UC, Network Vendors: Buy, Sell, Hold? by Dave Stein

As in baseball, UC and networking vendors on the bubble need to position themselves to buy -- a la Mitel and Extreme Networks -- or be sold.


It's the middle of summer and the baseball pennant races are heating up in most divisions. As the trade deadline loomed this week, teams on the bubble (not sure if they're in the hunt for the playoffs) had to decide if they should stand pat or be sellers or buyers. My team, the New York Yankees, decided to be a buyer, and in my opinion made some astute moves that set it up for a deep post-season run.

In thinking about Major League Baseball, I see an analogy to the communications technology market.

Mitel at Bat
Two recent examples come to mind. The first is Mitel's recently announced decision to acquire ShoreTel, which in turn has in part built itself up through a number of acquisitions in recent years -- Agito Networks (mobility), M5 (cloud), and Corvisa (cloud/CPaaS). Although these acquisitions enabled ShoreTel to fill in a number of gaps, they weren't sufficient to make the company profitable by GAAP measures. They weren't enough to allow ShoreTel to differentiate its offerings.


Dave Stein

Mr. Stein, a principal with Stein Consulting Group, has more than 30 years of consulting, information systems and telecommunications experience,...
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