Panasonic announced in an email to their partners that due to a sharp decline in the market and the rapid shift to cloud-based solutions, they are closing their business communications arm within the next two years.
Manufacturing is set to continue until 2022 and spare parts and support programs will be available until 2029.
Hesam Mahdavi, Vice President and Co-founder at Zodiac Light Waves Inc., a company that supplies state-of-the-art wireless nurse call systems to retirement homes and long-term care facilities in Ontario, believes this announcement is already affecting the market.
“Unified communication systems will be affected as well as any new building going up in 2022,” he said. “[These businesses] will not be able to purchase Panasonic systems, instead they will need to find a new or similar solution.”
Many businesses including retirement homes, nursing homes, and grocery stores will not be able to get any new updates to their Panasonic system.
“If they need any parts, extra headsets, or phone systems, they can’t,” he stated.
Mahdavi recommends that businesses that are currently using Panasonic should gear up and find a solution that compliments and matches what Panasonic was offering.
What Steps Should You Take
“The first thing [you should do] is call your solution provider,” he said. “Ask them what they have, what is the plan for moving forward, what is the plan for new buildings, do they have anything new that they’re offering instead of Panasonic, and how is the new system going to integrate with what they currently have in place? Whether it’s a nurse call, a phone, or a camera system, how are they integrating with each other?”
Mahdavi advised that after speaking with your solution provider you should stock up on some of the products that are wear and tear, such as portable headsets and desk phones.
“You should really stock up on those until the end of 2022. Because after that, there is no regulation of how much a headset will be sold for,” he explained. “Right now, a lot of people are holding those, and then they’re going to be selling them at the premium price. So stock up on products, talk to your solution provider for new buildings, and also have some main parts for your system.”
What Panasonic Alternatives Are Out There?
“There are many alternatives out there. However, just finding the alternative is not the solution,” said Mahdavi. “The solution is finding a company that understands your business, that understands the complexity of your system, and integrates with your current system.”
Mahdavi explained that finding an alternative for Panasonic is a lot tougher than it seems.
“There is an alternative to PBX. Yes, there’s an alternative to portable phones with a good deck solution. Yes, there’s an alternative to desk phones with a really good solution,” he said. “But the question is, who’s going to put them all together and understand how these things will work together? That is what you should look for.”
Mahdavi stressed that although many alternatives are available, they don’t provide proper integration, leaving customers with a product that doesn’t merge with their server.
“We know how to integrate them with other building automation systems with other automation systems in the building or in their working infrastructures,” he explained. “So if they have a nurse call that used to work with Panasonic, they can’t just go and buy a new part and hope that it’s going to work with their nurse call system because it won’t.”
How Zodiac Fills the Gap in the Market
“We come and put all of these parts together to provide that unified communication system that Panasonic used to provide,” he explained. “But now we can provide it at a more competitive price, with better features, no licensing fee – because Panasonic has licensing fees for everything – and with no limitation to growth. So when people buy from Zodiac, they take it out of the box, plug in the wall, and it works.”
Zodiac Light Waves Inc. offers over 300 different features and options that Panasonic does not, as well as the ability to integrate easily with nurse call systems, phones, and security systems.
“We’re there to assist. So if they are Panasonic dealers out there that are looking for a replacement or looking for a company that they can partner with, they can also reach out to us, and we’ll tell them what we’re doing to assist them,” he stated. “If there are customers out there that are in need of parts, they need to get a new Panasonic system in place before 2029, they’re looking for a replacement, or they’re looking for a solution, they can also reach out to us.”
Click here to learn more about Zodiac Light Waves Inc. and how we can help you adapt to the new changes in the market.