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Mitel preps IPO: What does it mean to you?

Unless you’re a Mitel customer or a Canadian, you’re probably not all that interested in Mitel’s plans for a $230-million initial public offering. However, if the IPO goes well, Ottawa-based Mitel could have some capital to make some moves in 2010 and beyond. Mitel will use capital from the IPO to settle some debts, but the company said it will also look to make some acquisitions with the money.

Avaya’s acquisition of Nortel’s enterprise division means that a lot of enterprises are re-evaluating their voice and UC infrastructure these days. Cisco and Avaya remain at the top of the heap, but smaller players like Siemens and Mitel will undoubtedly try to take advantage of the inevitable churn that will follow Nortel’s exit from the market. For the first time in many years, Nortel customers are shopping for a new vendor. Nortel customers will be wined-and-dined at VoiceCon Orlando in a couple months, that’s for sure.

With that in mind, it’s worth looking at some highlights of what Mitel has been up to in the world of UC in recent years.

  1. Last June Mitel announced a strategic collaboration with VMware to make its UC products “VMware-ready.” To date, not many companies feel comfortable with virtualizing their voice and communications infrastructure, but the desire is there. Avaya and Alcatel-Lucent are also making strong progress here.
  2. Mitel has been collaborating with Sun Microsystems for a couple of years on integrating its UC applications with Sun’s Sun Ray thin client technology. By OEMing Sun Ray, Mitel offers companies the ability to mobilize employees within a corporate campus. Users can use a smart card to plug into any thin client on a campus and get full UC functionality wherever they go.
  3. Last spring Mitel advanced its fixed-mobile convergence capabilities with a new “hot-desking” feature in its Series X UC application portfolio, giving it a offering comparable to leaders like Avaya and Cisco.
  4. In 2007, Mitel bought Inter-Tel, a Delaware-based provider of managed network and communications services. This $700-million deal boosted Mitel’s market presence in North America significantly.

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