Systems Integrator AVI-SPL Is Close To Becoming a $1B Company As It Keeps Making Acquisitions

Red-hot system integrator AVI-SPL has made its second acquisition in six weeks with the purchase of broadcasting platform specialist VideoLink. AVI-SPL is close to becoming $1 billion solution provider.

John Zettel, CEO of AVI-SPL, said the acquisition of Newton, Mass.-based VideoLink will add a new platform to the company's portfolio that would help make them a "one-stop shop" for customers seeking to build the workplace of tomorrow.

"VideoLink is adding to us a platform capability that we will think is very beneficial to the companies that we help drive workforce transformation. We tout that we're very proficient in helping companies do the workplace of tomorrow – workforce transformation – as they're gearing up to have more millennials in the workplace," said Zettel, in an interview with CRN. "VideoLink's suite of solutions allows us to create corporate broadcast videos that are broadcast-quality, that can either be administered or edited in-house or remotely and create really high-quality content for the workplace."

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The $600 million Tampa Fla.-based solution provider also acquired San Diego, Calif.-based Anderson Audio Visual in November to strengthen AVI-SPL resources and presence in high-growth markets.

AVI-SPL also recently expanded globally by opening up a new office in Frankfurt Germany, a hot spot for Europe's financial services industry.

"When you see the Anderson acquisition and what it did for our West Coast and Southwest presence, the addition of the Germany office –those are clearly opportunities to increase our geographic play," said Zettel. "But we also felt like there were areas where we need to look at the platform and say, 'Where can we solidify our position as that one-stop shop?'"

"We're looking at it more from the strategic value that these acquisitions bring than merely the revenue growth side of it, which will be part of it – don’t get me wrong, we will grow – but these were more done on the strategic side rather than from the growth side," he said. "We've been developing our roadmap and strategy of what we felt we needed to become to be the leader in workplace transformation."

The unified communications specialist touts itself as the world’s largest AV integrator, partnering with the likes of Cisco, Microsoft and Polycom. AVI-SPL has 1,500 employees with 29 offices in the U.S. as well as six internationally.

The acquisitions of both VideoLink and Anderson come after AVI-SPL was bought by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital in April. The solution provider's previous owner was the private equity group Silver Lake.

Zettel said working alongside H.I.G. makes execution "a lot easier."

"H.I.G. is very enthused about our industry and our position as a platform company within the industry. You match that with our strategic plans, being aligned on the strategic plans, it just makes execution a lot easier," said Zettel.

AVI-SPL will continue to seek out acquisitions in 2017, according to Zettel, but he doesn't expect any purchased to be announced within the next few months.

"I see a lot of runway ahead of us. I see a runaway ahead for our industry," said Zettel. "2017 is going to be a fantastic year."

AVI-SPL has completed over 35,000 integrations since 2008 and manages more than 5,000 customer service contracts for clients.