Mitel has placed a big bet on voice and UC virtualization as it looks to make a comeback in the channel, and a big part of that is its strategic relationship with VMware. The two companies deepened their ties this week behind the integration of Mitel's Contact Center software with VMware's virtual desktop infrastructure platform, View.
Mitel is also launching a virtualized Unified Communicator (UC) software client for VMware View. The tie-ins allow customers of Mitel's products to manage contact center resources in a more cost-effective manner from a remote desktop, anywhere in the world, using mobile devices if need be.
Stephen Beamish, Mitel vice president of marketing and business development, said Mitel and VMware will also kick off a joint go-to-market plan after VMware's Partner Exchange event concludes this week.
"This is a new opportunity and expanding market," Beamish said.
Fewer than 10 percent of current Mitel partners are also certified VMware partners, Beamish said, but thanks to the integration, those Mitel partners can sell into VMware environments using Mitel's contact center product.
"Our channel doesn't have to install any VMware-specific solutions," he said. "A Mitel partner can go in and say, 'Are you a VMware customer? Well, we have something for that.'"
Beamish didn't discuss whether Mitel would pursue similar relationships with Citrix, Microsoft or other VDI platforms. He noted that Mitel still partners for Oracle Sun Ray clients and also Wyse products.
According to Mitel data, UC VARs with experience selling virtualization solutions have compound annual growth rates of higher than 20 percent, and that those VARs also drive 50 percent higher attach rates than UC solution providers that aren't experienced with virtualization.
Russ Johnson, president of Fuse Networks, a Seattle-based solution provider, said Mitel's integration with VMware View is the reason he chose Mitel as a UC vendor.
"The flexibility of Mitel's open UC architecture combined with VMware's virtualization solutions gives us a consolidated communications infrastructure that we can manage like any other virtual application," Johnson said.