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UC Expo: Millennials, Collisions & Video April 28, 2016

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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Last week at Olympia London we saw many vendors repeat the same messages as they addressed the impact of millennials on the workforce, digitisation and video. Cisco highlighted the importance of using collaboration tools to create ‘collisions’ in the workforce – we understand the point they were trying to make but the term is often perceived with negative connotations, particularly in the insurance industry!

Microsoft’s put significant effort into the event with a big presence on various stages and in the exhibition space. They are now strongly positioning themselves in the UC space and Cavell believes that their success will continue in the coming years, especially in Large Enterprises. Microsoft also demonstrated their Cloud PBX for the first time in the UK which allows users to run Skype for Business services in Office 365. Handset manufacturer Yealink were also showcasing their Skype for Business integrations with their new range of handsets.

What Cavell are seeing more and more of is vendors driving innovation by encouraging developers to develop on their platform. We are interested to see how this plays out in the future as all major vendors, including Broadsoft, Genband, Cisco, Microsoft, are undertaking various Hackathons. Cisco’s announcement in March shows their commitment to having external developers use their platform as they hope their Spark Innovation Fund of $150m dollars will drive development.

“Disrupt or be disrupted.” – Marianne Calder, Cisco opening keynote, UC Expo 2016

Cavell will looking in-depth in the next few months of what how the relationship between Service Providers, Vendors and Developers will change in the future as this is an area where there is some really interesting changes that we think will impact the Voice market in the future.

Cavell are off to Orlando next week for GENBAND Perceptives 2016 where Matt Townend is speaking. We look forward to seeing all those who are attending there!

Mitel announces intention to acquire Polycom April 18, 2016

Posted by Dominic Black in Uncategorized.
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The deal is expected to close in Q3 for about $1.96 billion in cash and stock, and the purchase will add Polycom’s collaboration, videoconferencing and handset range to Mitel’s existing product set.  Their is an obvious synergy around expanding Mitel’s video and conferencing solutions and the ability to sell to their extensive current customer base and channels

Their joint press release states:

“The combination of Mitel and Polycom will create a new industry leader leveraging Mitel’s recognized leadership as a pioneer in global communications with Polycom’s well-known premium brand and industry-leading portfolio in the conference and video collaboration market.”

The acquisition also raises a couple of questions as well:

One interesting question that this will raise is how will Service Providers who are offering a rival solution to Mitel react to now selling Polycom handsets? This is especially relevant to those who are heavily aligned to Polycom, such as those selling Broadsoft solutions. Mitel has not always made friends with other cloud vendors with its very aggressive claims about market leadership, which certainly upset other vendors. Whether this opens opportunities for handset manufacturers such as Yealink, Cisco, Snom will be interesting to see in the next few months.

“It will be interesting to see whether Broadsoft, Microsoft and others will still be keen to partner and work with Mitel to promote Polycom handsets in the future” – Dominic Black, Cavell Group

In recent years the overall market for hardware based Video Conferencing had seen a general down turn as OTT and alternative solutions hit the market. This had lead Polycom to focus more on its core handset offering such as the VVX etc., where it has been extremely successful.  The synergies in this area of the market are probably less pronounced than in the Video Collaboration and conferencing market areas.

“Synergies in the Video Conferencing and Collaboration areas are more promoted than in the core handset area, where Polycom has been refocusing so it will be interesting to see how these synergies are leveraged.”

This acquisition is one of many we expect in the market this year, as traditional equipment providers are forced to realign their businesses in the line with Cloud and IP transformation. We expect to see continued consolidation both at the Service Provider and supplier level in coming months.

Read more: http://investor.mitel.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=909405