The word on the street (and Reddit) is that the Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division is closing shop effective immediately. It seems that the telecom division – which was banking on momentum after launching a new product in February – could not escape the company’s ongoing financial difficulties (including the $500 Million bankruptcy of Westinghouse). This means that customers running Toshiba’s IPEdge and Strata on-premise PBX systems (such as the CIX40 and CIX100) will be facing uncertainty about ongoing support and service. Toshiba dealers that have calendared upgrades and replacements will likewise be in a bind. The news just adds to the tumult in the PBX dealer channel following the recent news of Avaya’s bankruptcy.
I bet that we will continue to hear this type of news from vendors that have traditionally sold on-premise PBX systems. The bottom line is that premise-based telephony is going away – business owners are giving up on the CapEx model and moving to OpEx. While the shift represents a sea-change for VARs in the channel, it also represents a great opportunity. The core value of companies in the dealer channel is taking care of customers – Customer Service, Tier-One Support, Training and Maintaining your Business Relationships. All of these skill can be leveraged by moving to the cloud, where the activities related to maintaining a platform, carrier services, quality of service issues, and dozens of other technical details can be outsourced to a White-Label partner.
If you happened across this blog because you find yourself in this position, check out SkySwitch as a potential partner.