Inside Panduit’s Acquisition of Atlona: ‘It’s All Positive’

Last week, global network infrastructure and industrial wiring solutions company Panduit officially completed its acquisition of audiovisual systems provider Atlona. According to both companies, the deal was a strategic one with clear benefits for each side. 

(From left): Marc Naese, Panduit SVP Network Infrastructure Business; Dennis Renaud, Panduit CEO; Ilya Khayn, Atlona CEO and Co-founder; Michael Khain, Atlona VP Product Development/Engineering and Co-founder.

(From left): Marc Naese, Panduit SVP Network Infrastructure Business; Dennis Renaud, Panduit CEO; Ilya Khayn, Atlona CEO and Co-founder; Michael Khain, Atlona VP Product Development/Engineering and Co-founder.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us that has us really excited,” said Tom Kelly, Panduit’s vice president of enterprise business. Panduit, he said, has a deep expertise in passive Layer-1 solutions, but its customers had been asking about active components and conference room solutions. “This really allows us to completely have those conversations now, and working with Atlona and having a solution offering that covers the full spectrum of pro AV concerns in the commercial space, we can facilitate those conversations, pass leads through to our partner community, and deliver a global solution that we really were not able to before.”

For Ilya Khayn, co-founder and CEO of Atlona, it’s business as usual—but better. “The beauty of the partnership is it allows Atlona to continue to drive our objectives and the strategy we’ve had over the past 15 years,” he said. “The one big advantage is we will now be able to offer a lot more benefits to our customers by generating a lot more demand out in the field. By leveraging all the resources and the global infrastructure available with Panduit—whether it’s global experience centers, warehouses, service centers, salespeople, sales engineers, tech support, and all other aspects—we’ll be able to offer a higher level of service to our customers, stay even more focused on pro AV, continue to innovate, continue to offer more solutions for our customers, integrators, and end users. So, it’s all positive across the board and we’re super excited about it.”

Likewise, Kelly is optimistic about the benefits of leveraging Atlona’s solutions through Panduit’s established global channels. “People want to have a consistent, unified platform that all runs on Ethernet,” he said. “And with Atlona’s AV-over-IP solution, we want to help train those partners and ensure that the end users get the consistent, reliable solution that they’re after, and that they can get it all over the world and in a timely fashion through our distribution network.”

According to Khayn and Atlona’s director of marketing, Garth Lobban, nothing about the company’s structure or people will change as a result of the acquisition. “Atlona is staying in place, and will continue to operate in San Jose and with the same sales team out in the field and same global operations,” Lobban said. “It’s just an opportunity to expand.” Khayn said that following Atlona’s internal announcement of the deal on January 15, there was a “very positive spirit across the board.”

Kelly stressed that Panduit is a “very strategic buyer” and that the acquisition—which was the result of two years of discussions between the companies—only went through after a careful evaluation of the synergistic natures of their business philosophies. “We got a sense of the common culture that Atlona had, and how similar it was to the Panduit culture—focused on innovation, focused on trying to simplify complicated problems that our customers have, and an interest in growing through more complete solutions,” Kelly said. “All of these things gathered steam and helped the case for a very strategic acquisition where we could grow together and have Atlona operate as a standalone business unit inside Panduit’s enterprise business, and really capitalize on all the great investments they’ve made over a number of years.

“Every piece of the company is important: people, culture, market share, brand. Everything comes together, and we’ll continue to focus on what we do well, and continue to stay focused on that area and innovate. Customers will continue to get the same level of service, or better—with additional resources available we can elevate things and go after larger projects and bring more business to our channel partners. So, it’s all positive.”

Matt Pruznick

Matt Pruznick is the former editor of AV Technology, and senior editor for Systems Contractor News and Residential Systems. He is based in New York.