Mitel & Aastra–strong enough to compete with Microsoft Lync?

Big but unsurprising news coming from Mitel and Aastra as the two companies have announced plans to merge – well really its Mitel buying Aastra in my book. Their combined revenues will be around US $1.1 billion with a base of 60 million end users. Mitel will acquire all of Aastra’s common shares for CAD$392M and will be headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.

This voice market is consolidating rapidly and traditional players like Aastra have a great customer base but a difficult future. Mitel is essentially buying access to 60 million end users in order to upsell Mitel’s traditional VoIP/IP Tel solutions and their cloud service. This is a smart move for Mitel, but not a long term one.

The big question for me really is how does Mitel (or any other vendor in fact other than Cisco) effectively compete with the combination of Microsoft Lync and Skype?