The Integrator of the Year article is one of Commercial Integrator‘s signature annual cover stories — and has been ever since we chose AVI-SPL as our inaugural 2011 Integrator of the Year.
We do recognize great integration firms. But the point of Integrator of the Year isn’t directly to name the “best” firm.
Instead, we’re trying to point to a company that in some way is changing the industry.
Some years the choice is obvious and 2011 is a great example.
Our biggest challenge, as a brand new publication, was getting the folks at AVI-SPL to talk to us. You can’t blame them. “Commercial Integrator” sounds like a competing integration firm.
We ended up landing the interview with CEO John Zettel in June of 2011 and we were as impressed as we thought we might be.
We held the interview, more or less, so we could debut it in our very first Integrator of the Year feature in December.
The choice was pretty easy in 2016. That was the year in which Diversified changed the dynamic at the top of the industry.
In February, the New Jersey-based integration firm added to its capabilities in the southeastern U.S. and around the world by acquiring Technical Innovation, a move that allowed Diversified to leapfrog Whitlock and become the second-largest integrator.
That was followed by two smaller acquisitions — The Systems Group in March and Media Management in November.
By the Numbers
1 — That’s the number of Integrator of the Year selections that are no longer in business.
In 2012 Commercial Integrator selected Applied Visual Communication in large part because of its focus on working with InfoComm International (now AVIXA) on standardization, something we projected to be extremely important going forward.
5 — That’s how many integration firms that we’d categorize as large.
It’s clear that we need to focus on incorporating more of the small- and medium-sized integration firms that are setting a new bar with innovative business models.
1 — We’ve done this many “conceptual” covers. In 2017 we chose the “mega-integrator” as a nod to the private equity money that has led to a hyper state of mergers and acquisitions.