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Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Mitel's Customer Lifecycle Management: Streamlining Communication for Enhancing Customer Value and Partner Success

Mitel’s strategy is to provide more choice and flexibility than any other vendor. Unlike most communications vendors offering off-the-shelf solutions, Mitel’s unique approach provides customizable options for cloud, deployment, collaboration, and vertical applications. In addition, Mitel helps customers navigate their communications and collaboration journey through its Customer Lifecycle initiative.

Mitel understands the importance of CLM in adopting UC and has made it a critical initiative. Mitel provides partners and customers with extensive CLM, data, and analysis to effectively plan their communications and collaboration solutions as part of its business strategy.

Techaisle data shows that 47% of SMBs and 49% of core & upper midmarket firms are focused on business resiliency enablement to manage change and uncertainty. At the same time, 27% of midsized businesses are targeting investments for growth and long-term success. In response to increasing business operating costs, economic uncertainty, and rising interest rates, customers are seeking communication solutions that are both flexible, effective, and affordable long term. Further, the shift towards hybrid work has increased the requirements of unified communications (UC) systems connecting individuals in different locations. 32% of SMBs and 22% of upper midmarket firms’ employees are expected to be hybrid. Updating UC systems to meet these changing requirements can be complex.

Future-ready businesses are seeking communications solutions that are agile, adaptive, transformative, flexible, and empowering. Thus, many organizations require guidance on the most efficient ways to invest in and modernize communication solutions. This is where customer lifecycle management (CLM) comes into play. By aligning an organization's goals with the UC technology being adopted or upgraded, CLM helps streamline the UC adoption process, ensuring that communication solutions are optimized to meet business objectives. As a result, CLM helps organizations maximize business value for customers and future-proof their investment in UC.

Mitel's approach to CLM

Mitel has differentiated itself from its competitors in the communication solutions industry by adopting a customer-centric approach that provides flexibility and choice throughout the communications lifecycle. Its CLM approach is designed to support customers using on-premise, hybrid, or cloud solutions. It has two main strategies – UC (communication and collaboration tools) and migrations (moving customers from on-premise or hybrid solutions to the cloud) – to ensure customers receive value and flexibility, regardless of their current solution.

Mitel's CLM approach focuses on delivering customer value in three key areas. Firstly, it adds value to existing customers' businesses by understanding their needs through innovative analytics. Secondly, it targets vertical markets such as healthcare, hospitality, state, local, and education (SLED), which require a private or hybrid cloud model due to security and regulatory requirements. Lastly, its strategic partnership with RingCentral helps customers migrate to public cloud solutions when most appropriate per their needs.

Techaisle survey data reveals that organizations have unique communications needs with a mix of infrastructures: on-prem, public cloud, private cloud, or a hybrid solution. A one-size-fits-all approach is only viable for some. It is a customer choice issue. Today, on-premises UC solutions are dominant, with 88% of organizations using some on-premises UC solutions. However, 44% are combining on-prem solutions with cloud solutions. Cloud communications solutions are also on their long-term plans, with 47% either evaluating or moving their on-prem communications to the cloud. However, customer choice and complexity create decision inertia for 64% of firms. Hence partners become the guiding beacon to manage the customer communications adoption lifecycle.

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Navigating the Perfect Storm: The struggle of MSPs and IT suppliers in SMB technology adoption

SMBs are increasingly dependent on information technology. Techaisle SMB (1-999 employees) survey found that 78% of small (1-99 employees) businesses and 97% of midmarket (100-999 employees) businesses consider technology to be “somewhat” or “very important” to their success, and 28% of small and 43% of midmarket firms report that they have become more dependent on technology over the past 12 months. These SMBs deal with an ever-expanding portfolio of increasingly-complex applications and platform technologies. At the same time, these firms are struggling to rein in IT-related expenditures, including staff-related costs. This combination of increased reliance on technology as a critical element of business success, burgeoning complexity, and cost constraint has created a ‘perfect storm’ for using managed services.

Building an effective managed services channel is a long and complex undertaking. On the positive side, many channel members participate in managed service delivery today, and longer-term trends indicate that a sizable proportion of the channel community will develop managed services specializations. There is also compelling evidence that buyers need and value managed services and that this need has been growing over the past five years and will continue to increase. However, the data also shows that channel firms need help transitioning from delivering some managed services to building viable businesses on a managed services model. To be successful, vendors will need to set objectives spanning the three-year period over which the managed services specialization will emerge and invest in the tactics (and execution excellence) required to support partners through this period.

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MSPs and the Cloud: A Successful Partnership or Not

Techaisle’s survey of 2115 partners shows that while many VARs offer managed services to their customers, only a small percentage successfully achieve consistent growth and profitability. In contrast, MSPs have been more successful in their managed services business model and have also begun to achieve success in the cloud. MSPs are well aligned with the business requirements associated with cloud sales. They can act as a logical extension to partner activities by providing discrete services that can be delivered efficiently. However, unique business requirements and partnering practices associated with cloud suppliers have proved challenging for MSPs.

Techaisle data shows that 65% of VARs offer managed services to their customers. Still, only 50%, less than one-third of all VARs, successfully achieve consistent growth and profitability within managed services. The data is similar to 2018. Conversely, 71% of MSPs have succeeded in their managed services business model, and 29% are still striving to achieve profitability and success. Unlike the last several years, MSPs have begun to achieve success in the cloud. 89% of MSPs currently offer cloud, and 72% have achieved cloud success. It is two-thirds of all MSPs, up from less than half in 2018.

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OpenText - A Cybersecurity Powerhouse Built on Strategic Acquisitions

OpenText's transformation from a Canadian document management company to one of the world's leading software providers is nothing short of remarkable. The driving force behind its growth has been a focus on cloud-based solutions, which led the company to go on an acquisition spree, bringing several specialized companies/brands under its umbrella. Cybersecurity is one arena where OpenText has taken a deliberate approach over the last decade with multi-billion dollars of capital investment to bring together critical purpose-built solutions to provide holistic coverage to its customers.

The company’s acquisition of data protection provider Carbonite (ninth cloud-specific acquisition overall) and endpoint/threat intelligence software provider Webroot marked a significant milestone in its quest to create a single, unified, and robust security portfolio.

With the Carbonite and Webroot acquisitions, OpenText became a go-to option for managed service providers (MSPs) and small and medium businesses (SMBs) seeking a one-stop shop for security and data protection, filling a void in the market with its broad portfolio. Experts have opined on OpenText’s offerings: “It's one vendor, one brand, one program, one partner strategy, one go-to-market, so small customers and partners don't need to work with multiple vendors. OpenText Cybersecurity can provide all of it."

However, this was just the beginning. OpenText's subsequent acquisitions of email encryption software provider Zix, security software provider AppRiver, Network Detection and Response provider Bricata, and enterprise software provider Micro Focus further strengthened its position in cybersecurity. The approach to consolidate all security and data protection services in a single platform – serving as the foundation to deploy the right capabilities and manage and administer their environment has made things easier for customers of all sizes. In addition, OpenText's comprehensive portfolio provides a robust and reliable option for businesses seeking to enhance their cyber resiliency. In the following sections, we will explore OpenText's trajectory to becoming one of the leaders in the cybersecurity domain.

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