AutoPatch Acquisition Adds Another Link In Content Chain For AMX

RICHARDSON, TX-AMX has assembled more links in the content control and delivery chain with its acquisition of AutoPatch this month. Following on the heels of adding UK-based multimedia distribution technology provider Endeleo to its roster last month, the move is the latest in AMX's assemblage of "best-in-breed" partnerships which facilitate the integration and operation of audiovisual systems.

AutoPatch technologies' support of all the major HD formats made it an attractive partner to AMX. "One of the reasons that we really pursued this acquisition heavily was that we believe in an HD transition," said Scott Norder, executive vice president of business development for AMX. "You have to be able to support the legacy content as well as bring in current content and display it in its 'true colors.' We felt that the AutoPatch platform would allow us to do exactly that."

The addition of AutoPatch's extensive line of matrix switchers to the AMX family of products is a tactical move that reflects a pairing of the companies' products that already exists in the marketplace. AutoPatch products can be found in all of the 14 vertical markets in which AMX competes. "There clearly is compatibility between the companies, and so far the feedback from the field has really been fantastic," Norder said, but he was quick to point out that AMX had no intention of making AutoPatch a mandatory choice for dealers and consultants. "We believe that AutoPatch is the best-of-breed, but if there are customers out there who would prefer to use a competitive switching product with an AMX control system, by all means, we'll be happy to support that."

In business for more than 18 years, AutoPatch's products communicate over coax, Cat-5 cable or fiber and span configurations from as small as 4 x 4 to as large as 256 x 256. A little more than a quarter of the company's business was with the government, where the mission-critical nature of projects provided good testing ground for AutoPatch engineering. This is an attribute on which AMX places a high value. "Whenever your design criteria require not just fault-tolerant, but really no-fault solutions, that benefits all of the other markets that you serve," Norder said.

AutoPatch will be fully integrated into AMX, and all current AutoPatch employees will now become AMX employees. AMX has formed a new group called the AutoPatch Group which will focus on further market and product development. AutoPatch's individual product families will maintain their original model names. The existing AMX sales force will take responsibility for selling AutoPatch products in their territories. All current AutoPatch dealers who are not AMX dealers will be contacted immediately by their respective regional AMX sales representative to tell them about the AMX dealer establishment process.