Shoretel, Toshiba, Avaya – is your phone system manufacturer being bought out or reorganizing?

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There has been a lot of turmoil with phone manufacturers in recent months with Avaya, Shoretel and Toshiba.  If you own one of these systems or are looking to purchase one of these systems, how does this affect you?

Mitel announces agreement to purchase Shoretel – Mitel’s planned purchase, if approved, significantly accelerates their growth plans and dominance in the UCaaS market.  Both companies have good brands, solid product/service lines, good channels of distribution, and similar go-to-market strategies.  What will this mean to Shoretel customers?  If past experience is any indicator, Mitel’s acquisition of Intertel several years ago showed how they worked to protect Intertel’s customers’ investments in their systems, integrate them with other Mitel products, and continue to enhance their products.  Yes, life will be different for Shoretel customers, but over time they should see substantial benefits from acquisition.

Mitel also announced its purchase of certain elements of Toshiba’s US Unified Communications business.  Mitel has been on a buying binge of related businesses in recent years of Intertel, Prairie Fyre (Contact Center), Oaisys (Call Recording) and Aastra (SIP phones and systems).  These were strategic purchases that integrated well with Mitel’s business or added components they lacked.  The Toshiba purchase is different – they have a fairly large and older base of US customers whose systems may not be easily integrated with Mitel’s product/service portfolio.  In our opinion, it is not clear yet what synergies or opportunities there are for Mitel, other than buying a fairly large base of customers. 

Avaya filed for Chapter 11 Reorganization earlier this year in order to restructure its debt.  Recently it filed for an extension to file its restructuring plan.  Avaya’s debt hampered its ability to stay competitive in the marketplace.  Its competitors have been busy offering promotions to lure customers away during the reorganization.  Yet, Avaya has a large base of very loyal customers, a great brand, and strong product lines.  We believe that they will emerge from bankruptcy a much stronger company, and that there is little risk for customers to stay with them or continue to buy their products. 

Are you concerned about your current phone system manufacturer or looking to move towards something newer?  Give ComRes as call, we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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