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Winners in the Toshiba/IBM POS Deal

IBM’s decision to sell its Retail Store Solutions (RSS) business to Toshiba TEC was the most significant announcement in the retail point-of-sale industry in the last 10 years, according to industry analyst Greg Buzek, president, IHL Group, Franklin, Tenn.

The acquisition establishes a new company in which Toshiba will initially own 80.1% and IBM 19.9% for the next three years to aid transition and after which time IBM will relinquish its stake. Once the deal is completed, Toshiba TEC will become the largest retail POS systems company in the world, with hardware, software and integrated in-store solutions. Here is Buzek’s perspective on who the winners are in the deal:

“From my perspective, both IBM and Toshiba win here. It’s too early to tell if the IBM employees win in this deal, but those I have talked to have shared the excitement of the fact that they will be a larger part of this new company, rather than an increasingly smaller part of IBM.”

I think Toshiba TEC gains access to markets they never have been that strong in (North America, EMEA and LATAM), but without the benefit of the huge IBM influence in the account (over time). Many accounts were won by IBM because no one got fired for buying IBM. What percentage of those won’t hold on over time because the company is now Toshiba TEC or this new joint venture? Time will tell.”

Other winners I think are HP who has grown to #2 worldwide in PC-based POS shipments (or #2 if you include off-the shelf HP PCs that are used for cash registers), NCR and Retalix who now will have more level playing field in certain segments, and Epson who will have more opportunities to sell their printers.”

To read Buzek’s full comments, click here.

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