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#633837 11/19/19 11:39 AM
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What are you thinking? Pay the $1400 annual fee, or now, you lose the ability to send in out of warranty stuff for repair.

Seems like desperation has overtaken the company. I don't know, but I think I'm happy to be on the downhill side of telecom sales and service. The sad part is I love what I do, but it's getting harder to get excited about the latest trend in the industry. I like SIP trunking and the latest hardware of an IP PBX, but sometimes digital phones and traditional lines work just as well for the startup business. I hated cell phones as a means of communication, but now it's become a necessary evil.

I remember the parallels of Comdial and Intertel trying to control distribution and pricing themselves out of the market by requiring dealer commitments that were unsustainable. Are you next ESI, or is Panasonic going to beat you?

Of course, on the plus side, we're soon getting to the place where you buy a phone from one vendor (pick your favorite) and your software/hardware or cloud service from someone else. It's almost like the 1A2 days!!!

Carl

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Carl Navarro #633848 11/20/19 02:44 PM
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It's the Three-Legged Stool Business model...you milk it until it runs dry.


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Carl Navarro #643729 10/27/22 02:55 PM
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We have been exclusive ESI dealers for almost 20 years now. Did not care for their Hosted solution, then they end of life'd all the good systems. So we have not been selling enough to justify the tech support fees so we parted ways. All good, we move on down the road right?
Now we find out from many long time customers that ESI is calling each of them and letting them know they need to find another vendor and they can no longer use us, LOL. This seems just a bit Shady and unethical but I guess that is what ESI has became. Time for us to double down now and pull out every single ESI we have out there! Our current customers are about to get some really incredible pricing on their new system.

Carl Navarro #643730 10/27/22 10:57 PM
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That's not the first time that I've heard about this tactic. Yes, I'd say that it's extremely shady.


Ed Vaughn, MBSWWYPBX
Carl Navarro #644027 12/30/22 04:37 PM
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I paid the fee for a couple of years since I had a bunch of large accounts that had service agreements with us. What was sad though, all their good techs moved to the hosted side and we were left with newbies which of course sucked, We rarely ever needed support, as a dealer for over 20 years, we knew the product real well. But as all of you know, when it comes to a "software or firmware" problems, that is where we needed them. I too did not like there hosted solution, primarily the cost, second was the dealer agreement where if I did not meet a quota, they now owned my base. Also what I found silly and for the life of me cannot understand why anyone would be a dealer of their hosted solution is they bill MY CUSTOMER directly. The problem there is my company name and future referrals are gone!

I have successfully been able to convert my larger clients to IP (My white label solution using AWS and Free PBX and other solutions).

With that said, and being ESI is no longer supporting the CS line, I suggest any dealers out there that want to continue to support their base do the following:

1- Get a hard drive and flash duplicator (very cheap). Go to the sites you are supporting and copy the flash or hard drive and keep a master in your files. All licenses you paid for (remote phones, ACD, ESI-Link, etc will be copied). We have been doing this for years now. Also, We have always kept on a server in our office the upgraded software releases, if you have done that, upgrade your clients software before you duplicate the hard drive or flash card.

I have a ton of ESI cards and phones if anyone needs them to continue supporting their base. As of today, I have the following:

150 ESI 48D Key Phones (all look new)
30 ESI 30D phones and 5- Brand new ones
65- ESI 60D phones
09- ESI 48 IP phones
Many Cards for the ESI 200/600 servers.
ESI 50 cabinets and cards I am keeping for my non service contract clients
ESI 100, have nothing

When the day is done, I am very happy I became an ESI dealer over 20 years ago, the education they provided made an easy transition to the IP world we are in now. I also understand why they ditched the CS line, Traditional systems are not going to be around much longer, they saw that writing on the wall over 10 years ago when the the CS line no longer had new enhancements. Or should I say, I saw that! All us dealers remember that ESI would have two shows a year showing us what was in the future with the CS line, then it dropped to one show, then know shows, last rollout I believe was over 10 years ago, maybe closer to 13 years.

When Sprint Protégé closed their doors, I helped many here get through that. Willing to do the same for My ESI dealers

Walter

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Carl Navarro #644028 12/30/22 09:22 PM
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Hey Walter, good to hear from you. Yes, I remember the Mitel and Comdial days where they tried to make money from the dealers for training classes. I qualified on the ESI-CS systems, but there wasn't a huge demand for the product. The product was okay, but not worth giving them $350 a quarter to be a dealer!

Working for the Evil Nationals, I didn't have to worry about new systems sales, I was too busy running service calls. Then my attitude changed about 2018. Like in the movie Heartland, you sometimes get tired of being the dancing chicken in the skillet. For a 1099 worker, they sure wanted you to perform by setting start times and calling every 30 minutes for a status report. The final straw was the "service call" that was an installation and calling me every 30 minutes while I'm installing cable.

One of my sleeper customers, was a motel with a Mitel SX_50. I changed it out for a Yeastar system and that was pretty exciting. The customer gave me 6 or 7 referrals and that got me into VoIP systems...well that and a little Grandstream UCM system with 16 phones. Sadly, that first customer just got put out of business by the city. They wanted his land, he didn't want to sell, so they "inspected" the property and found enough violations to shut him down...Game Over. I hope he finds another buyer just to piss off the city, but it probably will be just another off-ramp and a 4-lane highway.

I actually retired...for about a month. Gosh, that's boring. Crissy retired in December, as in tomorrow is her last day...except she's working part time for 6 months. She just gets to cut back on her daily activities.

I hope you have access to PM. Keep in touch and Happy New Year!

Carl


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