**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q1 2013.**
Mitel, the cloud and unified-communications provider, has wrapped its acquisition of prairieFyre Software, one of its key suppliers.
Ottawa, Canada-based prairieFyre is a privately held global provider of contact center, business analytics and workforce-optimization software and services. It's an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that has been supplying Mitel with its existing contact-center solution.
Mitel is paying $20 million in cash for prairieFyre, an acquisition the Canada-headquartered company says will strengthen its position in the contact-center market, which researchers at Ovum estimate to be worth more than $3 billion per year. In particular, the purchase provides Mitel with a cornerstone development platform to address the increasing demand for cloud-based contact center solutions, and creates strong pull-through opportunities for associated sales of Mitel's core IP telephony and UC solutions.
The channel will continue to play a major role in sales of these Mitel solutions.
"Channel partners are viewing contact centers [as applications] that, in difficult economic times, are things they can really connect with their customers from a hard [return-on-investment] perspective ... and we have quite a few of them who are investing in growing their contact-center practices," Ron Wellard, executive vice president and general manager of Mitel Communications Solutions, told Channel Partners in a telephone interview.
"What we're seeing is IT departments within companies have a majority of the spend right now, and it's logical for them to go to their IT resellers when they're taking a look at the technologies they're integrating into their networks," prairieFyre CEO Chris Courneya told Channel Partners, in his new role as vice president and general manager, Mitel Contact Centers. "The more IT directors and CTOs ask resellers for contact-center technologies, the more you're going to see these guys wanting to pick up the associated technologies as something they can resell. And I think that's where Mitel can offer a huge value for them."
There are 1,400 Mitel channel partners worldwide in 70 countries, all actively selling contact centers.
"We believe the highly integrated nature of our existing OEM relationship with prairieFyre prior to the acquisition makes this a low risk, high reward and compelling opportunity to immediately capitalize on market demand, expand revenue and margins, and positions Mitel for ongoing growth," said Richard McBee, president and CEO of Mitel, in a news release.
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