We sat down recently with Richard McBee, the Chief Executive Officer at Mitel to get his take on where the unified communications (UC) industry sits today and to ask for his insights about forward-looking trends. At the mid-year point for 2015, Mitel showed modest overall revenue growth compared to the same period in 2014, but it did show impressive growth results for its mobile business and cloud business units. Mitel was also positioned as a leader for UC in Gartner’s magic quadrant in a report released earlier this month.
Earlier this year, Mitel acquired Mavenir- helping the company achieve year-over-year revenue growth of 35% according to McBee. Mitel’s cloud business also grew 21% by adding 235,500 new cloud seats in the quarter, bringing its total cloud installed customer base to over 1.6 million users.
Mavenir offers a platform that provides roaming between VoLTE and VoWi-Fi, so we asked McBee about the prospects to see expanded interoperability. McBee pointed out that the technology issues are not a service barrier; rather, regulatory issues such as lawful intercept and taxation will need to be solved before commercial services become widespread. (Our observation: we also believe that business issues between Wi-Fi providers and mobile providers such as reciprocal compensation for calls will also need to be addressed.)
Commenting on the implications of carriers’ transition to an all-IP network, McBee said that an IP / IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) will benefit both carriers and businesses, especially as enterprises continue to embrace mobility. He added that the benefit of carriers’ adoption of SDNs will allow them to offer virtualized solutions that can bring “any service any time” at much lower price points.