Mitel Monday unveiled a new white-label program that will let partners rebrand its MiCloud Enterprise Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) offering and resell it as their own.
Under the program, Mitel will continue to host MiCloud UCaaS in its own data centers, said Stephen Brown, vice president of Cloud Strategy at Mitel, allowing partners to reap the benefit of offering their own branded service without the cost or headache of hosting that service on their own.
"We are going to enable partners to get into the cloud tomorrow," Brown said. "They can brand it as their service, without having to go invest a ton of money into building out the infrastructure to support cloud, which can take a long time if they aren't already in that business."
Brown said for those partners who have established their own cloud-based infrastructures, there will be an option down the line to host MiCloud UCaaS within their own data centers.
In either case, Brown said, Mitel decided to launch the white-label program to broaden partners' cloud portfolios and to help them drive recognition of their own unique brands.
"Some of the little things that might seem trivial -- like ownership of the customer and making sure they are extending their brand -- are extremely important to our channel, so we are clearing both those hurdles by delivering this service to them," Brown told CRN.
The white-label program is available now, with nine Mitel partners already participating. One of those partners is Towner Communications Systems, a Jefferson City, Miss.-based solution provider, which saw the white-label program as an opportunity to grow its cloud footprint without having to invest in its own hosting environment.
"Cloud is obviously something that's coming very fast," said Towner Communications Systems CEO Mark Towner. "The UCaaS [white-label] offering is much better than us trying to do this ourselves, housing the hardware ourselves, and maintaining and keeping it up ourselves. It lets us really focus on presenting [the service] to the customer and implementing it for the customer."
Towner said being able to rebrand the MiCloud UCaaS offering as his company's own also will give Towner Communications Systems a leg up in the market.
"I think the brand recognition was a big thing for us, and being able to label it ourselves, and being able to deploy and service it without having to rely on a third party," Towner said.
MiCloud Enterprise UCaaS includes a number of hosted UC features, such as voice, chat, telepresence, and audio and videoconferencing capabilities. Customers pay for the service in a subscription-based model, and partners can choose to be paid in either an up-front capex or recurring model, Brown said.
The new white-label program is one of several steps taken by Mitel over the past year to nudge its partners toward cloud. In September, the Ottawa-based vendor introduced a new global sales unit dedicated to driving sales of its MiCloud hosted products. Mitel in April also unveiled its AnyWare Cloud Contact Center, a suite of hosted contact-center-management applications targeted at small and midsize businesses.
PUBLISHED MARCH 17, 2014