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Ottawa moves forward with VoIP contract despite Mitel protests and threats

The city council of Ottawa voted 16-5 to award a $6 million (CN) VoIP contract to Bell Canada and Cisco yesterday, reports The Ottawa Citizen.  Will Mitel now sue over how the contract was handled, as it has threatened?

Mitel has waged a concerted PR and lobbying effort to get the current procurement thrown out, even going so far as hiring former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli to press the flesh with councillors; Chiarelli has declined to speak with the Citizen on the work he has done on behalf of Mitel.

Ottawa city staff and advisors, including an independent procurement expert, have reviewed and rejected Mitel’s positions on all points, ranging from an allegation that Cisco had an unfair advantage on the VoIP bid because it had earlier won a contract this year to upgrade the city’s computer systems to a $2 million “gift” offer of VoIP phones in exchange for exclusive rights to supply VoIP telephony to the city.

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