Toshiba announced in the spring of 2017 that they were winding down their phone division. That left many Toshiba phone customers in the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio areas feeling like a rug had been pulled out from under them. There was no guarantee that Toshiba phone systems support would last as long as the phones themselves.
Toshiba provided dependable phone systems, primarily to small and medium-sized businesses. However, they failed to keep pace with changes in technology made possible via the internet—such as Voice over IP (VoIP). While smaller and newer companies introduced software products that took full advantage of emerging web-based technologies, Toshiba continued to invest much of its efforts in hardware—the actual phone equipment. The company never fully embraced all the benefits web technology could offer related to software. Therefore, Toshiba has been overtaken by other phone system providers like Mitel.
When the announcement came that Toshiba business phones support was going away, a lot of Toshiba customers were left wondering what to do if their Toshiba system ever needed service. If their Toshiba products continued to work well, there could be no problem any time soon. But it also meant keeping one’s fingers crossed and hoping that the need for help would not arise until the time was right, or the budget allowed, to upgrade to a different system. That is not an ideal strategy for businesses that depend significantly on communicating with their customers and prospects via phone.
Should you hope to keep your Toshiba system
If your business has a Toshiba phone system, it may function adequately to meet your standards for years to come. To determine if that is probable, the first step is to review your communication processes—including what you expect your system to provide your business now and in the future. If you are not sure how to make a comprehensive assessment, ICS IT Services can help your business objectively evaluate current needs as well as assist in projecting future ones. If at the end of an evaluation, you are satisfied with your Toshiba product, for the time being, there still is no need to worry about the availability of expert support. ICS is well-experienced in providing support for Toshiba phone systems to businesses in the San Antonio, Houston, and Austin areas.
Toshiba phone system support is not something ICS added after Toshiba announced that it is winding down its service. ICS has a long track record of supporting businesses with more traditional phone systems like Toshiba. As a result, you do not have to worry about how the phase-out of Toshiba’s phone division will affect you. You can depend on highly-experienced professionals on staff at ICS who can keep your phone system up and running.
Should you seek a replacement for your Toshiba system
After assessing your current and near-future needs, your business may determine that the time has come to upgrade to a phone system—one that takes full advantage of current internet technology. ICS can help your business migrate to VoIP.
VoIP is more than just a high-tech phone system. Unlike a traditional phone setup, VoIP can leverage technology in a way that enables core business functions to interact more seamlessly with each other. Therefore, rather than being one of many components within the framework of business, VoIP can integrate with many aspects of an organization’s critical communications processes. In addition to some of the more obvious functions such as voice mail and call center software, a VoIP system also work with instant messaging, email, web conferencing and other essential activities.
VoIP technology offers businesses several edges over a traditional phone system, including:
- Cost. Because VoIP takes advantage of an expense that companies already have—broadband internet—there is no need for costs associated with traditional phone lines. Even once a business invests in IP phones and peripherals, cost savings over conventional phone system equipment and expense can be significant.
- Mobility. Telecommuting becomes much easier because a phone number goes anywhere its assigned user goes. Staff can communicate through a phone or computer from home, on the road, or nearly anywhere else. Businesses often find that not everyone on the team needs an IP phone set. Some staff is better served taking advantage of software for their smartphone or computer. That further reduces equipment expenses.
- Space. Because real estate costs are among the most significant expenses for most businesses, mobility can also provide bonus savings as staff numbers outgrow space.
- Compatibility with cellphones. “Softphones” are apps that can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets. The apps include screen keypads that can be used like those on a real phone.
VoIP is made to integrate with essential business functions, such as call recording functionality, voice mail, and other day-to-day phone necessities.
Because it is software based, VoIP is more natural to integrate with additional software functions that would never be possible otherwise.
It is a lot easier to scale up a VoIP system if a business has a changing—growing—workforce.
Calls are simple to forward to other devices like cell phones and home phones so that critical calls are never missed.
Voicemail messages can be transcribed to email. The process of executing conference calls can be a lot smoother than conferencing using traditional phone systems.
Still, a VoIP phone system may not be an excellent fit for every small- to medium-sized business. To see if VoIP could be a cost-effective alternative for your business, you can fill out this form for a no-strings cost assessment of your situation. From there, ICS can help you further explore options that are right for your situation.
If your Toshiba phone system is dependable and continues to provide the level of service your business requires, ICS can deliver the support you need well after Toshiba’s support goes away. Either way, the Toshiba’s announcement to wind down its phone division is not caused for alarm for businesses in San Antonio, Houston, or Austin.