Mitel Networks and Natural Convergence Extend Leadership in Small Office Communications: Companies to jointly market solution of hosted telephony and IP phones
My spin:Voice over IP is only going to grow albeit more slow than fast.
OTTAWA, Canada – December 3, 2002 – Mitel Networks, a market-leader for voice, video, and data convergence, and Natural Convergence, a pioneer of broadband communications software for telecom carriers, today announced the signing of a co-marketing and teaming agreement. The agreement enables the companies to jointly market and to offer Natural Convergence’s hosted telephony solution and Mitel Networks industry-leading IP phones to service providers and small businesses.
“Mitel Networks’ market leadership at the IP desktop level makes them an ideal fit to work with,” said David Cork, Chief Executive Officer, Natural Convergence. “We are both committed to providing something that small businesses have never before had with their communications tools – choice. Through our joint offerings we can deliver fully converged solutions that enable small business to reduce costs, simplify management and ultimately increase their productivity.”
The Natural Convergence solution provides all the essential features of a modern phone system, delivered over a carrier’s broadband data network. The small business simply signs up for the service at a flat-rate per-user per-month. There is no expensive capital equipment to purchase – no system hardware to become obsolete or outgrow. The service can be personalized and administered directly by the business users or a delegate.
Mitel Networks provides the industry’s broadest range of IP desktop devices and peripherals. Through this relationship, Natural Convergence can now provide small enterprises with access to a wide range of desktop devices such as entry-level IP phones, web-enabled IP appliances and full-duplex audio conference units.
Through the power of this solution, Natural Convergence is delivering on the vision of service convergence, a concept that allows the carrier to easily provide and manage all of the business lifelines – voice, data, and web – for its small business customers.
“The ability to effectively address the desktop is critical in delivering extended value and benefits within a converged environment,” said Paul Butcher, Chief Operating Officer, Mitel Networks. “Working with Natural Convergence ensures that customers who prefer a hosted model for telephony can enjoy access to Mitel Networks’ award-winning portfolio of IP phones and desktop appliances.”
The small business market generates over $200 billion in recurring annual service revenues for telecom carriers in North America alone. However, in spite of the aggregate size of this market and their track record of high customer loyalty, carriers have traditionally been defeated on, or neglected this segment.
“Carriers are beginning to recognize how lucrative the small business market can be for them,” said Joe Greene, Vice President of Research with IDC Canada. “The typical small business does not have the technical savvy, nor the resources to take advantage of the emerging market for convergence. Simple, easy to use products will make it easier for small businesses to participate.”


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