Mitel has boosted its support offering for its SME and data VARs by introducing a specialist accreditation for its third-party support organisations.
Enda Kenneally, sales director, UK indirect market at Mitel, said the vendor is currently working with two support organisations. "Support Span and ANS provide support and third-party services and undertake overload work for resellers. Both firms underpin our services strategy," she said.
The two firms will help smaller resellers that are unable to deliver their own support services, and data VARs that are new to the market. Resellers are able to sell and brand the services as their own.
At present, Mitel's channel accounts for about 60 per cent of its sales. The channel business has grown by nearly 50 per cent year-on-year, Kenneally claimed.
"From our point of view we want (Mitel's services business) to evolve into a sort of (high-end) professional services business across the EU," she said. "This is going to be a big year of change for this part of our business."
But some industry watchers have questioned how the vendor's services arm will cope with the firm turning more to its channels.
Rick Pearce, managing director of Support Span, said there is room for Mitel's services arm. He said: "Just as we did, people who grew up supporting older systems need to adapt to the new market. We are trying to position ourselves between the old, safe world and the new ground."
Separately, Mitel has announced a Can$135m financing arrangement involving equity investment, debt-to-equity conversion and an expansion of its credit facilities.
"I know there have been some concerns about our balance sheet compared with those of our rivals, so this is an action to strengthen the firm," said James Evans, Mitel's financial controller.
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