Customers don't speak R&D. That's the premise of the latest announcement from Mitel around its cloud and hosted offerings. The company announced what it's calling a "customer-driven product naming architecture" to make it simpler and easier for its customers to find and purchase the unified communications and collaboration solutions they need.
"Using simple terms and plain English, they are able to describe their business needs clearly. Taking inspiration from that, we are simplifying our product naming to help customers quickly understand our fit and value to their business," said Martyn Etherington, CMO for Mitel, in a prepared statement.
The new product naming convention aligns with the already established Mitel MiCloud, the vendor's cloud-based offering that enables a streamlined migration to the public, private or hybrid cloud. With the new product naming convention, Mitel is putting an emphasis on its newly renamed Mitel MiCollab (formerly product called the UCA, MCA and NuPoint), MiVoice (which includes phones MCD, 5000 CP, 5300 and 8500) and MiContactCenter.
Although it's meant primarily to take some confusion out of finding the right solution for customers, it will also have an impact on Mitel channel partners. Mitel certainly has a point, in that a lot of IT products and services are sold with designations that make little to no sense in the business world. For partners that have been told for years that they need to sell solutions based on business needs, it has to be a challenge at times when customers are faced with a confusing list of SKUs.
Additionally, Mitel hopes to kick off an industry trend. That's probably a bit of a stretch, but the company seems to have the best of intentions. And anything that takes some confusion out of cloud and hosting service purchases for the customer (and the partner) is bound to have at least some impact on a company's service and sales.
"This is a quantum leap for Mitel and could be a model for the IT industry in general, which gets bogged down in tech jargon and insider talk rather than communicating with customers in clear terms. The new naming architecture introduces a simplicity that quickly enables more intuitive customer discussions," said Allon Ben-Ami, a Mitel User Group board member and IS professional for the State of Wisconsin, in a prepared statement.