Reinforcing its year-old channel-focused strategy, Mitel Networks Corp. announced this week that it has signed its first-ever U.S. distribution agreement, aligning with Tech Data Corp. to serve channel partners targeting small and medium businesses.
In 2011, Mitel reorganized and introduced its 3+1 strategy that included a commitment to driving a majority of sales through channels. This fall, the company also added a new executive role to take the channel strategy to the next level, appointing Mitel veteran Jeff Nolan as vice president of channel development for North America.
Nolan told Channel Partners that Mitel's engagement with Tech Data is a logical next step in the evolution of its go-to-market strategy and its commitment to the channel to be easier to do business with and not to compete with them.
"We felt the timing was right," Nolan said. "Now that we have our channel strategy lined up over the last year to now driving it to the next 18 months to two years, now is the right time to move to distribution for our channels, for our product."
With the Inter-Tel acquisition and the recession behind them, Nolan said, Mitel can now focus on expanding the distribution for its SMB portfolio. Nolan said Mitel chose Tech Data not only for its logistical support, but to help with positioning and marketing, focusing on market segments and attracting new channels.
As part of the new agreement, Tech Data will distribute the Mitel UC360 Collaboration Point, released this summer, and the Mitel 5000 Communications Platform for organizations with up to 250 users.
Mitel will transition channel partners serving small businesses exclusively to work with Tech Data for product orders and support by April 2013. Large partners, such as service providers, and those serving enterprises, will continue to work directly with Mitel. Mitel did not disclose how many partners would be impacted by the change.