By Corey Moss

2017 ended with the news of Guitar Center acquiring Audio Visual Design Group (AVDG), and while I had some thoughts on that one (like the old rock band/AV industry adage), I figured I might pick up 2018 with some perspectives on it – like I used to shop regularly at Guitar Center and I’m still not sure I totally get it, even concerning ‘outreach into the world of B2B solutions.’

2018 however rang in with this industry acquisition news, which we shared out yesterday on Twitter (from SCN):

A more serious perspective on this one of course, and while many in the industry know Synergy CT, a well-respected Houston-based Audio Visual integrator specializing in providing audio visual communication systems, Netrix is yet another one of those companies which exists in as well as outside the realm of audio visual integration. Well outside actually.

Who is Netrix? Headquartered in Bannockburn, IL with an Experience Center in Chicago and a presence across the U.S., as well as offices in India (and a 24×7 Cloud Management Center), the company is a known Microsoft Gold Partner services provider company which describes itself this way:

As a leader in IT consulting, Netrix provides best of breed IT solutions to organizations around the world. We hold high levels of technical certifications with all major business technology vendors. Our team focuses on working across technologies to deliver custom, integrated solutions to meet our clients’ business needs.

With over 350 employees and top level certifications from all major IT vendors, Netrix is able to combine resources in a way no other IT consulting firm can. Our services are divided into practices that work cohesively to deliver scalable IT solutions for any business.

Some of their services offerings:

Just to name a few.

Why is this such a big deal, and treated much differently than the other acquisition referenced here?

Todd Spell, founder and CEO of Synergy CT, said, “We are excited about the ability to join an organization not only strong in the AV and collaboration space, but as an all-encompassing business IT firm as a whole. The Netrix team has established presence in Dallas and Houston, we are looking forward to supporting that momentum and help take it to the next level.”

All encompassing and IT. When we talk about IT in the AV industry, it’s rarely ever a discussion of ‘all-encompassing’ – though there are those that do certain types of IT/telecommunications focused work like data center and structured cabling.

John McKitrick, a partner and Netrix integrated collaboration services practice director, had this to say, “We have been making great strides in the Houston and Dallas area regarding our collaboration practice, but to have the local Synergy team is incredible.” He continued, “To be able to mirror our briefing center that we have in downtown Chicago is going to bring so much value to our clients. It will be a place that can truly help our clients envision a better way to collaborate.”

When we talk about collaboration and integration, it must represent discussion of those who are expert in the market – and Synergy CT is one of those companies. When we talk about AV/IT in integration – here is the definition (there are certain other known AV and IT integration companies as well). Convergence? Why not – this represents a true convergence of AV/unified communications/collaboration and IT integration, along with the solutions and services. And I don’t care how many millions or even billions of dollars this or any such deal tends toward, it’s the joint companies’ (or even a single entity’s) overall capabilities to bring as full a scope of technology solutions and services offerings to the end user customer. Video wall, digital signage and wireless technology will also continue to be huge solutions offerings in 2018. Added network security and even cybersecurity solutions will broaden this scope exponentially.

Apparently, all told, this will be the only way to survive moving forward. Even those who focus on providing for live events, corporate meetings and such will need to continue to move toward the future of technology and services as well – including IT in certain respects.

For those that are on top of the many cloud and software solutions to go with strategic hardware offerings that are available, along with services, they will prosper (or continue to prosper) in 2018. An acquisition such as this highlights all of this, and then some while adding the strategic managed services.

I read recently where the commercial integration community is still not leveraging managed services offerings for their customers to the best of their abilities, highlighting what continues to be a highly box-driven integration outlook for many. Not all, as there are certain AV integration companies that are leveraging managed services (to go with cloud and software solutions) with the proper people in place to provide a true managed focus to it.

I did have this to say though yesterday, after reading yet more commentary recently on this, along with another subject that’s been in discussion for a while now…

Actually, I might reconsider this perspective a bit with companies like Netrix and Synergy CT (along with certain others) leading the way in 2018.

We’ll be keeping in touch with this one, and more to come – for sure.

me-at-barco

With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Collaboration Factor and Convergent Tech Talk. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers.