The staff of the Richardson, TX headquarters of AMX celebrates the company's 25th anniversary.RICHARDSON, TX-On April 1, 1982, Dallas entrepreneur Scott Miller started a business literally out of his garage-with inspiration straight from his "office." Seeing that a remote could make a garage door go up and down, Miller felt certain that he could make a slide projector move back and forth remotely. The result was the MX20, a wireless controller for 35mm slide projectors, and the first product manufactured by AMX.
In 25 years the company has grown substantially, but the goal has remained essentially the same: to simplify through innovation. Easily controlling devices and collaboration tools has become more advanced, and AMX has remained a leader throughout the world in a variety of markets as the industry has made control and automation an essential element in so many projects. "Over this time, of course the technology and the products have evolved tremendously," said Rashid Skaf, AMX president and CEO. "Where before we were an accessory, today we are a necessity."
Today, the company's emphasis on simplicity continues to grow. "The foundation of our strategy is to make things easier to install, program, use, and repurpose later on as things change in an environment," Skaf explained. With new tools to make work more streamlined for its dealer channel, AMX hopes to make it easier for them to grow, which the company understand is the best ways that it can then grow itself. Additionally, AMX aims to help installers with is Device Discovery plug-and-play protocol, which allows a system to recognize a device and automatically load and install the appropriate driver. Saving time on programming and allowing more focus on the human interaction, about 70 manufacturers are part of that program today, with 150 devices out in the field.
A large part of AMX's growth has been three recent acquisitions, with AutoPatch, Matrix, and Endeleo joining to make AMX better equipped to not only offer its customers one-stop shopping, but a complete, integrated solution. The groups have all been integrated into one AMX, with a single sales channel, operations group, and tech support and customer service, allowing for smooth transactions and crossover between different vertical markets that each company on its own has served. The collaboration has also spurred further growth, as Skaf explained: "We are one company already, and now that we have those three on board, each one of the groups is looking at adding another member to the AMX family, and we will continue to expand through acquisitions this year. We will make some announcements this year, and next year, and the year after that."
With all this exponential growth and innovation under its hat, the company takes the most pride in its satisfied employees. For the past three years, AMX has been named one of the best places to work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and in 2006 was named one of the "Top 25 Best Medium Companies to Work for in America" by the Great Places to Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.
"It's been an amazing evolution for AMX," Sakf said. "If you look the last 25 years, we reinvent ourselves every five or six years. We're always trying to leapfrog ourselves, and we will continue trying to leapfrog what we've done in the past."