Toshiba closing down PBX division

Another one bites the dust. Guess the likes of FreePBX are just becoming to much for the old players to handle anymore. What are everyone’s thoughts here.


In fairness, the dent comes from the $6.2B loss from Westinghouse, but I guess the mortally wounded beast is shedding other loss making ventures.

There’s not enough profit margin left in proprietary telecom hardware. Open Standards have won.

Yup - NEVER again will I sell/support a proprietary PBX solution - there is absolutely no justification. Good riddance too - Toshiba was almost feature-free!

My friend works for Westinghouse, he gave me some back door information on the issue about the losses and they were actually around $8 billion. His division is one of the few not being closed down in the area. So many jobs…

Anyone else going out of business… this is good news for us. The other 3 telecom providers in our area were all Toshiba and Avaya. Haha

Just my opinion, based on being a million years old. It’s important to remember two things here:

  1. We are good winners. We should be cognizant of the fact that lots of really good people have lost their livelihoods and are now in the marketplace, looking for jobs in our industry.

  2. The companies that used to support Toshiba are going to be needing help and support. If we’re supportive, they’re likely to remember that and be willing to talk to us. If we’re dicks, they’ll remember that a lot longer.


Hmmmm…the “Dickish” behavior always seemed to be coming from them in my experience - Here I was with this free software trying to get them to see the light and all they wanted was to tell my (potential and current) customers was how crazy anyone would be to go with FOSS when they had this shiny whatever supported by Hyper-Global-Mega-Corp - sorry, we have been “right” since 2005.

Bad news for them if they can’t read the market.

See - my point exactly. They didn’t need to be that way and look how they are being remembered…

Yeah, but even in my tiny market (Albuquerque) I have tried to “Spread the Gospel” with regards to FOSS - even to my competitors when I ran into them - the arrogance of the affiliated local Telco’s is just mind boggling - we used to be the biggest Samsung Digital dealer in New Mexico - but once we knew what we were doing with Asterisk, we saw the light and started migrating our base off of it - not an easy feat since we had only moved some of them onto it a few years prior - so we started selling off the Samsung every chance we could and helped everyone move to open solutions.

And it wasn’t quick - in 2008 we had 112 installed Samsung systems - it took us until fall of last year to yank out the last system and replace it.

I see what you are saying and I agree - we never denigrate our competition when we are selling - we only talk about what is good about what we are selling and that is not going to change.

I think the real losers here are anyone that has recently bought a Toshiba - they are really screwed, and that fact goes to the core of what and how we sell - we tell people that this is the last phone system they will ever need to buy and FOSS and Asterisk is why. The software just keeps growing and getting better.

Our very first 100% VoIP system we sold was in 2005 and it was an Interactive Intelligence Microsoft-Server based VoIP system - but by 2009 they had gotten tired of the licensing fees and we were good enough with Asterisk then, that we just replaced it with an Asterisk - and we used 100% of their existing equipment - Polycom Phones and an HP Server.

We have brought MANY people onto Asterisk, but we have never had to take anyone off of it.

That’s the message.

Because Asterisk isn’t owned by any one, single. monolithic company, it can’t disappear out from under a market at the whim of a corporate decision-maker. We don’t have to claim “so-and-so sucks” to gain our share, we simply have to remind people that the tools that we rely on to provide them with their services are property of everyone.

One of my customers asked me the other day “Dave, what happens when you retire in a few years?” I told them “FreePBX is mostly open source. Hire someone else to take over the management of it, or train one of your secretaries to manage it. I did all the heavy lifting. Now that it’s in, all you need to do is manage it. If you have questions, ask the folks on the forums. Unless something changes, you’ll get a reasonable answer.”

I was a Toshiba installer back in the day and loved my job. That said we made most of our money on structured wiring and (Move,Add,Changes). The hardware was a limited income stream. I would think for most companies this will not be a huge hit. They still sell a server and probably easier than selling the more expensive alternative. The entire job cost comes down with I am guessing a similar margin. Really the money is not in being a “reseller” it is in being a "Value Added Reseller."
It is on you to add value. Money is made through reoccurring maintenance and customer service. I use to make good money going in and fixing things. I had a guy try to hang a 40-pound picture on 1-inch nails. He destroyed his jack. $250 for that oops. We got that because when it was our oops we stood behind it. So there was no hesitation paying for their oops. We took care of our customers they took care of us. That is how it works. The actual equipment is a very small piece of the equation.


[quote=“jfinstrom, post:10, topic:40335”]
It is on you to add value. Money is made through reoccurring maintenance and customer service.
[/quote]No kidding - even ongoing maintenance is an iffy proposition.

We finally started making real money when we got the network side of the deal - now we get a check from every customer for their monthly service - recurring income is the only way you can survive as a Telco.