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CCaaS & UCaaS Integration: Mitel, Five9 Team Up

Mitel today announced a strategic multi-year partnership with Five9 to expand the company’s cloud contact center portfolio with an advanced CCaaS platform — and, as Five9 noted in its own press release, the opportunity to deliver an integrated CCaaS-UCaaS offering globally.
 
The news immediately brought to mind a comment I heard just last week at 8x8’s industry analyst meeting: “Twenty five percent of the market prefers a single vendor solution across UCaaS and CCaaS,” said CEO David Sipes. “‘Only 25%?,’” I thought (and tweeted). For historical reference, in 1990 — when I was doing vendor and market share reports for The Pelorus Group — 90% of call center seats were sold in conjunction with a PBX for calling.
 
For several years, I have repeated this 90% statistic, wondering where the balance between integrated UC and contact center and separate applications would land in a cloud world. I have posited that the cloud enables the same kind of integration between two different vendor applications as was formerly only possible with a single premises system. My guesstimate has been that as we approach cloud market saturation, we would see 60% integrated/40% standalone UCaaS and CCaaS. More recently, my opinion has shifted to 50/50.
 
Whether Sipes’ estimate of 25% is high or low of where the market will actually settle when a larger proportion of companies have moved to the cloud remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that — as with so many things — the pandemic has accelerated the move to replace premises contact center and enterprise communications systems with cloud applications.
 
Coming back to today’s announcement, enterprises are definitely moving with more urgency to replace dated and inflexible premises systems as they plan for the “future of work” or “hybrid work” — pick your term of art. One of the elements in these new paradigms is a recognition that customer care happens across the business, not just in the contact center. Whether via one system or two well-integrated applications, companies need and want agents and employees to have better communications capabilities than they have had in the past.
 
“With the strengths that Five9 brings to our contact center portfolio, we can ensure an exceptional experience for customers who require an advanced cloud contact center solution — particularly those in the enterprise segment,” Tarun Loomba, chief product officer, Mitel, stated in the company’s press release.
 
As additionally stated in the release, Mitel will feature Five9 as its exclusive CCaaS partner for its worldwide customer base. Note that Mitel had an earlier agreement with Talkdesk. Mitel made no new information available about that partnership.
 
As outlined in a pre-briefing held with executives of both companies, the value of the Mitel partnership to Five9 is twofold. First, Five9’s product portfolio becomes readily accessible to Mitel’s large global customer base and partner community. This means that partners will have access to an advanced CCaaS solution that is pre-integrated into Mitel’s enterprise communications solutions. Already in place for telephony is a SIP trunking integration with Mitel’s core private cloud and premises products. In a second phase, the companies will create deeper UCaaS and CCaaS integration for additional use cases.
 
Related to the first factor, the partnership expands Five9’s footprint internationally, especially in Europe and Canada where Mitel has been strong historically. Even before the official signing of the partnership, Mitel’s number one contact center partner internationally, Onecom, announced its own partnership with Five9.
 
Five9’s introduction to Mitel channel partners has already borne fruit, with two wins in the U.S. “We have one joint customer that is set to go live in the July timeframe with 100 Five9 seats. It is a healthcare company that has 800 Mitel seats,” Andy Dignan, SVP, global partners & services, at Five9, told me. “We already have a good sense from partners that they understand the value proposition,” he continued. The second deal, for 70 seats, is with a real estate data services and software company. Dignan concluded: “Going from signing the contract to having joint wins in less than 30 days? I think we are on to something.”

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