Mitel pursues Avaya customers after Kanata competitor files for U.S. bankruptcy protection

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Less than a month after communications company Avaya filed for bankruptcy protection, local competitor Mitel has begun targeting its Kanata neighbour’s clients.

“If you’re an Avaya customer or were considering Avaya, Mitel is ready to help,” reads a page on Mitel’s website. Screengrabs of various headlines announcing Avaya’s filings accompany the post.

Mitel’s sales pitch positions it as the reliable vendor “no matter what the future holds,” and highlights its cloud-based communications subscribers, which a year ago reached the two-million milestone.

Mitel’s partners are also joining the campaign, with companies such as New Zealand communications firm Cogent running special promotions to help its customers switch from Avaya to Mitel. ICS Communications and Check Communications have offered similar transition processes.

U.S.-based Avaya filed for chapter 11 protection on Jan. 19. The company said in a release that it would undergo a restructuring process to reduce a significant amount of its current debt.

While Avaya does have a Kanata presence down the road from competitor Mitel, the release stated that foreign operations “are not included in the filing and will continue normal operations.”

“We have conducted an extensive review of alternatives to address Avaya’s capital structure, and we believe pursuing a restructuring through chapter 11 is the best path forward at this time,” Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy said in the statement.

Avaya came to Ottawa in 2009 through its US$915 million purchase of Nortel's Enterprise Solutions business.

It received $170 million in provincial funding the following year and moved into a 100,000-square foot facility on Legget Drive in 2012. However, it laid off a sizeable portion of its local staff in 2013.

Mitel is currently in a media blackout period as it prepares to report its fourth-quarter earnings results on Feb. 23, and its representatives were unable to comment for this story.