Mitel Unveils Unified Partner Program Post-ShoreTel Acquisition


**Editor’s Note: Read our list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.**

Mitel Wednesday unveiled its integrated global partner program, which will launch next month. It includes the “strengths” of its former program and that of ShoreTel, which it acquired last fall.

Three partner-program levels with streamlined requirements make it easier for a partner to obtain immediate benefits, and a new point-based system measures cloud and on-site partner performance, focusing on driving cloud growth, the company said. It includes growth incentives for top-producing partners, as well as a revised approach to allocating marketing funds based on mutually agreed-upon business and marketing plans designed to support new business development.

Mitel's Mike Conlon

Mitel’s Mike Conlon

Mike Conlon, Mitel’s vice president of North America channel sales, tells Channel Partners his company has been actively seeking input from partners on what the shift would look like and “discussing how to enhance the heritage Mitel program with some of the most successful elements of the program ShoreTel had in place.”

“The newly combined program offers greater efficiencies and features the best of both worlds, taking market dynamics into account and leveraging a point-based system that will give the program a long shelf life as customers continue moving to the cloud,” he said. “The program makes it much easier for partners to transition from on-site to cloud by incentivizing them for the move. With the previous Mitel program, rewards and discounts were tied to the on-site solutions. What we liked about ShoreTel’s program is that it provided incentives for both types.”

The combined program offers higher levels of points for cloud monthly recurring revenue, but alleviates the concerns some more traditional on-site partners might have about not getting credit for on-site sales, Conlon said. This encourages them to migrate, so they can stay in step with the industry’s evolution while also compensating for their on-site business, he said.

With the ShoreTel merger, Mitel said it has accelerated its move-to-the-cloud strategy, shifting into the No. 2 market share position for UCaaS globally. The companies’ combined annual sales total $1.3 billion.

In addition to the new partner program, Mitel also will increasingly leverage two-tier distribution in support of its overall go-to-market strategy. As part of this effort, the company will consolidate channels to allow a smaller number of distributors to hold increased inventory; provide sales quotes and support; manage certifications and user training; and offer technical support and professional services.

“Mitel’s distribution strategy enhances our coverage and simplifies transactions for our partners,” Conlon said. “With this approach, they can leverage all the attributes a distributor brings to the table — from inventory management, faster order processing, credit management, financing options and more.”

“Partnering with Mitel gives us a unique portfolio combined with a recognized industry leader to build our business,” said John Garrett, CEO of CNP Technologies. “Our customers understand they must evolve their communications strategy to compete in their industry segments. Through our partnership with Mitel, they know they are getting access to the best technology available in today’s market.”

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