By Corey Moss

(Note: This is Part 1). 

I always like to hear the terms agile and effective – it’s most times buzz code speak for eliminating the bloat and overlap, and there are companies in as well as outside the industry that have built bigger, and slowly realized they’ve become too big for their own good. Siloed is another favorite buzz term of mine – and it appears that Barco has been suffering from this, especially in terms of the company’s sales process, which has reportedly been suffering from this as it crosses divisions, which has been extremely cumbersome for customers.

One example, if a health care client wants to buy ClickShare, it becomes a cumbersome process. Barco is looking to tear down these “siloed” walls, however we know what a cumbersome process that can be….

Most have read the press release from yesterday Barco takes next step in its Focus to Perform program – here are the first two paragraphs:

Barco announced today a restructuring plan to align the organization with changing market demands and growth opportunities while enhancing the company’s long-term profitability.

This comprehensive plan addresses specific aspects of Barco’s organizational structure and effectiveness, and agility particularly in the areas of product management, and commercial and service delivery processes. The plan also includes the re-investment of cost efficiencies towards certain growth initiatives, innovation and further business expansion in target geographies.

Again, the program is called Focus to Perform. An interesting name for a program that in the end is based on downsizing to become agile and effective. 240 will be affected, some already have been.

A statement in the press release from Barco CEO Jan De Witte:

“To bolster Barco’s fitness to lead in an ever more global and dynamic market with rapidly evolving customer demands, it is imperative that Barco becomes more organizationally agile, responsive and customer service focused,” said Jan De Witte, Chief Executive Officer of Barco.

“Since launching our ‘focus to perform’ program in 2016, Barco has made measurable and steady progress primarily by rationalizing the business portfolio and part of its manufacturing footprint, and by implementing value engineering initiatives. With this plan we take the next step in our ‘focus to perform’ program and embrace Barco’s future as a successful hardware, software and services company,” added Jan De Witte.

There’s the word agile again, and also added – responsive. Which goes back to the sales process, and performance statement. If it needs to be customer service focused, I have to ask was it not already? Mr. De Witte states that the program will embrace Barco’s future as a successful hardware, software and services company. This, as you believe it should be for a company with a deep history of known success in the AV industry.

I read a bit of disarray now.

My beginnings in terms of technology partner relationship with Barco began in 1991 when I was in computer and AV rentals with a well-known computer rental franchise company in New York City. We rented the latest and greatest in PC’s and laptops – IBM XT’s and AT’s, Compaq’s, and Apple Mac II’s and Quadras, SE’s and Classics. In fact I’ll never forget when that Apple Powerbook 140 came into the shop – it was a moment to behold as I opened the box and revealed what we had long waited for, customers had been clamoring for it (we received our first Powerbook 170 not long after).

I attended my first InfoComm in Dallas 1995 and walked around the show, pretty much looking around at the technology. I knew such industry manufacturers as Extron, Inline, NEC, Sony, Electrohome, Barco through computer and AV rentals – the days of RGB CRT projectors and monitors (remember having to degauss these), overhead projectors and the overhead plates, RGB snakes – all necessary to get a rental done in New York City where I managed Operations for the #1 company nationwide. If you think managing operations in NYC can be difficult, try doing it 24/7 on a beeper – no cell phones of course. My techs had to team up to do a CRT projector and fast fold screen rental since the projectors were over 100 lbs. (the vets know). I set up CRT’s and fast folds myself too – aligning and calibrating a CRT projector was no small feat. There were many calls for the BarcoData.


Note: This is a video from 1987, a TV tuner is connected to the projector.

At InfoComm 1995, after walking around the show floor, a microcosm of what InfoComm is now – I entered the Projection Shootout room. I stood there, and marveled at what was in front of me. In fact I just stood, and stared – speechless.

This is a video from the Shootout at InfoComm 1996 in Orlando – notice some of the manufacturers.

Part 2 is here

Me at Barco

With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Collaboration Factor and Convergent Tech Talk. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers. Find him talking about a whole lot of things, tech and otherwise. On LinkedIn