Communications and collaboration have always been essential elements of business operations. But, as pandemic shutdowns forced employees to work from home, organizations of all sizes gained a renewed appreciation for the critical role communications play in business continuity and growth.

The need to empower the 557 million employees suddenly working from home worldwide1  drove the first phase of significant, pandemic-era UC&C investment — changing it from a nice-to-have to a ‘must-have’ application. Eventually, as some employees began to return on-site, a second phase of investment began to support employees migrating from home to work (and occasionally, back to home, as variants once again closed offices.) During these two phases, UCaaS offerings experienced tremendous growth due to their strong functionality, performance, scalability, and cost savings. Yet, a significant percent of businesses and government agencies chose a different strategy — deploying UC&C on-premises or utilizing private and custom, public cloud deployments. 

Now a third and exciting phase of investment is starting as organizations face the unchartered territory of enabling high-performance, hybrid work environments. They have many questions and the answers are complex. For instance:

  • What new UC&C functionality will drive the most significant benefits for their business?
  • How should they deploy their business communications solution? Should they make upgrades to existing systems — or completely replace and consolidate to obtain cost and operational IT savings — or fully outsource the solution to alleviate their IT staff? 
  • How should they buy? Should they stick with the traditional software license purchase model or take advantage of subscription-based financial models? 

As SVP of Mitel Product Management, I’ve watched organizations evaluate these questions and two things are clear: 

#1: No organization wants to settle for anything less than a best-in-class business   communications solution. 

#2: They need more choice in deployment options than ever before.

Mitel’s strategy: combine best-in-class UC&C solutions with unprecedented deployment flexibility 

The reality is that organizations have a wide range of requirements based on their existing UC&C investments, size, regional requirements, security preferences, application performance needs, etc. They want the freedom to choose the deployment option that best meets their needs today — and a path forward, should new UC&C technology emerge or their requirements change tomorrow. In short, they want their UC&C business communications, their way.

Delivering ”Your UC&C, your way” has become the foundational strategy for Mitel’s strategy and 2022 roadmap. Just 60 days after our strategic partnership announcement with RingCentral — and as my colleague, All Hurren, and I meet with our global partners at Mitel Next — it’s an excellent time to share Mitel’s strategy and set expectations for the 2022 roadmap we will deliver. 

Our exciting roadmap will feature an ongoing series of innovations around our core Mitel UC&C products with a strong emphasis on making our products easily deployable everywhere — including on-premise, private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, or any combination thereof. Mitel is making a clear commitment to continue to provide our customers with a best-in-class UC&C solution for every deployment need. Here’s a summary of innovations Mitel customers and partners can expect to see in 2022:

Ensuring continued leadership in on-premises and pure private cloud solutions. 

Mitel has been a leader in providing UC&C solutions for security and reliability-focused customers who prefer on-premises and pure private cloud deployment models. Building on this leadership, we intend to optimize ease of deployment and manageability, including the ability to deploy as a dedicated instance on private cloud or on-premises. To enhance employee productivity and customer service, Mitel is investing in enhancements to key applications and Contact Center functionality for these platforms in 2022. 

Advancing public and hybrid cloud platforms.

Mitel plans to aggressively enrich each of these core cloud platforms in 2022, delivering the ability to deploy as a dedicated instance on public cloud properties such as Azure and AWS. And our partners will also have the choice to deploy in their prescribed data center property (whether public or private) or the customer’s chosen data center.

Public and hybrid cloud customers should also anticipate a steady stream of significant enhancements to Mitel UC applications. Mitel has built a reputation for being customer-centric and will deliver a large number of enhanced capabilities that will help businesses optimize their workflows and improve the quality of customer experience they can deliver. These innovations will run across key applications like MiCollab, MiContact Center Business, and our device portfolio — expanding deployment flexibility and simplicity to enable our partners and customers to run them anywhere.

Enabling ongoing innovation via CloudLink.

When businesses choose a technology investment, they want to know it will address today’s challenges and also help them conquer tomorrow’s. With CloudLink, Mitel is enabling true hybrid cloud scenarios and providing customers with the confidence that their Mitel software is always current. Mitel’s CloudLink is an ideal mechanism to make UC&C applications future-proof by using the cloud to continuously add new updates and features to Mitel applications. CloudLink is already delivering ongoing innovations to SMB customers with the MiVoice 400 platform. In 2022, Mitel will make all of our core products CloudLink-ready by delivering gateways for MX-One, MiVoice 5000, and MiVoice Business customers. We also plan to make new capabilities available to partners via Mitel APIs delivered by CloudLink. 

Giving customers freedom to choose how they want to buy.

Businesses and government agencies want to buy UC&C solutions in a way that gives them flexibility and simplifies deployment. In 2022, Mitel will ensure our customers can choose how they want to consume their service, by selecting with one-time purchase or using a subscription financial model across all Mitel platforms and geographies.

Providing a leading UCaaS solution.

The best choice for some customers will be to obtain their UC&C capabilities as a service. So each Mitel customer has a best-in-class UC&C choice for every deployment option, Mitel forged a partnership with RingCentral, a Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant Leader for the past 5 years. This complements our public and hybrid offerings mentioned above.  Mitel will provide customers with tools and hybrid offers to enable a step-by-step migration process for customers that have decided to move to RingCentral.  In addition to that, Mitel will fully certify that our endpoints are interoperable with the RingCentral MVP platform.

Mitel’s commitment: best-in-class UC&C, your way

Mitel’s strategy is founded on the recognition that customers want a UC&C provider who will focus on solving their business challenges with leading UC&C solutions in a way that’s tailored to their unique requirements. Because Mitel looks at the market holistically — acknowledging that each deployment option has its advantages — we have built a complete, best-in-class portfolio that no other vendor can provide. Unlike other UC vendors who have stopped investing in their existing portfolio and are offering their customers fewer choices, Mitel’s is strong today and will grow stronger in the coming year by focusing Mitel’s resources on our portfolio while leveraging RingCentral for pure UCaaS. Mitel is committed to support each customer with leading UC&C capabilities and greater deployment flexibility for all types of deployments including premise, private cloud, public or hybrid. 

Count on Mitel partners for custom guidance

Our portfolio provides the leading UC&C  technology and breadth of deployment choices you need. The essential expertise that complements this portfolio is provided by Mitel’s global partner network. They are Mitel’s experts on the ground who listen to our customers’ goals and needs, and deploy and support their UC&C solutions. They make Mitel’s commitment of ‘your UC&C, your way’ a reality.

So, whether you want to update your existing UC&C solution so it’s current, add powerful new features to enhance productivity and agility, or embark on a new UC&C deployment model, contact your local Mitel partner to get started.

My team and I will keep you informed via the Mitel Blog as we deliver the roadmap required to realize our strategy throughout 2022. And we look forward to helping you conquer new challenges and capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities ahead.

Martin Bitzinger

Senior Vice President, Product Management

As Mitel’s Senior Vice President, Product Management, Martin Bitzinger is responsible for Mitel’s product portfolio and product marketing including UC platforms, applications, and devices. Martin joined Mitel through the acquisition of Aastra in 2014, where he served as Vice President, Strategic Technology Development. In that role, Martin coordinated innovation activities and technology. He has more than 15 years of experience in the UC industry and has worked in a number of R&D and consulting positions in the IT industry. Martin holds a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from Santa Clara University as well as a Master’s degree in Information Technology from the Technical University in Munich.

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