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Mitel Offers Some Details on Aastra Integration

With Mitel's acquisition of Aastra now closed, details are emerging about the new company, which will boast more than $1 billion in revenue, a broader portfolio, and a much stronger world presence.

According to Martyn Etherington, Mitel CMO, the corporate brand will evolve in two phases. Immediately, the new company is operating under three interim brands: In the Americas and Asia, it is Mitel (the Aastra brand is gone). In most of the EMEA, Mitel remains Mitel, and the Aastra brand survives as "Aastra, A Mitel Company." The exception is Germany, where the Aastra brand DeTeWe survives with "A Mitel Company" added to it (Aastra acquired DeTeWe in 2005).

Mitel intends to relaunch this summer under the Mitel name worldwide, except for the direct business in Germany, which will remain "DeTeWe, A Mitel Company". Most likely the rebranding effort will be associated with the annual Mitel Business Partner Conference in June. Etherington indicated that BPC will be a single event for the combined Mitel and prior-Aastra channel partners and customers.

Although there haven't been any formal announcements, Mitel did update its leadership page with four executives who came from Aastra, including the prior Aastra Co-CEOs. Francis Shen assumed the role of Chief Strategy Officer with the stated responsibility of strategic product development and acquisitions. Anthony (Tony) Shen was appointed COO with responsibilities for the transition and integration of the merger.

Mitel split the management of Europe into three regions. Martin Derungs was named EVP and Regional President over Europe I (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and Russia). Burkhart V.C. Boettcher was named EVP and Regional President over Europe II (France, Italy, and the Nordic countries). All previous members of the Mitel leadership team remained in place including Graham Bevington (EVP and Regional President UK, Netherlands, Belgium, APAC, and MEA); and Joe Vitalone (EVP and President Americas US, Canada, Latin America, and Caribbean).

In terms of products, no announcements have yet been been made. The primary platforms were Mi-Voice Office and Business (Mitel) and MX-ONE (Aastra). Additional platforms include the 5000, A5000, A400, Clearspan, OpenCom 100, and 3250. The 5000 came from Mitel's acquisition of Inter-Tel; the A5000 (Aastra) is primarily sold in France; OpenCom 100 (Aastra) is primarily sold in Germany; Clearspan (Aastra) is a premises-based enterprise solution in the US; and the 3250 (Mitel) is exclusively sold by BT. It is a broad portfolio that Mitel likely intends to consolidate and simplify.

Additionally, Mitel now has two contact center solutions: MiContact Center (version 7 imminent) and Solidus eCare. It also now has a much broader portfolio of IP phones, with a major refresh of the Aastra SIP endpoints expected soon.

Mitel's hosted offers got a boost too, because Aastra had acquired Telepo just prior to the acquisition by Mitel. Telepo, in Sweden, provides an SMB, multi-tenant, hosted UC platform to service providers. Mitel had previously offered its MiVoice solution as a retail service, wholesale service, and as a platform for providers. In addition, Aastra's Clearspan powers a hosted UC offering for universities through the Internet 2 consortium. Mitel also offers VMware-based IaaS, Vidyo-based video as a service, and network services including MPLS and cellular.

In conjunction with the acquisition, Mitel completed financing of a $405 million credit facility ($355 million loan due 2020, and undrawn $50 million line of credit) to finance the merger and repay $259 million of existing credit. Mitel expects to realize $50 million in operational synergies within two and half years.

Dave Michels is a Contributing Editor and Analyst with TalkingPointz

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