There have been rumblings that Mitel is interested in acquiring Polycom and now that is no longer rumor: Mitel announces a definitive agreement to acquire Polycom in a press release this morning.
Polycom currently is a major partner of Microsoft Skype for Business and Office 365 Cloud PBX. How could this affect this partnership?
- The press release notes Polycom will be retained as a brand
- The press release mentions “Deep product integration with Microsoft solutions” as a key customer benefit.
Currently Mitel (previously Aastra) has 1 Skype for Business certified IP phone at http://partnersolutions.skypeforbusiness.com and if my memory serves me correct they had 2 at acquisition time. Polycom has 15 for comparison. The highest next vendor in IP phones is AudioCodes/Yealink at 3.
In Skype for business certified meeting room systems Polycom has 14 and the next vendor, SMART, has 6 to give a bit of a sense of the Polycom/Microsoft partnership compared to other vendors.
One observation from a Skype for Business perspective is that in Mitel’s past acquisition of Aastra (which included Lync Phone Edition IP desk phone models) and Prairie Fyre (a Lync Contact Center which Mitel has branded as MiContact) the Skype for Business (Lync) assets did not seem to maintain as high visibility in the Skype for Business eco system.
Polycom is far stronger in the Microsoft/Skype for Business eco system than either Aastra or Prairie Fyre. Polycom is Microsoft’s strongest IP desk phone and video partner at this time and recently has done, and is continuing to do, a lot of aggressive work at making their devices integrated with Skype for Business & Office 365 Cloud PBX. In Mitel’s “key customer benefits” calls out “Deep product integration with Microsoft solutions” as a value which Mitel wants to bring this value to their portfolio.
How will this affect Microsoft & Skype for Business? I would like to hear your opinions.