Toshiba Launches Social Business Network Designed to Connect Sales, Service and Corporate Professionals Nationwide


2009-08-24 13:40:04 -


Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (TABS) today announced the launch of Toshiba eXCHANGE, a social business network that will connect thousands of Toshiba sales, service, administrative and corporate professionals nationwide, allowing them to easily share information, build professional relationships, and improve their ability to serve the needs of customers. Similar to existing social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace,
Toshiba eXCHANGE will unite the Toshiba community by providing members with a convenient, easy-to-use online forum to share and seek information – such as best sales practices and techniques, end-user generated knowledge and product tips.

“Toshiba eXCHANGE is exciting because of its user-generated content and leading-edge technology, but most importantly because of the opportunity it provides our extended Toshiba family members to easily connect and share knowledge,” said Bill Melo, Vice President, Marketing & Enterprise Services and Solutions, TABS. “It’s estimated that only 20 percent of an organization's knowledge is actually captured in written documents, while the remaining value-rich information resides exclusively in the heads of employees. Toshiba eXCHANGE gives members the chance to easily document, share and seek that remaining 80 percent of information, therefore creating new opportunities for sales and service success.”

Designed for TABS employees, its international channel of independent dealers and Toshiba Business Solutions’ (TBS) direct sales and support staff, Toshiba eXCHANGE will feature innovative and easy-to-use tools including.



- Detailed profiles of online eXCHANGE members that will enable users to connect directly to other Toshiba sales professionals
- Blogs that will keep members aware of ongoing product and program updates
- Video clips that will provide education and product launch information
- Content ratings, which will help indicate the value of information and content
- RSS Feeds/tags that mark key interest areas for users
- Intelligent searches that will help members locate information quickly and easily


“By eliminating communication barriers within our large, geographically dispersed partner ecosystem, we believe we can drive shorter sales cycles, further strengthen our already outstanding customer service programs, and improve individual sales capacity among otherwise largely disconnected teams, resellers and partners,” continued Melo.

Toshiba eXCHANGE is a Web-based platform that utilizes Web 2.0 capabilities. Toshiba chose Jive Software, the Social Business Software (SBS) leader to power this important new community based on their superior technology and ability to customize the platform to the specific needs of the Toshiba community. Jive SBS is the industry’s only suite of social business applications purpose-built for Global 2000 enterprises. Jive’s solutions go beyond collaboration software, allowing people both inside and outside of the enterprise to connect, communicate and collaborate like never before – reducing the cost, time and risk required to produce business results.

Toshiba eXCHANGE is currently available to select participates in a Beta version. The social networking site will fully launch to all eligible members on September 8, 2009. For more information on Toshiba eXCHANGE, copiers, facsimiles, multifunction printing products, network controllers or toner products, or for a dealer in your area, call (800)-GO-TOSHIBA or visit the TABS Web site at www.copiers.toshiba.com : .

About Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc.


Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. (TABS) manages product planning, marketing, sales, service support and distribution of copiers, facsimiles, multifunction printing products, network controllers, and toner products throughout the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., TABS has five divisions: the Electronic Imaging Division; the Toner Products Division; the Document Solutions Engineering Division; the International Division; and TOPAC U.S.A., Inc., dba Toshiba Business Solutions (TBS), a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of TABS, that operates a network of wholly-owned office equipment dealers throughout the United States.

Named the most favored manufacturer ten times by the Business Technology Association (BTA), Toshiba’s entire product line, customer support and marketing distribution policies are markers for the industry. Among the many other awards garnered in recent years, Toshiba was named the “Manufacturer of the Year” eight times by Marketing Research Consultants (MRC), and has twice been named to the CIO 100 for being among the top 100 “bold” (2008) and “agile” (2004) companies in the world.

TABS is an independent operating company of Toshiba Corporation, the seventh largest electronics/electrical equipment company and the world's 91st largest company in terms of sales. Ranked by Fortune magazine as the eighth Most Admired Electronics Company in the World, Toshiba Corporation is a world leader in high technology products with more than 300 major subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. Fiscal year revenue in 2007 was approximately $76.6 billion.
Original Post
Interesting, I've toyed with some of the social sites out there to see if it would work for P4P. At this point, I'm not sold because the social type networks are more about info posted NOW.

Yes, I agree that most information is held in the heads of salespeople!!!! So, can you image having the top 20% of all the reps together in one place? That's what I am trying to accomplish with the P4P.

Art
I would not be surprised if your p4p hotel helped influence this new Toshiba EXCHANGE 'social' website. I believe that the p4p mission should be to provide the same platform within the Office Equipment Industry, yet be a forum for all people regardless of manufacturer (Toshiba, Ricoh, Canon, Konica Minolta, SHARP) affiliation.
I think a vendor agnostic site would be refreshing. many here are dealers for multiple manufacturers so it's not like "trade secrets" are being divulged anyway. If there is something we'd like to discus privately we have access to each other via PM or email.
Re Toshiba's site: The hitch in a social networking site for professionals in one specific competitive industry is the competition factor.

Re P4P forums opening up across the board: I second Neal's opinion. There is a tech site that already operates that way (The Copier Network).
If everything is wide open, there is a lot I won't be able to talk about. This site blossomed out of the fiasco that was the 1224C. Aficio League was deleting our negative posts (Arts especially) On P4P we got to compare notes on experiences and problems and learn from each other everything that Ricoh wouldn't tell us. I want to be able to have those type of conversations without thinking about the rest of the world using it against us.
quote:
I want to be able to have those type of conversations without thinking about the rest of the world using it against us.


That's actually how I have the manufacturers boards configured now. If you're a dual line or more you have access to multiple boards. I am still building forums and still have to lock down some of the new boards. However I have left the general boards "open" to all members, as you will see in the catefory markings of "all members".

Would like to hear more on this. Maybe I should add a socil site for P4P or would that be too much to bear?

Art
Old Glory does indeed make a valid point, in that Ricoh Dealers will need the p4p hotel (RFG Message Board) to share ideas on how to survive as a Ricoh Dealer with their new focus on IKON and future support of IKON. It is going to be a battle out there during the next year and a forum to report on RFG / IKON practices, competitive situations, shake-ups, and new product offerings will be critical.
quote:
Originally posted by Art Post:

Could you elaborate a little more on this for me?

Art


C'mon, copier sales professionals are among the most competitive people I know. (Passionate, knowledgeable, competitive, all good qualities when used for good, don't get me wrong).

How many times have you written about a direct branch going in to one of your accounts? You weren't too happy about that!

Do you really want to "easily connect and share knowledge" with a sales competitor in your own territory (be it from another dealer or direct) who could potentially use it to win a deal from you?

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