Panasonic Europe acquires Alan Dick Communications, a UK technology integration specialist providing end-to-end telecoms-based services to the transportation and mobile telecoms sectors.
“So what?” you ask. Telecoms, transportation… what’s it got to do with us?
Many of the pro AV publications did carry the prior article on the creation of Panasonic System Solutions Europe (a subsidiary of Panasonic Europe, in April 2015). But no one really thought about much about the significance— and, if it doesn’t spell out the relationship to us with the capital letters "AV," then why would it be important?
First, it’s important because it demonstrates a new dynamic in the changing landscape. Manufacturers will not necessarily sit back and leave large integration deals on the table. Panasonic is not the first maker to buy a distributor or an integrator: and you will see more examples like this manufacturer-adds-integrator-division story.
Second, it’s important to recognize this as a strategy to dig deep into verticals. If it works as well as expected, Panasonic presumably will continue to buy integrators who dominate verticals.
Meanwhile Silicon Valley companies like Cisco now require their partners to demonstrate business expertise in at least one vertical (an “architecture” in Cisco parlance). So if you are still trying to grow your integration company in the old-fashion way (Come one, come all…), you are living in the past.
The acquisition of Alan Dick Communications (which will trade under ADComms and includes ADComms’ companies IPS, AIB, and Rail Order), provides Panasonic with an opportunity to expand into the rapidly-growing rail market, incorporating mainline rail, London underground and other light metro infrastructure in the UK.
The acquisition is part of Panasonic’s wider approach to provide turnkey solutions to its customers that include connectivity, hardware and software alongside engineering services. It also reflects Panasonic’s continued commitment to the ‘Digitisation of Transport’. As part of the acquisition, ADComms will join the System Solutions division within Panasonic Business, to develop world class solutions for larger customers, providing a single point of contact and improved accountability.
Panasonic System Solutions Europe already has a number of subsidiaries, including Cameramanager and Panasonic Business Software Europe, which provide specialist software or systems integration capabilities.
[Photo] Jason Pearce, Alan Dick Communications (left) and Tony O'Brien, Panasonic System Solutions Europe