RingCentral + Mitel = Bad News for You

By now you’ve probably heard that RingCentral has become Mitel’s exclusive UCaaS provider. And if you haven’t, here’s the highlights: 

  • RingCentral acquired the intellectual property rights and patents to Mitel’s network infrastructure to the tune of $650 million.  
  • In response, Mitel invested $200 million in equity into RingCentral.  

That’s right – two of the biggest brands in the communications industry have now, officially, joined forces. Mitel’s PBX phone systems are now integrated with RingCentral’s UCaaS Platform. Now, depending on what you’re selling, you’re probably thinking one of two things: 

  1. “So what? I’m a Mitel/RingCentral reseller. From what I’ve read, this partnership will give my customers even more capabilities than before.” 
  2. “So what? My customers are happy with my service offerings and my level of service. I doubt this partnership will affect me very much.” 

Those thoughts are natural. But unfortunately, they’re wrong. 

The Risks for Current Mitel & RingCentral Resellers 

For resellers of Mitel’s on-premises PBX systems, not much will change. But for everyone currently selling the Mitel MiCloud platform, you’re going to be transitioned to the RingCentral MVP platform. You’ve probably already heard your Mitel reps sing its praises. However, you’ve got a few things to consider before you transition: 

  1. The RingCentral MVP platform is a one-size-fits-all communication solution. This means that they don’t allow you to customize your offering based on what your client needs. Let’s say you’re servicing a chain of auto mechanics that only pays for phone and voice services – no texting. With RingCentral MVP, they’re not only saddled with a capability they don’t want, need, or use, but they’re also saddled with the extra cost.  
  2. The RingCentral MVP platform doesn’t have local support. If your clients are experiencing issues with the platform, you won’t be able to simply pick up the phone and talk to an expert. Most of the time you’ll probably reach a service rep that doesn’t know the system and will take a few hours – maybe even days – to diagnose the issue. You can’t afford to wait that long with mission-critical problems! 
  3. You no longer have the control you expected. With the Mitel and RingCentral partnership, agreements and sales models for their resellers are going to change. When they do, you won’t get a chance to challenge the changes or renegotiate your agreements. You’ll just have to like it and lump it. Because where else are you going to go, right?  
  4. If you don’t want the RingCentral platform, you’re out of luck. Are you happy with the way MiCloud is treating you and your customers? Do you want to stay with MiCloud and not transition? Well, unfortunately, you don’t get a say in the matter. This transition is happening whether you like it or not.  
  5. Remember this devalues your business. This is negative on your goodwill and annuity revenue. That’s okay if you didn’t ever want to sell your business. The customers are no longer yours. You basically give them away and devalue your company at the same time.  You went into business for a reason. Follow that reason.

The Risks for Smaller Telecommunications Agents 

Unfortunately, the risks for smaller, independent agents are far more obvious than for current Mitel resellers.  

  1. You’re competing against a multi-billion-dollar company. Mitel and RingCentral are two of the biggest names in the telecommunications industry. Together they have more channels, more connections, more finances, more marketing capital, and more technological advantages than hundreds of smaller providers combined! They’re more than equipped to steal your customers out from under you. 
  2. They can afford to offer aggressive discounts. Now that they’ve partnered with one another, Mitel and RingCentral don’t have to worry about outbidding one another. Now all they must worry about is outbidding you. Once you’re out of the picture they’re free to raise their prices as high as they like.  
  3. They’re currently targeting your customer base. We guarantee that Mitel and RingCentral are already funding paid ad campaigns targeting small-to-medium businesses, the medical industry, the hospitality industry, and more. No matter who you serve, they’ve got ads on Google and social media designed to make your customers question your quality of service.

Having second thoughts about the merger? Evaluate your options! 

So, what do you do if you’re in the middle of the RingCentral push and are having second thoughts? The answer’s simple: evaluate your options for yourself! Start by looking for: 

  • A company that offers a low seat price (MRC). Just because a provider quotes a low seat price (MRC), doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you. Don’t be afraid to ask about what is needed to ensure that this solution will work on your network. Ask about quality of service and whether you’ll get dedicated support during and following installation. Anyone can provide dial tone, few focus on making sure the customer is properly set up and monitor quality of service (QOS).  
  • High ratings by customers. It’s important to know what current customers are saying about the company. How long does it usually take for them to resolve an issue? Are their services generally reliable or do they suffer from frequent outages? All these questions and more can be found on major review sites. 
  • Proper communications functionality. A truly effective cloud phone system won’t just feature excellent telephony but will also have capabilities like audio and video meetings, unified messaging, IM & presence, mobility options via softphone apps, and integrations with other business software, allowing you to unify your communications with ease. 
  • Flexible feature sets. Look for a provider that lets you fully customize your offerings! Being able to customize will help you target your client base more effectively and boost your revenue! 
  • Remember, when it’s a cheap product, your customers buy on price and not value. The same customers also will leave on price and not value. We at Yabbit have a track record of large customers staying with us for 10 years and more. Our customers recognize the value of our product, its delivery, and how we support it. We become real value and a partner, as we wholeheartedly look for ways to improve together.

Break Away & Be Fully Independent with Yabbit 

At Yabbit, we know how important it is for business owners to have control over their customer base. We know from firsthand experience. Which is why we make sure our partners enjoy complete control over their customer experience.  

Interested in jumping further down the rabbit hole? Give us a call! We can have a no-pressure conversation to address your concerns about the Mitel/RingCentral partnership. Trust us, we’re all ears. 

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