over 100 countries. Mitel’s customer base is now also more diverse; Mitel is marrying its strength serving mid-market customers with Unify’s expertise in the large enterprise space.

Mitel has expanded its geographic footprint from its core US market to include Unify’s European presence. Mitel now serves a wider range of vertical industries, complementing its presence in hospitality, retail, and credit unions with Unify’s presence in the public sector, healthcare, and financial services.

Equipped with a customer base that is larger in number, broader geographically, and covering multiple market segments and verticals, Mitel has a sizable opportunity to generate new revenue streams and grow the top line.

The acquisition equips Mitel with a deeper offer portfolio. Mitel obtained Unify’s voice platforms, on-premises and cloud-based UC&C offerings, cloud-based contact centre solutions, and device and end-point portfolio. These offers closely mirror Mitel’s and together span on-premises, hybrid, and private cloud environments.

The acquisition seals a point of divergence between the companies’ portfolios. Unify brings to the table a suite of managed services targeted at helping mid-to-enterprise customers execute digital transformations. This is a much-welcome addition to Mitel; gaining a managed services portfolio is one of the key reasons the company is high on the acquisition.

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By GlobalData

Mitel now has more than 5,500 resellers, service providers, technology partners, and strategic alliance partners; the most notable one is RingCentral. Mitel provides on-premises UC customers with a cloud migration path via RingCentral’s UCaaS ‘MVP’ platform. Atos struck a similar partnership and now the fly in the ointment is which one will prevail. Mitel will support both for the time being but eventually a decision must be made.

Other concerns exist. Mitel lacks a platform of unified communications, collaboration, and contact centre offers as cohesive as rivals such as Cisco and Zoom. The arrival of similar offers from Unify only exacerbates that dilemma. And while the acquisition adds lustre to Mitel’s brand overseas, it is business as usual in the US where competitors such as Google and Microsoft outshine Mitel.

The largest drawback of the deal is that Mitel’s core strategy of supporting customer lifecycle management remains unchanged. Mitel positions itself as supporting customers at their own pace when it comes to its mix of on-premises and cloud, providing on-premises solutions for those most comfortable with them, hybrid solutions for those with an interest in the cloud, and cloud-only solutions for those completely confident to make the leap. Closely aligning with customers’ lifecycles is a necessary task, not a source of competitive differentiation.

The acquisition inflates and diversifies Mitel’s customer base, extends its geographic coverage, broadens its offer portfolio, and enhances its go-to-market capabilities. However, the acquisition also brings challenges, and weighty legacy issues remain. On balance, the positive and negative aspects of the deal are roughly offset.