Video VAR M&A: AVI-SPL Buys Iformata

Audio/visual communications bigwig and VAR 500 regular AVI-SPL said this week that it has acquired Iformata Communications, a video managed services specialist. The move expands AVI-SPL's managed services footprint at a time where most video VARs see services as crucial to preserving lucrative margins on video sales.

Terms of the acquisition were not provided. Tampa, Fla.-based AVI-SPL gains both Iformata's Video Network Operations Center (VNOC) and its VNOC Symphony management platform, adding to a portfolio that already includes assets like Unify ME, AVI-SPL's hosted managed services platform for video and telepresence.

John Zettel, AVI-SPL's CEO, said the company's video communications business now accounts for $200 million in revenue and is part of more than half of its customer projects.

"With that growth, we recognized the importance of expanding our capabilities in the video services we provide our customers," Zettel said in a statement. "Acquiring Iformata shows our commitment to expanding our video communications strategy with a strong managed services offering."

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Iformata, based in Dayton, Ohio, was founded in 2004. According to AVI-SPL, its employees will join AVI-SPL's Support Services group reporting to Mike Brandofino, executive vice president of video and unified communications.

[Related: Where's The Puck Going In Enterprise Videoconferencing? ]

AVI-SPL ranked No. 48 on CRN's 2011 VAR500 listing, and reported about $501 million in revenue for its fiscal 2010.

As the enterprise video communications market moves beyond point product resale and endpoint and infrastructure integration, several of the country's best-known video and UC VARs have turned their attention to services revenue. Hauppauge, N.Y.-based IVCi, Eatontown, N.J.-based Yorktel and global integrator Dimension Data are also among solution providers trumpeting video managed services offerings on top of more traditional A/V business.