What Happened to Toshiba Telecom?

toshiba telecomOn March 21 Brian Metherell, VP of Toshiba, announced in a letter that the Toshiba Telecom System Division was shutting down. Dealers have until May 22 to place any final orders before the doors close for good. Warranties and contracts will be honored, but those are finite and will reach an end. Long story short: Toshiba phone dealers have some big decisions to make, and sooner rather than later.

What Happened to Toshiba?

But first, what happened to Toshiba? The news came as a shock to many. Sure, their financial struggles were no secret and the Avaya bankruptcy a few months ago had opened many eyes to industry changes, but still, this is Toshiba. The truth is many industry experts were anticipating this news. Toshiba made a few irreversible mistakes that sealed their fate years ago.

In the wake of Toshiba’s announcement, the telecommunications world is abuzz with talk of the cloud. But to really understand Toshiba’s demise, we have to go back even further to the advent of IP. We can all agree that Toshiba’s telecom products were stable and functional. The issue has never been with the products themselves, but rather with the timing. When IP technology began to permeate the market in the early 2000s, Toshiba developers may have taken note and even set out creating an IP product, but they took too long. IPEdge hit the market a full ten years too late in 2011.

Enter: The Cloud. By the time Toshiba caught up and released an IP product, the cloud was already beginning to trend. Their earnest efforts to grab on to the wave of IP products were for naught. Not to mention the fact that IPEdge was subpar to the more quickly-advancing IP alternatives.

By that time, they had missed not only the IP boat, but the Cloud boat as well, and it was just too late to catch up. They would have needed a cloud offering a few years back to prevent their demise.

The Latest Trends

We are beginning to see a pattern of legacy and on-premise providers either closing shop or doing a major overhaul and switching to the cloud. Many believe that the technology is simply better. It is more flexible, feature-rich, and economical. If Toshiba is one of the first in a long line of on-site providers that will close, perhaps now is the time to consider the cloud.

toshiba telecomBut even more importantly: What will be next after the cloud? Surely technology is not going to stall and cease to advance now. Now is not only the time to move to the cloud, but time to move to a provider that has a pulse on past, current, and future trends. After all, Toshiba’s products were once the latest technology, but their failure was in moving on to the next trend.

Speaking of missing trends – what about Unified Communications? Amidst all the discussion of Toshiba and the cloud, I have heard little buzz about UC. A trend that is here to stay, Unified Communications brings a unique and powerful feature-set to the table of any modern telecom. The best part about UC is that it can be yours regardless of deployment, which brings us to the next point…

Premise is Not Dead

Premise is far from dead. There is still real value in on-site deployments for many telecoms, Toshiba dealers included. On-premise deployments are a traditional, long-term investment that gives the owner full control over their system. (Read more about the benefits of On-Site PBX here). If your customers are asking for on-site options, then by all means, give them on-site options.

Another too often ignored consideration is the capacity to integrate cloud and Unified Communications applications into on-site solutions. There is no need to choose cloud or premise; you can have the best of both worlds. A perfect example of this is a Key System that can be deployed both on-site and in the cloud. Hybrid is another excellent option, particularly for telecoms like the Toshiba dealers that are entering a phase of transition.

First, let’s define what we mean by hybrid in this scenario. Say a large organization wants to centralize its distribution in a redundant cloud infrastructure. However, they may have remote offices that do not have reliable bandwidth and need an onsite premise or are handling data that requires TDM connections. Why provide two different solutions to them when a combined offering makes for easy deployment and support?

hybrid premise cloudNow humor me for a moment – let’s think of hybrid options in terms of cake. Premise is a good, solid cake. It is undecorated, but it still tastes great and serves its function as dessert. It has been served for years and years to the delight of everyone at the table. But what if you added frosting to it? A nice thick coating of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate frosting. What about icing around the edge? Maybe some fruit on top? Or a scoop of ice cream on the side? This is the hybrid cake. It still has the same, delicious base, but the extra ingredients turn it in to something extra special. In the same way, Unified Communications can empower a premise solution to be better than ever before.

What’s Next After Toshiba?

So the question of the hour is what is next for Toshiba telecom dealers that are losing service? As we mentioned above, now may be the ideal time to migrate to the cloud. The benefits are undeniable. But what about those dealers that simply do not want to move to the cloud? Well, premise is not dead. We know that the cloud just does not make sense for some companies. The good news is that there are still many premise offerings on the market. The best option would be an unbiased provider with both on-site and hosted offerings that keeps ahead of the trends, but without cleaving on to only one type of product.

toshiba phone systemIf you are a Toshiba dealer that has lost or will lose service, we encourage you to consider us as a partner. We have both hosted and on-site solutions and are anxious to roll up our sleeves and put together a best-fit solution for you.

For more information and to chat with an experienced Account Manager, please contact us today:

1-954-278-8470 (U.S.)
1-647-313-1515 (Canada)

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Where to Go After Toshiba Telecom Closing

toshiba telecomtoshiba phone systemThe Toshiba Telecommunications System Division announced last month that they are closing. Current Toshiba Telecom Dealers will lose service on May 22.

If you are a Toshiba dealer looking for a new partner, Bicom Systems has a promo going just for you. If you have not received an invitation letter from Stephen Wingfield yet, download your copy here.

