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Mitel expands videoconferencing lineup with Vidyo deal

Infrastructure

Channel partners of Ottawa’s Mitel Networks who have been pining for a broader range of video products to offer customers have had their wishes heard.

Mitel, a maker of unified communications solutions, said Tuesday it has become a reseller of Vidyo Inc.’s line of appliance and software-based teleconferencing systems.

One of the benefits to Mitel, said Alan Zurakowski, Mitel’s director of business development and strategic alliances, is that it gets access to a room-sized system which Mitel didn’t have in its lineup. Mitel’s stable of small and medium sized business customers “will be able to purchase through us a combined UCC (unified communications and collaboration) video solution for their private, hybrid or public clouds,” he added in an interview.

Marty Hollander, a Vidyo evangelist, said his company gets to proclaim that it doesn’t have standalone products but is tied to a UCC provider. And, he added, Mitel has an established channel of resellers and system integrators around the world.

So he declared the deal a “huge win” for Vidyo.

The reselling pact is an extension of a partnership The two companies have worked together before. Just over a year ago Mitel said it would release a version of its Unified Communications Advanced portal client (now called MiCollab client) that would link directly to the VidyoConferencing solution.

There was also interoperability with the Mitel UC360 (now MiCollab Video), a four-port bridge for executive officers.

Now there will be a fuller integration with Mitel on premise and mobile products with soft clients, which Zurakowski said will address the BYOD policies of organizations.

The companies said that because both the Vidyo technology and Mitel’s UCC are software-based, they can make highly flexible solutions.

Hollander also noted that Vidyo integration will also enable Mitel endpoints to connect to legacy (non-SIP) videoconferencing systems.

Zurakowski estimated Mitel has close to 100 partners in Canada. The company will be looking among them for volunteers for an early adopter program.

The deal was announced a day after Mitel released its fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 financial results for the year ending April 30. The company scratched out a net income of US$6.2 million, not including a loss of about $3 million from a discontinued operation, on revenue of US$576.9 million. By comparison in fiscal 2012 it had a profit of US$49.8 million on revenue of US$611.8 million.

“Although it was a challenging year for our industry, we were successful in expanding gross margins and EBITDA margins through our disciplined execution while maintaining our technology leadership in our virtualization and cloud offerings,” Mitel CFO Steve Spooner said in a statement. The purchase this month of OEM contact centre provider prairieFyre “is a key part of our strategy to give us the opportunity to expand revenue and margins while further strengthening Mitel’s position in the growing contact center market.”