It is happening: Mitel purchasing Shortel . I can’t stop but think how many times I didn’t get a deal because customers would be under impression that they have to buy “familiar name” or “phone system leader”. All because of fear of making a wrong decision in this crazy market, and saving their job by buying a name brand. And yes, business phone system market is crazy.
It’s interesting to note that Mitel has offered about $100 Million less than they offered ShoreTel a little over a 2 years ago in 4th quarter of 2014. This seems to indicate that ShoreTel was already sliding and on its way out. ShoreTel’s stock had dropped from $10+ down to $5 plus over the last year or so.
There is no escaping from the simple truth, however: proprietary systems are going away. Nortel, Intertel, Toshiba, Rolm, Comdial are gone, and Avaya is trying to come out of Chapter 11. Mitel is trying to combat it’s huge debt by buying and trying to cash-flow ShoreTel’s customers and, I assume, will try to migrate as many as possible to Mitel cloud platform.
A quick look into the underlying technology of Mitel and Shortel : both companies are using proprietary communication protocols. Mitel uses MiNet protocol and Shortel uses MGCP. If Mitel falls, then all hardware, phones, routers and session border controllers become obsolete overnight. And I can only assume that Shortel’s equipment will be “end of life” within a year; there is no reason for Mitel to keep developing completely incompatible platform. So , as I’ve said, we will see an attempt to just migrate Shortel customers over to Mitel.
This has nothing to do with bringing a best solution to small business phone system buyer. Mitel just declines to admit they have lost and this didn’t happen today, this year or even last year. The whole world has moved on from proprietary ways of communication to an open standard: Session Initiation Protocol or SIP.
Developed as an open standard, SIP in fact the only viable communication protocol today. There are hundreds if not thousands of manufactures producing all kind of SIP compatible devices and phone systems. Phones, soft phones, paging equipment, analog adapters – you name it – there are multiple choices available. There are open source and closed source devices and systems, offering features that can satisfy even the most stringent set of requirements.