SVG Sit-Down: MultiDyne COO Bob McAlpine on What Census Digital Acquisition Means for the Industry

Census modular solutions complement MultiDyne’s fiber-optic offerings

Last month, MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions announced its acquisition of Toronto-based Census Digital, a specialist in professionally engineered signal processing, distribution, conversion, and monitoring gear. With the deal finalized, MultiDyne takes ownership of Census Digital’s existing fiber transport solutions, including an array of rack-mount and openGear modular solutions that complement MultiDyne’s vast line of fiber-optic products.

SVG sat down with industry vet and recently appointed COO Bob McAlpine to discuss why he believes the deal strengthens MultiDyne’s value proposition for professional audio-monitoring and -processing applications in broadcast, live production, and commercial AV.

MultiDyne’s Bob McAlpine: “MultiDyne has spent the past year strategically planning a growth initiative. We have taken the first steps.”

Why did MultiDyne acquire Census Digital, and how does the deal enhance your portfolio? What synergies offered by the two companies will benefit the overall organization?
MultiDyne had been pursuing an acquisition opportunity that would expand the current portfolio, provide regional sales gains, and help gain valuable talent in the process. Census Digital had all three, and as close colleagues in the industry, discussions were initiated.

Since MultiDyne is a leading openGear partner, the addition of the Census openGear audio-card solutions to our portfolio was a natural. In addition, their audio monitors are a lead into many new opportunities. Plus, they’ve added to the MultiDyne product portfolio many throwdown brick solutions we now call Nano-Brix.

How do you expect this deal to benefit existing MultiDyne customers (as well as Census Digital customers)? And how will it impact/benefit your sports-production customers specifically?
MultiDyne can help maximize the efficiencies of the Census developments by supporting the standard infrastructure required for a more rapid growth. MultiDyne has been focused on production and sports applications utilizing its many fiber transport and conversion products. Census products complement MultiDyne’s offerings and expand our reach into additional customer opportunities; especially mobile production, stadiums, and sports-production facilities.

How important/valuable was Census Digital’s engineering staff to this acquisition? Will any staff/management changes be made as a result of this deal?
Key was the gain of [founding partners] Michael Jordan and Doug Bascombe joining the MultiDyne team. Michael and Doug started Census Digital 10 years ago in Toronto and, in the process, developed a very successful business for audio products. We understood from the start that, when two entrepreneurs could successfully start up a business, design great products, and promote and distribute those products, they could be a great asset if we could acquire not only their business but their enthusiasm for joining with us.

Census engineering talent was a major consideration. Adding Doug Bascombe to the MultiDyne engineering team provides a pedigree in audio engineering while supporting our gains in IP development.

The acquisition prompted me to join as COO and help facilitate the acquisition. Plus, we gained the experience from Census of Michael, who has been VP of sales and marketing for a combined 25 years with Census Digital and [previously] with Ward-Beck. He is now director of business development, Census Products.

How will this help MultiDyne continue to grow as a company? Why did MultiDyne consider it important to boost its audio-monitoring– and -processing–product portfolio?
MultiDyne has a strong and experienced global sales team led by two directors of business development living in each region. Our expansion starts with fiber-optic–product solutions, but, with the addition of Census audio monitoring, audio openGear cards, and a wide assortment of throwdown conversion modules, we gain a strength in product coverage. MultiDyne has been known as a fiber-optic–centric manufacturer; our goal is to diversify product offerings to appeal globally as a solutions provider.

What can we expect from MultiDyne over the next 12 months now that Census Digital is under its umbrella?
Integration and consolidation take time. We’ll focus on the integration of sales, product awareness in the industry, and distribution. We’ll determine the best product-development roadmap for the evolution of our audio products. Our openGear portfolio has increased through the acquisition, and we have many throwdown solutions that may be more beneficial as an openGear solution. I think you’ll also see an increase in distribution partnerships worldwide based on the diversification of our complete product line.

MultiDyne, under CEO Frank Jachetta, has spent the past year strategically planning a growth initiative. We reviewed our team, our markets and distribution, and our product portfolio to determine the best action plan for growth. It includes a combination of all to gain market share and product-solution awareness. Acquisitions have been a part of this initiative. We have taken the first steps, and it’ll be obvious to all that MultiDyne has taken an informed direction.

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