Celebrating 50 Years of Mitel Excellence

3 min read

June 22, 2023

This June marks Mitel’s 50th anniversary, and we’re excited to celebrate a half-century of making landmark innovations and connections in communications technology. While we’re always looking forward to the future, it’s also important to reflect on where we came from – and the people who make it all possible.

It’s hard to believe that when Michael Cowpland and Terry Matthews founded Mitel (short for MIchael and Terry ELectronics) in 1973, they planned to sell lawnmowers. But when their first delivery of lawnmowers got lost in shipping, they quickly pivoted to producing high-tech printed circuit boards for telephone switches. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Ever since Mitel has been leading the charge in business communications and collaboration technology. Our story is one of “firsts”:

  • The first software-driven PBX
  • The first phone with a multi-line display and context-sensitive feature buttons
  • The first communication between a telephone and PC over a USB
  • The first computer telephony integration device
  • The first hybrid cloud solution in the market
  • The first phones with built-in antimicrobial protection
  • The first to serve more than one million unified communications as a service (UCaaS) subscribers worldwide

Mitel has over 1,200 patents and applications for communications, collaboration, and contact center solutions.

Mitel’s success is built on technological innovation, but it wouldn’t be possible without the energy and creativity of our exceptional people. With more than 2,600 employees, 4,000 partners, and 35 million users worldwide, Mitel is powered by human connections.

“Mitel isn’t a global market leader by accident,” said Tarun Loomba, President and CEO of Mitel. “We collaborate with partners in over 100 countries to offer customers innovative choice, flexibility, and communication expertise so their organizations can thrive.

In Their Own Words: Stories from Mitel Employees

We asked our employees to share their fondest memories of working at Mitel, and they delivered. From company veterans with decades of experience to interns fresh out of university, we’ve gathered stories that epitomize the spirit of Mitel.

Making Posh Connections…

With millions of Mitel clients worldwide, you’re bound to make some interesting connections. One software engineer was called upon to solve phone issues for not one but two global leaders. He helped a hotel in France repair their phone system in time for the arrival of a VIP – the Prime Minister of Australia. In a separate incident, the same employee was tasked with customizing a telephone ring for Queen Elizabeth II. “I had to double-check to make sure I heard them correctly,” he recalled.


…and Personal Ones.

Many Mitel employees returned with stories about spending quality time with their colleagues. One fondly remembered watching “The Sandlot” at the Dr. Pepper Stadium in Frisco with her co-workers and their families. Many others appreciated how themed days, holiday parties, and charity events helped them form closer bonds with their teams. They recount the positive impact Mitel has had on their families and children. “Mitel is indeed built into the fabric of our lives,” noted one director whose daughter grew up attending family days and even worked for Mitel when she was older.


Around the World…

Mitel is a global company, but that wasn’t always the case. One manager remembered beginning her career in the Caldicot office in Wales, which housed everything from manufacturing to customer service. She then moved to Australia to help set up operations in Sydney. “Life was good. It was a perfect time to be a part of the incredible journey in Australia and New Zealand,” she remembered.


…and Back Again.

It’s a small world, after all. One technical instructor’s favorite things include visiting a store or business and seeing a Mitel phone. “It always makes me smile to realize how diverse and widespread our customer base is,” he explained.


A Rich History…

Very few 50-year-old tech companies and even fewer have employees who have been around for most of those years. Mitel is fortunate to have loyal and long-tenured employees who still love coming to work 25 or 35 years later. An employee who began in 1987 appreciated the many changes Mitel has undergone, from internal memos in orange envelopes to the introduction of the first PCs and, finally, the shift to working from home. “If Mitel has taught me anything,” she noted, “it is to expect the unexpected.”


…and a Bright Future.

Some of Mitel’s most passionate employees are relatively recent hires. An engineer who began his Mitel career three years ago described himself as a “Mitel Company Evangelist,” explaining, “I believe Mitel’s commitment to innovation, customer-centricity, and sustainability is what sets the company apart and enables it to continue to thrive in the rapidly evolving telecommunications industry.” We look forward to seeing the creativity and growth of the latest generation of Mitel employees.


A Look to the Future (and 50 More Years)

The telecommunications world has changed significantly in the past 50 years, and it might be hard to imagine how differently people will communicate in another half-century. Mitel’s history of cutting-edge innovation has helped to shape the industry and lays the groundwork for whatever comes next.

“If Mitel’s history is a predictor of our future, we have much to look forward to,” said Loomba. “We are built on innovation, experience, and passion. We will continue to evolve and exceed expectations for the next 50 years – and beyond.”

Categories: Company News, Culture

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