Mitel Is Buying Unified Communications Assets, Support Contracts From Toshiba

Mitel's unified communications business is getting a boost after revealing its plans to acquire select UC assets and support contracts from Toshiba.  

Earlier this year, Toshiba said it was exiting the telecommunications market in North America. Toshiba is shutting down its Telecommunication Systems Division in North America, a subsidiary based in Irvine, Calif., that sells UC offerings.

"Toshiba's communications business is a perfect complement to Mitel and ultimately benefits our current customers and channel partners by expanding our footprint capabilities," said Wes Durow, chief marketing officer for Mitel, in a statement to CRN. "In doing so, it further expands our scale as more and more businesses seek a seamless path to cloud-based unified communications and collaboration capabilities."

[Related: Cisco Takes Aim At Microsoft With Acquisition Of MindMeld]

Mitel Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to transfer assets and support obligations, including existing inventory, from Toshiba to Mitel. The agreement also includes a transition of product and services agreements from Toshiba customers to Mitel.

Mitel expects to close on the Toshiba deal this summer.

With Toshiba leaving the market, the transfer provides its customers and partners a path forward with Mitel, according to Durow, noting that the company is hoping to add former Toshiba partners into its channel program.

"Toshiba possesses a well-established and capable roster of channel partners, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Mitel family," said Durow.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mitel declined to provide CRN with details around the technology, inventory or assets it was obtaining from Toshiba.

Shannon Champion, the business development manager at Matrix Integration, a Jasper, Ind.-based Mitel partner, said Mitel is making a "smart" move in acquiring Toshiba's assets and customers: "[The deal] gives partners new opportunities with all the new customers that will come into the fold ... I'm happy to see Mitel making smart moves and always looking for a good M&A deal."

Ottawa, Ontario-based Mitel made its last acquisition in 2015 with the purchase of cloud-based UC provider Mavenir. The vendor made a bid to buy Polycom last year, although the deal fell through at the eleventh hour.

Toshiba partners have until May 22 to place their last orders, according to a letter sent to partners.

In January, Toshiba also said it would sell a majority stake in its memory chip business to fund a multibillion-dollar writedown. 

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