The Cloud may present some interesting prospects for unified communications (UC), but Mitel South Pacific sales VP, Frank Skiffington, says it is more about how you package the solution.
Whether a UC solution is in the Cloud or on-premise, Skiffington said there is not much a difference between the two and it is more about how you “wrap that into a proposition”.
“UC is the same no matter what flavour you adopt,” he said. “The difference is how you package it up and pay for it.”
Skiffington adds that everything that you can do with UC with an on-premise solution, you can now do in the Cloud.
Even so, UC vendors such as Mitel have changed their business to become more software driven in recent years, and Skiffington said the vendor is becoming more and more software focused.
“We can take that software and drop that into an industry standard server and in the customer’s premises if they want, or deliver it in a datacentre,” he said.
“We still also offer a box that you can stick into a comms cabinet if you want.”
Whatever flavour of UC a customer may want, Skiffington said it does not really make a difference to the overall UC proposition.
“The biggest difference is that you wrap that into a finance proposition,” he said.
Mitel has been busy working on building its channel in Australia, though Skiffington said it has been careful not to “over distribute” its products.
Through Telstra, Skiffington said the UC vendor has a strong SMB partner locally, though it is still lacking a strong enterprise channel.
“We don’t have those SIs or carries that will carry us to larger dealers and enterprises, so we need to build that up,” he said.
In order to do that, there are a number of things Mitel needs to do for back end services, commissioning, installation, and maintenance.
“You need to have a geographical reach, particularly with Australia being the size that it is,” Skiffington said.
“It’s about getting your head around the size and scale of it.”
Skiffington said it is important for a vendor such as Mitel to have geographical reach, and the resellers that it deals with at the moment are very regional and “parochial” in their outlook.
“We don’t have many SIs and carriers partners that can cover A/NZ,” he said.
“If we are going to win those types of deals, we need to have them as partners.”
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.