Last week, in an acquisition that was barely mentioned by the AV trades, Econocom Group purchased 100 percent of BIS Group, an AV and Smart Buildings integrator mostly focused in the Netherlands and Belgium. And, Econocomm also purchased a 40 percent stake in JTRS, an Apple and Google partner focused in the education market in the UK, as well as 100 percent of LP Digital in France, a digital strategy consulting firm.
Econocom Group signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the BIS group; you know them as the biggest integrator on the Benelux market. Of course, this transaction is subject to the approval of the Dutch competition authorities as BIS Group posted a revenue of over 50 million euros ($56 million U.S.) in 2016 and employs over 220 people. The press release about the purchases stated, “This transaction will enable Econocom to improve its position in the indoor and outdoor digital signage, conference rooms, smart building, etc.).” But, that’s not the whole story.
So, why is this a big deal? Well, this isn’t just a simple acquisition — this was extremely strategic. BIS CEO Jean Pierre Overbeek has had a clear vision for the future of AV — and he’s told me exactly what he sees — AV as a service (AVaaS), which we wrote about as a concept a few months ago. I agree with him. There’s more than one giant AV integration firms in the U.S. that is currently re-tooling their entire organizations to move totally to AVaaS. So imagine selling all AV like you sell ZOOM or service contracts now.
What’s this all mean? I had a podcast today with both BIS CEO Overbeek, as well as BIS Marketing Director Erwin Hout today to discuss — as, like I said, this acquisition signals the future is now.
Listen to the podcast below.