Mitel plans to grow its local market share by broadening the scope of its channel, said South Pacific sales VP, Frank Skiffington.
While Skiffington characterises the unified communications provider’s current channel strategy up to now as “very solid,” the company still needs to look at other channels.
“We have a very traditional telecom channel that does not focus on larger enterprise,” he said. “We need to look at carriers and we are building relationships with them to get into that space.”
Skiffington adds that the vendor needs to look at “VMware type channels” in order to take its solution out to datacentres.
“We can take the software phone system and drop it into industry standard servers or datacentres,” he said.
Skiffington adds that Mitel’s own business is underground a transformation where it is putting different finance structures in place for how customers pay for the phone system and applications.
“You can buy from Mitel on a subscription model, so it fits well into the managed services approach that other channels are looking at doing,” he said.
Lessons from abroad
Skiffington came into the Australia role at Mitel after being with the unified communications provider in the UK.
“We chased down Cisco in the UK and became one with 27 per cent market share, I want to do the same here,” he said.
Currently Mitel has a seven per cent market share in Australia, and Skiffington said the aim is to grow that and “hopefully get to first place in the shortest time possible.”
Skiffington said his intention is to “change things up” while keeping it intact overall.
“It’s about educating the channel about Mitel, and I’ve been encouraged by the support I’ve had so far in the channel,” he said.
Mitel entered the Australian market a decade ago as a start-up, and the business has changed dramatically in that time.
“Even in the last year it has changed, so whoever comes into the role has to change and evolve the strategy without necessarily being a mover and shaker,” he said.
“A business in start-up mode is different from one that is ten years old and selling a very mature product.”
For that reason, Skiffington said it is responsibility to ensure that the channel is a continuation of the business’ journey.
“One thing I do bring to the table is experience of being at Mitel for 15 years,” he said. “I know my way around the company and its products, and I can get things done relatively quickly within the company.”
Skiffington also hopes to leverage the experience of what the vendor achieved in the UK and replicating that in Australia.
“It is about making sure we have the right channels educated properly in our products and have the right solutions to take out to customers,” he said.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.