PxPixel
Why Inspired Acquisitions Are All The Rage - AvNetwork.com

Why Inspired Acquisitions Are All The Rage

Author:
Publish date:

Only a few short years ago, companies in the AV and integration business tended to grow by buying market share. Manufacturers would acquire direct competitors whose product lines were similar, in the hope that they could simply double their customer base at a stroke. Integrators would buy up counterparts in other states, on the assumption that it was the easiest way to go from being a local player to a national one.

Neither approach worked particularly well for anybody, which is why, in some circles, it is still fashionable to pour scorn on companies that hit the acquisition trail as soon as they have some hard cash in the bank. But look closely at this year's major corporate buys, and a different picture emerges.

Take the news that Christie has purchased Vista Systems as an example. Multiple-image systems are the future for many applications, and Vista's image-processing technology perfectly complements Christie's expertise in video projection. The two companies have already been working together on high-profile projects and, as Christie President and COO Jack Kline put it to me recently, the deal gives Vista customers the chance to "experience the world-class service and support" that have helped Christie grow so impressively in recent years. So there's a solid business rationale, as well as a technological one.

Much the same can be said of the deal that has brought Inspiration Matters into the AMX fold. Like Vista, Inspiration Matters is a company that has unique solutions -- in this case, a digital signage delivery platform that has been widely acclaimed for its flexibility and ease of use. But its products are barely known outside the U.K., while AMX's reach is truly global.

So this acquisition, though it may seem unlikely, is another great example of our industry growing up. It has the potential to bring specialized R&D excellence to a much wider audience, and to give integrators working in the public-display field access to what AMX President and CEO Rashid Skaf calls "a virtual one-stop shop for digital signage solutions that will meet nearly any audiovisual communication need."

I'm not pretending that our industry now knows all it needs to know about big business. Or that there won't still be some less-than-clever deals done in the years to come. But I do think people are now thinking more carefully before they put their hands in their pockets. And that has to be a good thing, doesn't it?

Related

The Clouds Are Forming!

by Joey D’Angelo I hate buzzwords. They seem to have a two-to-three year cycle in the tech industry. In the late ‘90s it was "synergy." Then it was "leverage" when referring to a particular type of new technology. Lately it's been "collaboration," which has seriously driven me nuts. People would say, "We want our roo

Why 2012 Could Simply Change

by Todd McCandless Plowing through my 2012 forecast and budget process I was reminded of all the reasons next year could be difficult. How much to budget for new market campaigns, promotional materials, bulk paper, and training—everyone has an expensive, Cisco-esque training requirement these days—and I looked ou

Why Low Profit Has Become Pandemic

by Tom Stimson Originally published in the March 2011 edition of The Stimson Group ’s AV Matters newsletter. In the February 2011 issue of Building Connections the official newsletter of NSCA, Chuck Wilson penned an insightful letter to his members. The title says it all, "Ten Reasons You're Not Profitable, and

The Khaki Invasion

by Todd McCandless I’m not one for circling wagons or cloud-based panic so I’ll spare you the impending doom speech because quite frankly I don’t see doom on the horizon—unless it’s in the shape of opportunity and I doubt that’s the case, as the Trojan Horse gambit is well out of the bag and most AV integrators are

Stealth Acoustics Enters The Boardroom

by Kirsten Nelson I thought I knew quite a bit about Stealth Acoustics . I've known its co-founder and vice president, Steve Olszewski, for almost 13 years because he has been a SCN contributor and columnist since nearly the first moment the magazine was launched. Not only is he a great source of information (and

Expect The Unexpected

Trade-show technology launches tend to fall into two categories: enhancements of already successful product lines, and innovations which take a manufacturer into previously virgin territory. Luckily for this foot-weary InfoComm blogger, this year's show has already thrown up a few examples of the latter.

Image placeholder title

We All Need a Mentor

Starting and growing a successful small business is not only challenging but can be a very scary—and lonely—experience. What is the failure rate for small business startups? Something like 80 percent in the first five years? And 80 percent for the next five years?