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Alyssa WilliamsJul 5, 2024 11:54:03 AM3 min read

NEC is Out. What’s Next?

NEC is Out. What’s Next?

Big news hit the business world recently: longtime premier Japanese player in the Unified Communications arena NEC (日本電気株式会社, Nippon Denki Kabushiki Gaisha) has decided to pull its on-premises PBX services out of the United States starting from March 2026. For those of us who have relied on NEC’s solid, dependable systems, this feels like a seismic shift. But let’s break down what’s happening and what it means for your business’s next steps, especially if you're an executive for a small, traditional company that has always trusted NEC’s on-prem services for their reliability and security.

What Ultimately Influenced This Decision?

You might be wondering, "Why now?" NEC has been a heavyweight in the on-prem market for years. However, financial challenges post-COVID, particularly in its semiconductor business, pushed NEC to refocus its strategy. The Unified Communications world is split between on-premises operations and Cloud-Based operations, with more companies moving to cloud-based services. The competition in the on-prem market is fierce, and NEC has chosen to pivot towards UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) cloud systems with their Univerge Blue product, in collaboration with Intermedia. 

This move opens doors for other on-prem providers like Mitel, reducing the competition they face, and benefits Intermedia, NEC’s exclusive cloud provider. As Intermedia leverages innovative technology such as artificial intelligence to stand out from competitors like RingCentral, they aim to fill the gaps left by major players like Cisco and Microsoft.

So What Does This Mean for Smaller Businesses Relying on NEC’s On-Premises System?

If you're a midsized to small business relying on NEC’s on-prem services, this news might feel like a punch to the gut. NEC’s on-prem services have been the gold standard for reliability and security, which is crucial for sectors like healthcare or education where constant uptime and data protection are non-negotiable. The idea of moving to new services full of unknowns can be intimidating. But here’s the silver lining: change and the “unknown” often bring opportunities for growth and innovation. 

Unified Communications: A Necessary Shift

Unified Communications is the integration of real-time communication services including services such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), with non-real-time communication services such as email or voicemail. By unifying all these services into one, it streamlines communication across various devices and media, facilitating better communication and collaboration across your company.  This strategic approach allows for flexibility and automation within businesses as the backbone of modern communication.

Furthermore, Unified Communications not only improves communication among your staff for easier team collaborations but also enhances client care and experience, and reduces operational costs. In a post-COVID world, secure remote work can also be facilitated through Unified Communications. Cloud services can also be integrated with existing on-prem services as a hybrid mode, working together seamlessly.

We get it—transitioning to new technology is challenging, especially for businesses that have relied on NEC’s on-prem services for so long or have gone without Unified Communications. However, ease of management does not always mean it is the right solution. Transitioning to new Unified Communications services doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With the right technology and support, your operations can be enhanced significantly.

Unified Communications can be a supportive core tool and the right solution for your business’s success, and our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible. We at Twinstate provide tools and services designed to help you achieve your business goals, improve customer experience, and stay competitive in an ever-evolving market. With over 50 years in the business, our company has evolved to meet the needs of modern enterprises in New England. Twinstate offers comprehensive services, including cabling, unified communications, and cybersecurity, designed to streamline your operations and manage your IT needs effectively. Through our Managed Voice services, our company is here to support you every step of the way, offering tailored solutions that meet your specific Unified Communication needs.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this change, you are not alone. As NEC steps back, consider this your moment to step forward. Let’s turn this challenge into a springboard for your business’s future success.

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Alyssa Williams

Marketing Associate Intern