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Ricoh adds AV expertise with German partner acquisition

Vendor continues with its policy of buying expertise in a bid to enhance its AV and collaboration offering across Europe

Ricoh is determined to increase its credentials in the audiovisual (AV) and collaboration arena and has snapped up a German partner to give it more muscle across Europe.

The firm, well known for its printing heritage, has been increasing its role as an audiovisual player. It cut the ribbon on its AV managed services offering this summer to help customers wanting to keep collaboration levels high after lockdown with support in their meeting rooms and workplaces.

The plan is for that offering to be made available to managed service providers (MSPs) either later this year or early in 2021. In the meantime, the firm is building its expertise by acquiring German AV and workplace integrator DataVision.

The purchase will give the vendor greater reach in Germany, but is also being described as a benefit for the wider European business.

“This is a significant development in the market and an important addition to our communication services business, both within Germany and at a European level. Crucially, it enables greater collaboration within smart and safe workplaces for our customers,” said David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe.

The plan is to keep DataVision operating under its own name as an individual entity and give the business the chance to access Ricoh’s financial muscle, global footprint and its service delivery infrastructure. It will also be given the chance to sell the vendor’s range of products.

“The decision to acquire DataVision was based on a number of factors. This includes its market-leading position, extensive competencies and experience, and the synergies we share in terms of customer bases, culture and strategy,” said Edward Hamilton, vice-president of communication services at Ricoh Europe.

“This acquisition provides a strong platform for further growth across Europe and forms a key pillar in our transformation to become a digital services company. Most importantly, it serves to support our customers on their digital transformation journeys.”

The vendor is no stranger to the idea of acquiring partners as a means of increasing its services expertise, having bagged both IPM in Spain and Totalstor in Portugal last year.

The latest target, DataVision, comes with 10 offices spread across Germany, 100 staff and a customer base of more than 1,300 buying services from the firm. These services include unified communications and collaboration (UCC), AV and workplace management solutions.

The firm has relationships with a number of vendors that specialise in UCC and workplace technologies. It was recently named as one of Microsoft’s Global Partners of the Year 2020, thanks largely to its efforts in supporting Teams in Germany.

Jochen Roggenkämper, managing director of DataVision, said coming under Ricoh’s ownership would give the business more opportunities.

“The global footprint and infrastructure of Ricoh with its experience in delivering end-to-end managed services, paired with our extensive experience and expertise in AV, UCC and workplace management at DataVision, means our customers across Germany and Europe are better positioned than ever to benefit from advanced and collaborative working environments,” said Roggenkämper.

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