Earlier this month, word came down that Panasonic, a long time phone system and communications provider, is closing down its communications division. Manufacturing will still continue up to 2022, and companies will be able to access spares and support until 2029, but the opportunities stop there.
An email from Carlos Osuna, Head of Business Communications Business Unit at Panasonic, Panasonic further explains several factors that drove the decision to pull the plug.
- A sharp decline of the market and rapid shift to cloud-based solutions.
- A technological mismatch between factory and future market needs and trends.
- Lagging behind their competitor’s R&D activities.
- A constant financial deficit due to the reasons above.
- Shift to new types of demand (Teams, Zoom, etc.) significantly accelerated by COVID-19, which makes the future of the Panasonic business untenable and unpredictable.
Takeaways from this news...
On-Prem vs Cloud.... Cloud dominates!
- For years the decline of proprietary and open source communications gear has been very clear. COVID-19 definitely poured fuel on that fire. Before everyone rapidly had to start working remotely, it was common for people to watch to stretch legacy equipment on and on in lieu of switching to newer technology. Then, the hammer dropped, and those systems left employees stranded scrambling for other systems that could be quickly installed to keep things going. Some of those moves were Band-Aids and some permanent. Regardless, cloud technologies power all of the tools, systems, and offerings that facilitate decentralized staff. On-prem is still out there but it's dropping dramatically and will likely never recover. Cloud is unavoidable.
Proprietary vs Open Standards
- The device on the desk that only works with one system or it goes into the dumpster? That doesn't work anymore! It's too easy to install an app, plug in a headset, fire up the laptop with the built-in camera/mic/speakers. The companies that figured it out early and make their technology work with many systems rather than one had a very clear advantage over the others. Panasonic is one that decided for proprietary and you can see that is a large factor into their decline.
You can't stop innovating...
- There are so many sayings here it's hard to pick which to use. Simply put, if you stand still you will be passed by. Panasonic is a good example of a company that was ahead of its time in the early days but fell flat and then was ultimately surpassed. Technology is not stagnant you everyone is constantly looking to progress forward. Things like workflow based solutions, line-of-business and app integration, and connecting with the commonly used systems that people use on a daily basis is critical these days. As time goes on, as a developer or manufacturer, you must keep up with the times and continue to deliver value or be replaced. For Panasonic, making the phone ring didn't cut it; and, in the end, it needed to do more.
Hybrid, Remote, Work From Anywhere is Here to Stay.
- Many suspect that when it's all said and done, many businesses won't be returning back to office buildings like they were before. It's true, many won't stay entirely remote either. There will be some sort of mix that will differ across industries, company sizes, and geography. All of that being said, if you can't deliver "Work from Anywhere" moving forward, you are not going to be able to compete. Flexibility is the key word and end users need to nimble enough to work from their home, Starbucks, the park bench, the trunk of their car, etc. I think the light bulb finally clicked for many businesses that now realize that they can hire from far past their cities, counties, states, and even countries. Now technology makes it about talent rather than location!
Be proactive. Start replacing systems that don't meet your end customer's needs with technology that does. While it can be hard to rip and replace something that you may have standardized on over many years, it's better to get ahead of it than let it drag you down. bvoip is one of many solutions that could help. If there is anything we can do for you, let us know!