I'm Mark Jones from Mitel's enterprise sales team in the U.K. I have specific responsibility for the professional services sector. The professional services sector — be that legal firms, accountants, consultancy practices, those operating across architecture, or anybody within a fee-earning, knowledge-based industry — have a history of providing knowledge, wisdom and especially skills by individuals to clients, relationships being paramount to building sustainable and repeat business.
I can easily appreciate and understand the heritage within this key industry sector, with strong relationships, credibility and subject-matter excellence being as important now as they ever were. Perhaps even more so, as the industry embraces and adapts to the challenging and changing consolidating market conditions we see.
I enjoy engaging with professional services customers, and helping them gain real value from the solutions Mitel sell. Believing we have the ability to enable customers to retain their traditional values while enhancing their ability to communicate clearly, efficiently and effectively with both colleagues and clients.
What are the key challenges facing the professional services sector?
My view is that we're at something of an inflection point within the communications industry, and the professional services sector is certainly facing a transitional period, whether we like or want to face it. A wise man once said that a slower day isn't coming any time soon, and well I guess, how right he was, and in fact, he is.
The speed of change now seems to be constantly accelerating, threatening to consume those that don't want or can't recognize and embrace and adapt new ways of engaging with staff, existing and/or prospective clients. When, why, and, importantly, how we communicate both internally and externally are and will become business critical in attracting and retaining top staff talent as well as new business and client retention and acquisition.
The way and the where of work is also changing, becoming much more of what we do rather than a place we go, per se. The desire and in some cases the demand to be more mobile, more agile, more flexible in how and where we work, as well as the devices we select to work on and with, create challenges to the traditional ways businesses have built and deployed legacy IT and telephony systems.
Considering changes in how we deploy or consume our business services, including communications as well as digital working strategies, are just two of the principal challenges facing the professional services market, which has typically been considered slow and in some cases reticent to innovate and embrace new technology.
But, as I said, the need to innovate, albeit perhaps reluctantly, is fast becoming non-optional.
How are Mitel helping Professional Services customers address some of these challenges?
Mitel's vision is to make communications and collaborations seamless, enabling customers to effectively collaborate at their choice of location, using their choice of device and application. This is the essence of what many are terming now digital transformation.
For some, it's the latest industry trend, the latest fad, but to Mitel it's actually the fabric of exactly who we are. Products such as MiCollab is a powerful, feature-rich application with the broadest OS support in the industry. And it addresses the challenges of delivering this digital workplace. And it can increase worker productivity by as much as 25 percent in some cases.
For customers with legacy investments in traditional on-premises telephony, a path to the future is clear. Enabling customers to transition to cloud and hosted deployments that suit their business models at their pace. Be that private, public or hybrid cloud.
With the recent launch of Mitel's World Cloud, we've consolidated that position as a market leader in cloud communications. Mitel's history has always been one of innovation, from Day One. As the industry and our respective vertical markets and ways of working continue to be squeezed by the accelerating pace of life and change, customers can be confident that Mitel will continue to be looking to the future, delivering innovative solutions that enable them to power their business communications.
What success has Mitel had in the Professional Services Sector?
Mitel has traditionally had a very strong profile and focus in the professional services sector. As a specific example, we've around 35 percent market share in the UK's legal top 100 law firms.
This in queue includes very well known, established industry names, many with large, global, complex footprint. We're actively engaged with these clients, helping them innovate, consider their deployment methodology and their journey to cloud communications, and implement mobile, agile working solutions that deliver a true digital workplace environment.
Why should Professional Services customers engage with Mitel?
Mitel is a strong, clear choice for the professional services firm. We're a global market leader being financially stable and growing. We're both highly credible and referenceable. We know and understand the market, the challenges being faced and the key strategic objectives for the future.
We're totally confident in our solution’s ability to help our customers firstly increase revenue, driving billable hours. This of course is the holy grail for any professional services business. Secondly, to increase operational efficiency, effectively saving money. Money, importantly, that could be redistributed across a challenged IT budget. And thirdly, gaining competitive advantage. This is critical when many organizations are looking for their next acquisition target.