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6/30/2008
12:27 PM
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Mitel Retools Line Post Inter-Tel Acquisition

Mitel, who has been quite successful in the small and medium sector, bolstered its IP PBX line. To ward off formidable competitors, the company added messaging, audio and web conferencing, and mobility applications and revamped its IP phones.

Mitel, who has been quite successful in the small and medium sector, bolstered its IP PBX line. To ward off formidable competitors, the company added messaging, audio and web conferencing, and mobility applications and revamped its IP phones.IP PBXs have become widely accepted technology, and the marketplace has been shifting away from start-up ventures to established suppliers. In recognition of that trend, Mitel paid $723 million to buy Inter-Tel in May 2007, and the companys latest announcement centers on the integration of the two vendors product lines.

The Mitel Applications Suite (MAS) 1.1 integrates multiple telephony applications on a single server that users can control from a consistent administrator interface. MAS provides audio and web conferencing features so business persons can collaborate without meeting face-to-face; unified messaging which integrated disparate communication sources; and single sign-on mobility feature for teleworkers and road-warriors. The applications were designed for simple installation and maintenance. In addition, Mitel 5200 and 5300 IP phones are now available for the Mitel 5000 Network Communications System (NCS). The 5300 series IP phones feature graphical displays, Wideband Audio support, and programmable self-labeling keys for one-touch access to speed dialing and calls.

Traditionally, Mitel has focused on the small and medium business sector. By delivering low cost, easy to deploy and maintain solutions, the company has been able to become a top IP PBX supplier in that market segment. However, competition in that area has been increasing recently. As Behemoths, such as Cisco and Microsoft, focus more on telephony applications, vendors, such as Mitel, are expected to have trouble maintaining their market positions. The new products are designed to help Mitel to do just that. While the company lacks the name recognition and the size of its well known competitors, the vendor seems to have products as well as an understanding of what appeals to small and medium businesses. Time will tell whether or not that will be enough for it to remain a favorite among small and medium businesses.

Are you a Mitel customer? What do you find attractive about the companys products? Are you concerned about the firms long term future?

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