Our industry is no stranger to acquisitions and mergers. There’s certainly no doubt that the recent move by Harman to purchase AMX falls into the “blockbuster deal” category. I was actually travelling with my AMX counterpart when we both got the news. At first I actually thought he was kidding me as he was reading the e-mail to me from his phone. My second reaction was borderline shock as I frankly couldn’t believe that it was Harman that pulled the trigger on this. This emotion then gave way to me simply trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together in my head. This was a bit of a struggle at first.
I’ve been in this industry for 25 years, for almost all of those 25 years I’ve been in the trenches with AMX thru thick and thin, for better or for worse, t’ll death…. OK, not quite that… But, in all candid honesty it has sometimes felt like a marriage. I go all the way back to Accent III’s, PHAST Landmark and those wonderful SD-10 lighting controllers, the “we’re going public” phase, the “PANJA” phase, the “we’re going back to private” phase, to the “we don’t know what we are” phase with the PANJA 1000 and 2000… For those of you who know what I’m talking about, we could all go on for hours. The good news is, all this is dead and buried and has been for many years. AMX has done a great job over the last 10 years or so of shedding the dead skin of this mess.
As I mentioned previously, this took a bit for it to reconcile itself in my head. I think what I got stuck on at first is it seemed a bit far reaching for Harman, a bit too far outside their box. But now that I’ve had some time to let it sink in and as I’ve continued to look at it from all angles, the pieces are starting to fit together. If one of Harman’s main goal was to extend their reach into the high performance video & content distribution world using IP standards and native to the network architecture, that check they just wrote got them very far down the road in no time flat.
As many of you industry veterans know, Harman doesn’t play around. If they do something, they go all the way. This really is at the heart of why I believe this acquisition is a good thing. While I have a great deal of respect for Craig Duchossois, Robert Feeley and the entire Duchossois organization, it was time for a changing of the guard at the top of AMX. The timing for this is right. And why not Harman… They have the fiscal wherewithal, the extensive industry understanding and vision to take AMX to the next level and beyond. If I were an AMX employee right now, I’d be pumped and ready for what the future has in store.
I’d very much welcome your take on this. And please don’t hold back, if you disagree, state your case. Either way, I’d love to hear from you.