This was by far the most eventful year in the history of Diversified, so it’s a credit to everyone involved with the company that they were able to navigate those stormy seas and emerge as our 2016 Integrator of the Year.
Let’s start with the company name: Diversified.
For years, the company founded by Fred D’Alessandro in 1993 was known as Diversified Systems, with Diversified Media Group and Skyweb Digital Media serving as the other divisions of the overall business.
That all changed in January, when Diversified unveiled its new name and brand. Little did we know that wouldn’t be the biggest change for the company during 2016.
In fact, it might rank third on the pecking order.
In February, Diversified added to its capabilities in the southeastern U.S. and around the world by acquiring Technical Innovation, a move that might make Diversified the second-largest integrator but definitely positions it to work on projects it might not otherwise have done.
That was followed by two smaller acquisitions — The Systems Group in March and Media Management in November — and sandwiched around the other major move by Diversified this year: elevating original Diversified employee Kevin Collins to president and COO in June.
Primary Location: Kenilworth, N.J.
Additional Locations: 19
Principal: Fred D’Alessandro, chairman and CEO
Projected 2016 Revenue: $450,000,000
Years in Business: 23 (founded in 1993)
Number of 2016 installs 2,600
Top 3 Verticals: Broadcast, Corporate AV, Federal Government
Top 5 Brands: Belden Brands/Grass Valley, Evertz, Crestron, Biamp, Samsung
“Obviously, before we closed any of the deals, our No. 1 priority is the culture,” says D’Alessandro. “That’s made the transition much easier. We’ve got people who put the company and our customers ahead of themselves.”
Mike Landrum, who joined Diversified as executive vice chairman after serving as CEO of Technical Innovation for 12 years, says Diversified’s journey this year is “a growth story.”
He points to growth opportunities for employees, a broader suite of offerings for the sales team, new types of projects for the technical team and growth of the company itself as the many ways that’s true.
“We filled in a lot of locations with very little overlap from what we already had,” says Landrum.
Perhaps the best part of joining the Diversified family, he says, is the “open and collaborative process” they use to make major decisions.
“Fred and Kevin have been very open and receptive to new ideas, new ways of doing things, incorporating things they’ve never done before but that had been successful for us [at TI] and changing things that needed to be adjusted.”
Mike Landrum joined Diversified as executive vice chairman after serving as CEO of Technical Innovation for 12 years. He says the merging of these large firms has created growth opportunities for employees, a broader suite of offerings for the sales team and new types of projects for the technical team.
About Strategy, Not Size
Despite the rapid growth and massive changes Diversified has undergone this year, Collins swears that’s not why the company acquired Technical Innovation and that they’re not focused on where they rank in the industry.
They just want to do what’s best for their customers, he says.
“Size is not really the primary goal,” says Collins, one of 10 original employees who joined D’Alessandro when he started the company. “We want to be the best and most elite. We’re trying to build an organization that can do everything and deliver predictable results.”
Being the integrator that generates the industry’s second-highest revenue is not why D’Alessandro eyed TI or why the company added The Systems Group and Media Management, he says.
“Diversified’s acquisition of TI was a response to our clients, who are looking for a global partner,” says Fred D’Alessandro. “It’s less about us and being big or being everywhere.”
“The strategy is in response to our clients, who are looking for a global partner,” says D’Alessandro. “It’s less about us and being big or being everywhere. In deference to our name, we have assembled a wide array of subject matter experts across the full spectrum of multimedia solutions.
“This has been done with a clear vision to allow us to offer the full array of services from one solution provider for our customers if they have a need, or to engage our customers with focused solutions that fit only their current requirements. We strive to be the best from the most basic needs to the largest and most complex.
“Managing our growth and maintaining our culture of excellence is our top priority,” he says.