What’s Next for the Largest AV Integrator, AVI-SPL?

The largest AV integrator, AVI-SPL, is poised for future growth. Their CEO explains how their global strategy puts them there.

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We’ve heard a lot about AVI-SPL’s approach to customers and why that’s lead them to remain the top AV integrator for years. It doesn’t seem like their strategy is going to change too much in the next few years, though. Just ask CEO John Zettel.

Commercial Integrator: Over the last 7 years, AVI-SPL has gotten more involved in the acquisition market — and was acquired itself by private equity investor H.I.G. What are some strategies that you consider when you’re looking at potential acquisitions and what are some expectations that we might have for what you guys might do going forward with acquisitions?

Zettel: This is going to be a 30,000-foot answer. Basically, when we look at acquisitions, we look at how we could enhance the geography.

So whether it’s a new geography or whether it augments an existing geography where we think we can get more market share, that would be one factor that we would look at.

The second would be in terms of the platform that we currently have, where can we bolster it or where can we add to it to be able to provide more solution sets to our customers?

And again, that would all be determined on what we see the customers asking from us and where they’re going as well so we really focus our efforts when it comes to acquisitions on geographies, platform and what customer needs are to determine it.

So, what can you expect going forward? The answer is continued acquisitions; that’s about as broad as I can be.

See Zettel answer these and more questions in the video above

CI: There have been times in the past seven or eight years when the AV industry has taken cues from AVI-SPL pursuing categories that have turned out to be really important for the AV integrator market. Can you clue me in on what are the next big things?

Zettel: We’re clearly focused on the fact that collaboration means more than just video conferencing — and we’re very focused on the fact that video conferencing and collaboration has to change the user experience at work.

It is not just a form of communication. It is not just a way to have a meeting. It’s a way to work on a daily basis and it’ll become more critical as companies continue to attract and retain Millennials.

It will be more critical as companies try to leverage their international and global workforces and it’ll be more than just meeting.

It’ll be true collaboration and we have to make sure that as that continues to evolve, as content sharing, as video continues to evolve, that we’re at the cutting edge of what those technologies are and how different groups within the organization will consume that technology and really be able to leverage it for their company’s benefit.

AVI-SPL, AV integrator

CI: You’ve expanded your presence over the past few years in Canada, in Europe, in Asia. Can you talk about AVI-SPL’s global business strategy?

Zettel: We are very focused [on the global market]. The enterprise customer is now a global customer and not only do they want consistency of design and consistency; they want to increase utilization.

As companies try to leverage their international and global workforces and it’ll be more than just meeting. It’ll be true collaboration, and we have to make sure as that continues to evolve, we’re at the cutting edge of what those technologies are.

They definitely want serviceability and then the managed services that drive utilization even further.

And that’s where there is a tremendous value to having one AV integrator be able to provide that umbrella.

Geographical presence plays a critical part of that.

The helpdesks providing 24/7 coverage provide another element of that and within those two platforms, we have created a global accounts management program that then focuses on those accounts and provides a different level of touch for those customers to make sure that they’re leveraging their investments in the collaboration assets that they’re buying.

CI: Finally, we talked about how AVI-SPL has played a leading role in the AV integration industry for a long period of time. In your view, what sets AVI-SPL apart from the pack?

Zettel: AVI-SPL is an AV integrator company dedicated to innovation and that is unique.

Many people view integrators as being sort of robotic in what they do but when you look at, through the years, the patents that we have held, when you look at the fact that the Symphony platform that we offer for our services, we’re a company committed to innovation and that speaks to the transformative nature of our company for the last 20 years and what we’ve been able to do.

It does cycle back to resources. It does cycle back to our people, because they have to be the ones committed to that innovation. And then that innovation is what goes to our ability to just work that extra mile to deliver on customer expectations and exceed customer expectations.

I do think when you combine that innovation with the culture and commitment to our customer,that is what sets AVI-SPL apart.