Kinly, a video collaboration company based in the Netherlands has acquired UK-based AVMI, a key player in the audiovisual (AV) integration and managed services space.

By acquiring AVMI, Kinly has moved itself into the pole position in Europe of companies providing video collaboration services, and the third worldwide, at a time when demand for such technologies is surging.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a massive upswing in video-related technologies as a means to continue business operations during lockdown, and a widespread shift to remote working is set to see this surge translate into a long-term boom.

With 650 staff and offices in the Netherlands, Norway, the US, the US and Singapore, Kinly is well placed to serve this growing market.

Its products including Kinly Cloud, through which users can securely meet and collaborate either from their own Kinly accounts or through widely used video platforms including Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Cisco. Other services within the platform include a Meeting Assistant that enables users to easily join meetings from their device of choice, and a Concierge service to help run calls.

AVMI, meanwhile, provides organisations with AV and digital media technology solutions, handling their design, delivery, support and management. With over 600 staff, it has offices across the UK, Ireland, the US, Hong Kong and India. It also sub-contracts partners in a further 40 countries.

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The acquisition has also strengthened Kinly’s presence in the UK in particular, where it is already providing video collaboration services for 60 magistrates courts and 48 Crown courts.

Kinly AVMI acquisition a “powerful combination”

Describing the two companies as a “powerful combination”, Robbert Bakker, CEO of Kinly, said that AMVI’s “enviable track record in delivering complex enterprise projects globally” would bring new opportunities for the company.

It has been particularly timely given the pandemic and resulting surge in demand for video technologies, although plans for the acquisition began long before the coronavirus emerged.

“Our decision to acquire AVMI is based on our long-term strategy, and we started the process long before the pandemic, so to us, this makes strategic sense from both a business and cultural perspective,” Knut Bentzen, CMO at Kinly, told Verdict.

“That said, the pandemic has raised the need for many clients to further invest in video and unified communications solutions, and as a combined company we will be better suited to support those needs.”

Growing demand amid the pandemic and beyond

Kinly has already seen considerable growth in demand for its technologies amid the pandemic, as “companies scramble to find new approaches to collaboration and communication.

We have seen a massive spark in use and demand for our virtual room solutions over the past months,” said Bentzen.

“It has been driven mainly by three factors, one – the need for people to collaborate in a situation where they do not have access to their regular meeting rooms in the office,  two – a vast amount of people jumping onto different platforms from various vendors, and the need for businesses to align these with interoperability, three – large clients with current installations of Kinly’s Cloud Room offering increasing capacity.”

However, with lockdowns beginning to dissipate, does Kinly anticipate demand to continue? Essentially, yes – although the current growth rates are unlikely to be permanent.

“We expect the sector to grow at an even higher rate than before once the new normal settles; what we probably have seen is several years of digital transformation done if a few months,” he said.

“After the pandemic is over – and we all hope that will be soon – we expect a continued high use: lower than today, but higher than before the pandemic because people are more used to it, and see it more and more as a viable alternative to having face-to-face sessions. And that is also what envision for the future: a nice balance between face-to-face and video meetings.

“So, therefore, we continuously strive for creating optimal user experiences. It will be a big differentiator, people are really tired of poor video meetings, they will expect them to be seamless, effective and high-quality experiences, and above all, secure.”

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