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Toshiba Gulf restructures MEA operations

Vendor arms channel partners with end-to-end solutions for vertical markets

Varghese says the restructuring is aimed at helping channel partners to be more agile and relevant to a market that is rapidly evolving.
Varghese says the restructuring is aimed at helping channel partners to be more agile and relevant to a market that is rapidly evolving.

Contrary to rumours that have been circulating that Toshiba was pulling out of the PC market, Toshiba Gulf FZE has announced a major restructuring effort that will arm its channel partners with the ability to offer fuller, more end-to-end solutions for the enterprise, vertical markets, SMBs and consumer sector, the vendor told Channel Middle East in a recent interview.

According to the vendor, the restructuring will see it scale down its B2C offerings in certain countries like Russia and South Africa, where the cost of doing business with entry-level consumer models is high, while margins have been declining.

The company reiterated that no product line from its Satellite, Qosmio, KIRA, Tecra and Portege notebook range has been discontinued.

Toshiba said it has condensed a sprawling range of B2C notebooks in certain markets and replaced that business with B2B offerings where partners can add value to their end user customers.

Santosh Varghese, general manager, Digital Products and Services, Toshiba Gulf FZE, said Toshiba has over the past several months scaled down a sprawling list of B2C notebook models as the cost of doing business in certain markets in MEA was not worth the effort at which these products could be sold for channel partners to make any profit.

Varghese said not only will this reorganisation help channel partners more easily to navigate Toshiba's product portfolio, but it will afford them bundled, more full-fledged solutions to offer their end user clients. "For our channel partners, I think the biggest advantage is that they will be able to add value and sell end-to-end solutions thereby increasing the potential of earning higher margins with a solution sale rather than a standalone product," he said.

He said one of the biggest changes in the new strategy is that with the B2C product line, the company is favouring to adopt an omnichannel strategy as more consumers become tech savvy and more informed about their IT purchases.

"As we enter the hardware plus era, it's critical that our channel partners are helped to embrace solutions selling rather than sticking to boxes," he said. "The restructuring is aimed at helping them to be more agile and relevant to a market that is rapidly evolving."

Using services as an example, Varghese explained how Toshiba's new B2B offerings will open up opportunities for channel partners to create a more holistic solutions and earn good margins. "Channel partners will be able to walk into verticals like education, enterprise, healthcare, business and SOHO armed with the ability to serve their clients with Toshiba solutions and services," he said. "In reorganising our business, we wanted our channel partners to be at the core of the company's strategy going forward."

Larger solution providers, Varghese explained, will still have an opportunity to piggyback their own services to clients. "It's beyond just selling more boxes," Varghese added. "As we create more opportunities for our partners in the hardware plus era of computing, we want our channel partners to make money selling solutions. This streamlining has been designed to help them move from a box business into the solutions business, and I think that's huge for our channel in MEA."