We have noticed many providers jumping on the chance to grab up Toshiba dealers and move them to the cloud. While we are big proponents of hosted solutions, we know that many companies still prefer premise deployments. Whether you want to stick with a legacy system, are ready to move to the cloud now, or are considering inching into the cloud with a hybrid solution, we will come up with a solution that fits your specific situation.

Bicom Systems supports telecom companies around the world with both On-Site (PBX, Call Center, IP Key System) and Hosted (Multi-Tenant) solutions. Established in 2003 with the first ever open-standards, turnkey telephony platform, Bicom Systems is the only Unified Communications provider with all of the pieces including telephony, mobility, security, and billing.

Our seven highly featured products integrate seamlessly to boost sales, growth, and profit. Some of our partners include Telecom Italia, NEC Australia, and Iridium Satellite Services.

Based on the input of existing partners, we compiled a list of ten reasons to move to Bicom Systems. Learn more and download the PDF at


For more information and to chat with an experienced Account Manager, please contact us today:

1-954-278-8470 (U.S.)
1-647-313-1515 (Canada)

Amazon Connect Review

amazon connect call centerKnowledge is power, especially in the fast-paced world of technology where things are changing so quickly. At Bicom Systems we like to research and even test new products as they come out so that we know what we are up against. One of our developers recently spent some time looking at the Amazon Contact Center solution and wrote a review for all of you:

Amazon Connect: A Review


The GUI is not anywhere near where it should be. The content is breaking out and overflowing. Components take up too much space that you do not needed. Everything is fixed, you cannot adjust the window size, etc.

Contact Flow

Creating call flow logic is very easy with their graphical interface. You have components in which you add and connect with wires and then make logic. The starting position is the number which callers will dial and then enter into the system. I tried some custom, it was not too complex and it worked. But the question is how it will behave in a more complex situation. There are still some GUI problems. For example, when you move or edit a component, the connection is lost and you have to wire it again. After publishing it will show you errors and where you should fix it.

Prompts and Text-To-Speech

Prompts have the capability to use text-to-speech or recording. Text-to-speech is great for building small prompts, but of course it only works only with English.


Amazon went with customizable reports, so it allows you to choose fields from a list and then you can save and run it again. This sound nice, but as I tried making a few reports – BAM – I would run into errors or fields that showed no data. If you want to talk optimization, well we know there is none. Even with little data, it requires a couple of seconds to build every report. And if you add fields, it takes longer and longer. So handling large data may not be possible.

The most annoying thing that I ran into was that when I was expecting certain data, it would not show at all or would show lower values than expected. So data accuracy is a big issue.

Also, unlike in our statistics, you cannot filter by time, for example from 8:00 to 11:00. You cannot break the data down to see all the CDRs an agent had at that time.

So statistics gets a big thumbs down. Though it may have plenty of filters and features, everything comes down to speed and accuracy.


Amazon took the approach of making everything customizable. But even with that in mind, there are too many things missing. First of all, you cannot create any queue strategies. You could create flows, but you cannot achieve automatization. Also, there are many instances of queue configuration on our system which would require big flows or be impossible to make. Statistics covers a lot of fields, but accuracy and speed are big problems here.

They have this simple WRTC softphone that works for simple functions – dial, hangup, transfer – but real call centers agents often need to see with whom they are talking. For now, the agent is put in this “after call work” state for every call, so there are no options like wrap-up time, auto pause, etc.

In conclusion, this software does not yet provide a good solution for large call centers. And even for small call centers, there are lot of bugs and GUI problems that need to solved.

If you would like to learn about our own call center solution, please visit our website.

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Countdown to Channel Partners

Channel Partners starts in just THREE days – are you ready?

Our preparations are well underway. We’re unpacking boxes, putting together furniture, and mounting TVs. We cannot wait to open up our booth to all of you next week.

Listen to our podcast with Telecom Reseller to learn more about our booth and plans for Channel Partners:


The 20th anniversary of Channel Partners will be held at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas from April 10th to 13th. Learn more and register for Channel Partners here: www.bicomsystems.com/channel-partners-2017

As an exhibitor, Bicom Systems is offering free and reduced passes to Channel Partners with promo code: BicomSys

Click here to Register Now!

Unified Communications: Beyond Telephony

unified communicationsUnified Communications works great for telephony and voice. It makes communicating fast, easy, and efficient. But a good UC solution should be doing much more than just telephony. Unified Communications can support and improve your business in many aspects.


More than just a buzzword, collaboration is key to productivity in the workplace. Unified Communications solutions support collaboration with features like screen sharing, file sharing, and presence. gloCOM, our UC app, offers all of these features and more. Learn more by reading 6 Unified Communications Features that Promote Collaboration.


Integrated billing software automates invoicing, rate-setting, and other accounting tasks to free your time and concentration. Unique to our Unified Communications suite, TELCOware is a provisioning platform that performs billing, ticketing, accounts, shopping cart, and more, so that you do not have to.


The issue of security is heavy on the minds of most VoIP users today. Our Unified Communications solution goes beyond telephony to help secure your network. sipPROT is an advanced SIP security module that protects against SIP attacks. Unlike other solutions, sipPROT works with live traffic, protecting the system even while it is in use.

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