By Andy Slawetsky – Toshiba finds themselves in the middle of that 18-month show cycle and with some free time on my hands, I thought I’d check in and see What’s Happenin’. I had the opportunity to chat with Toshiba America Business Solutions’ (TABS) newest senior executive, Larry White about his new gig and the state of the company. Here are some of the highlights from our chat.
Larry was recently promoted to Chief Revenue Officer, essentially taking over for Bob Greenhalgh, SVP TABS and President TBS, who retired earlier this year. Larry’s promotion left the SVP Sales Americas slot open and the position has been filled by Ted LeBlanc. Pretty cool they filled the slot from within and with a face that dealers have known for years. Congrats Ted!
Toshiba’s next big dealer show isn’t until Sept. 2018. They’re considering a run of small regional meetings, but that’s in discussion at the moment. To keep their people in front of dealers, Toshiba is a regular sponsor of regional BTA events and they participate in many local programs as well.
Numbers were great the first half as Larry told me, “profits were good.” We decided this was likely due to Toshiba’s complete portfolio refresh to their eSTUDIO line. These products are significant upgrades over their predecessors and appear to be helping dealers sell more units. Or, it could be that Larry was just promoted. He thinks it is more probably the result of the product refresh than his promotion, but he’s not ruling anything out.
Digital signage continues to be a strong growth area for Toshiba. Larry told me they had 4X YOY growth in digital signage for the first half and while he’s excited about that, he has higher aspirations for this program. He’s looking for more revenue from this group down the road. Toshiba is having a lot of success in the retail space and in sports entertainment with their signage portfolio and I was told several big wins will be announced shortly.
These products are typically sold through Toshiba’s Enterprise Sales group, but dealers are starting to find opportunities in this program as well, being instrumental in key wins, such as the Crazy Horse Monument digital experience that was announced this past summer.
In all, Toshiba has had a nice first half of the year. MFPs are up, Digital Signage is up and barcode is up.
Despite the negative news coming from their parent company Toshiba Corp throughout the year, they should not be confused with TABS, a subsidiary of Toshiba TEC and an independent company traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Indeed, Toshiba TEC’s stock is up considerably over the last year, compared to Toshiba Corp who, conversely, is down quite a bit over that same period. Tthere’s a lot of misconception around this because of the common name, but understand that they’re not the same company.
It was nice to catch up with Larry and to hear about the momentum they appear to be gaining in their core areas. Toshiba seems to be chugging right along and taking their fair share.