Europe’s New AV Brand: Gather
There’s someone who is betting that lots of European companies need a new AV brand.
The multibillion-dollar Econocom Group launches Gather, its new AV brand.
As one of Europe’s leading tech providers, the publicly listed group announces Gather will create intelligent audiovisual, unified communications and information technology solutions from state-of-the-art collaboration spaces to smart digital signage — and from interactive hybrid office environments to highly secure information technology infrastructures.
They promise Gather will also be available “As-A-Service,” emphasizing use over possession. Gather will also be “enriched with smart services like interior design, fleet and life cycle management, proactive maintenance, creative services and financial engineering.”
Headquartered in Paris while operating in 16 countries, Econocom calls itself “the one digital company,” and “the only European contractor to cover all trades of digital technology: equipment, services and financing.”
As a tech group, Econocom and its subsidiaries and branches can support a company from start to finish in a digital transformation — a service they especially focus on for digital work, retail, travel and leisure spaces.
Econocom wants an AV brand to sharpen the spear, to draw from the strengths of its AV-unified communications-IT entities across Europe that are already working on a seamless convergence of services on a global scale for multinationals, airports, retail chains, financial institutes, governments and stadiums.
This launch is unique because Econocom is already hugely engaged in the market of large firms and public organizations. With 8,750 employees and €2.718 billion in revenue in Europe, it’s bringing AV to its own well-covered landscape of customers.
Gather begins brand life not as a newborn but with a history of 4,500 solutions delivered annually to more than 2,000 organizations across various industries in Europe. Econocom and its companies already integrate the solutions of top-tier manufacturers such as Samsung, Sharp/NEC, Philips, LG, Sony, Cisco, Microsoft, Yealink, Barco, Extron, Crestron, and others.
Another shining example of how Econocom is not coming to an AV brand as a newcomer, the appointed director for Gather will be the CEO of BIS|Econocom, Jean-Pierre Overbeek, with his 25 years in the audiovisual & information technology industry.
The launch of Gather is part of Econocom’s strategic plan that unfolds Econocom’s ambitions for the coming five years. Jean-Louis Bouchard, Founder and Chairman of the Econocom Group, says: “…Drawing from the strengths of Econocom’s leading audiovisual, Unified Communications, and Information Technology entities across Europe, we are redefining the way in which people and businesses connect, collaborate, and create.”
Jean-Pierre Overbeek told rAVe Europe that “Econocom was working on a 5-year strategy and in its analysis found almost every company across its portfolio had an AV unit. As a group, we operated fairly independently and didn’t realize that if we added it all we were already in the Top 3 AV companies in Europe—maybe even Number 1 depending upon how you count and what you count.
“It was clear from our own experiences, as well as discussions internally, that AV is much more than just IT. In AV we still find elements of design and installation as well as customers who seek help. We realized our customers depended upon true AV expertise. So the only thing we could do is create a brand.
“But we wanted an approach which focused on people, not on the technology. A human-centric approach that led us to the name, Gather… like gathering around a campfire, bringing people together with AV.”
Gather is an appropriate brand name, as it also implies a coming together of AV and IT technical services.
Perhaps there’s even a third meaning, one that seems obvious when you look at this technical services giant: Econocom is gathering its own enviable resources to successfully put the Gather brand on the menu without the normal stomach aches of launching a brand.