Com-Strat can help navigate disruption in the Communications Industry

in News
August 22, 2017
Com-Strat can help navigate disruption in the Communications Industry

Com-Strat can help navigate the disruption in the Communications Industry. We wanted to share our perspective with you based on our long history with manufacturers of unified communications, contact center, and cloud solutions.

Since Mitel’s announcement to acquire ShoreTel, Com-Strat has participated in consultant conferences with them where they reiterated their support for existing ShoreTel customers and those considering ShoreTel. Mitel said they will be providing more clarity by the end of September when they close the deal with full plans by early 2018.

For existing ShoreTel customers: Com-Strat’s view is that Mitel will continue to support all purchased ShoreTel platforms through at least the end of the existing warranty, just as they have for Inter-Tel (2007), Aastra (2014), and Toshiba Unified Communications (2017). We also believe that Mitel will
honor the letters of manufacturer support provided by ShoreTel, often for five years from purchase. Mitel has been very supportive of the channel partners of the manufacturers they have bought. That said, we can expect some churn in the ShoreTel partners providing support. Com-Strat advises close attention to maintenance agreements and can assist with recommended contract provisions.

Potential ShoreTel customers: Com-Strat’s perspective is to obtain further assurances from Mitel where possible and then to take into account potential platform risk when making evaluations. Com-Strat can assist potential customers in obtaining additional written assurances by Mitel for platform support beyond five years. However, it will probably be at least early 2018 before Mitel can provide an integrated product roadmap, let alone a potential migration program. Com-Strat advises taking that risk into account.

Context: The Unified Communications (UC) and Contact Center (CC) markets have traditionally been for on-premises (purchased) products, yet manufacturers are driving strongly to “cloud” (recurring revenue) offerings. The first effect is that manufacturer selection decisions, and potential platform changes, should now be considered every 5-7 years for UC and 3-5 years for CC. Assessment is more complex than ever, yet the bottom line is still the bottom line, and Com-Strat continues to advise using Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) as the primary financial assessment tool. We also advise close attention to manufacturer and platform risk assessment in any “green field” purchase decision.