Mitel's Lineup to Include MiTeam
Company moves into the workstream communications and collaboration game.
Instant messaging (IM) was one of the biggest drivers of UC, but it was only a precursor to the richer messaging solutions emerging now. IM was more instant than email but not as intrusive as a phone call. Turned out that lots of our communications are well suited (even preferable) over messaging.
IM proved to be valuable, but its growth in usage has made its limitations more evident. UC-based IM typically does not support communications between organizations. Inter-company messaging is forced through separate, consumer-class services such as Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and other over-the-top (OTT) services. This introduces numerous challenges, including security, control, and conversational data management.
Most UC IM systems are also limited with regards to content and storage. Many of the emerging collaborative solutions support text messaging, photos, files, and code snippets. Persistence and searchable content provides discoverable conversational history.
The problem is that too many of these messaging-based collaborative services have weak support for real-time communications. We are seeing the asynchronous solutions adding real-time features while the real-time UC vendors expand their offers with rich messaging, creating a powerful set of capabilities for workflow and collaboration, or workstream communications and collaboration (WCC), as I like to call it.
Mitel is the latest UC company to offer a WCC solution, with MiTeam. Mitel acquired the technology at the core of MiTeam, but has tightly integrated it into its global UC portfolio. Depending on region and business segment, MiTeam will be available within the MiCloud UCaaS portfolio -- Office, Business, and Enterprise. Additionally, Mitel will offer MiTeam for onsite, private-cloud enterprise implementations.
MiTeam shares many of the same components found in other workstream solutions. Content and conversations are organized into "streams" rather than rooms or spaces. The application integrates with the MiCollab presence engine, and uses aspects of the MiCollab client and browser so requires no additional client.
MiTeam and MiCollab will utilize a single directory and click-to-dial function. Mitel recently updated its video stack, but opted to use the more basic WebRTC service for MiTeam. So at least initially, MiTeam video conferencing is separate from Mitel's UC video client.
The premises-based offering is very unusual. All of the alternative WCC options are cloud-based services. MiTeam may be an attractive option for larger organizations unwilling to store textual conversations in the cloud.
Mitel is currently rolling out MiTeam with limited distribution in Europe. It plans general availability for April.
Dave MIchels is a contributing editor and analyst at TalkingPointz.