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January 29, 2024
Mitel on Monday said it's bringing former Avaya channel leader Jonathan Buckle on board to lead its channel partner sales in the Americas. The business communications giant said Buckle will use his more than 20 years of communications industry experience to direct sales strategy/execution in the United States, Canada and Latin America.
Most recently, Buckle served as VP of American sales at Black Box, a post he held for nearly four years. Before that, he spent time at cloud service provider Carousel Industries as the company's VP of sales for the West.
Mitel's Jonathan Buckle
Previously with Mitel rival Avaya, Buckle staffed various sales and channel-facing assignments while working at the unified communications giant for 14 years.
The channel is essential to Mitel, with more than 90% of its sales coming from its channel partners.
Data from Techaisle lead analyst Anurag Agrawal shows 47% of small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) and 49% of the core and upper midmarket firms remain concentrated on business "resiliency enablement to manage change and uncertainty."
At the same time, Agrawal said that 27% of midsize businesses target investments for growth and long-term success, meaning legacy providers such as Mitel have a lot of potential gains to make in the market.
The Americas are ripe for the picking, with the cloud computing market worth more than an estimated $500 billion in 2024. That number is set to nearly double by 2029, say forecasters at Mordor Intelligence.
With hybrid work models continuing to mature, customers have a greater need not only to stay connected, but to integrate critical communications into their business processes with bleeding-edge technologies like generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, slated to fuel vast partner growth, playing a role, too.
As such, Mitel is gambling on Buckle's familiarity with the midmarket enterprise, his knowledge of customer channels, vertical strategies and managed services to convert sales into more sizable revenue prospects for the company and the channel.
All of this rings true, expressly after Mitel acquired Unify last year, making the firm a "global UC powerhouse."
Looking to make his mark on another company, the former Avaya channel leader hopes to connect with partners across Mitel's ecosystems and use some of the techniques learned during his tenure with Mitel's rival, Avaya, a firm that Gartner noted does not have many differences.
Last week, we reported on Ericsson executive Niklas Heuveldop, who replaced Vonage's CEO, Rory Read. We also brought you the news that GoTo announced various executive leadership changes.
These are merely two of what seem to be an increase in executive rearrangements in unified communications and collaboration. This year, there already have been considerable channel and sales executive shake-ups.
"I think the leadership changes, broadly speaking, are reflective of the changing macro-economic conditions of our industry coupled with the end of “cheap money," Steve Forcum, director of program management at SIPPIO, told Channel Futures.
Forcum asserted that the era of growth at any cost is over.
"And in its place is a return to financial fundamentals," added Forcum.
SIPPIO's Steve Forcum
"For channel partners, the slowing momentum in the unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) space reflects market saturation, coupled with suppliers tightening their belts, meaning [that] business development is more difficult, and the commissions earned are under pressure, if not being cut. Moving forward, there's opportunity in expanding the platform in place vs. displacement," Forcum shared.
Channel partners, Forcum told Channel Futures, "have more agility than suppliers to make pivots in changing markets. The most successful partners I’ve worked with recognize that and take advantage of changing winds by adjusting their sails."
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.
As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.
Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.
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