The moves involving Polycom reflect a collaboration market in a state of flux as vendors look to address new and growing demands brought on by such trends as greater workforce mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD), the Internet of things (IoT) and the cloud. The changes in the market over the past few of years include Nokia buying Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens Enterprise Communications becoming Unify and then being bought by Atos, ShoreTel releasing its Connect common UC platform, Avaya restructuring its leadership team and growing its services capabilities, and Lifesize moving aggressively to the cloud and spinning out of Logitech as an independent company.
The bid for Polycom was in line with McBee's goals of building a larger Mitel that is a more significant player in the enterprise communications space with greater capabilities in mobility and the cloud. About one in 10 Mitel customers use video, he said at the time the bid was announced, adding that having video in place will help the vendor expand its reach in the market.
Since taking over as CEO in 2011, McBee has argued that the communications space was ripe for consolidation and that Mitel would be a buyer rather than a seller. During his tenure, Mitel has bought Mavenir Systems and Aastra Technologies to broaden its mobility and cloud ambitions. In addition, Mitel in 2014 sought to buy UC vendor ShoreTel, but pulled its $574 million offer off the table after ShoreTel officials dismissed the offer as undervaluing their company.
Shareholders for both Polycom and Mitel were scheduled to vote on the deal July 29. Polycom cancelled its special stockholder meeting, but Mitel officials said the company was going ahead with its shareholder meeting, though a vote on buying Polycom was no longer on the agenda.