By Corey Moss
Here is Part 1.
Computer/AV sales and integration
1997 began an interesting journey for me – from retail computer sales, to AV integration in 1998. I joined a mid-size integrator in northern New Jersey, and began my career in what became my chosen field, commercial AV. I will admit that Barco, while it was a manufacturer product line we did handle, it was not my main sales brand in terms of projectors. Our rental department did handle Barco’s, I had numerous lines to choose from – Barco became a go to after certain others.
I’ll admit this is not a long section, as any projector could be installed in a system integration – and we did have enough of a main line selection to go from. My markets were education K-12 and higher ed, as well as corporate.
Barco the company, acquisitions and more
Barco is a company that is of course known for AV industry products and solutions – however there is much more. First, a list of Barco acquisitions (my time in commercial AV integration was 1998 through 2012):
- Barco Graphics was the graphics division of the Belgian Barco Group. It was the result of the 1989 merger of Digitized Information Systems Corporation (D.I.S.C.), Aesthedes and Barco’s own “Creative Group”.
- In 1997, Barco acquired EIS (Electronic Image Systems), a manufacturer of CRT projectors for the flight simulation market
- In 1998, Barco ETS, now Ucamco acquired Gerber Systems Corp., a manufacturer of plotters and automatic optical inspection (AOI) systems for printed circuit boards
- In 1999, it acquired Metheus Corporation, a Tektronix spin-off and manufacturer of professional graphics controllers
- In 2004, it acquired Voxar, a 3D medical imaging software company
- In 2004, it acquired Folsom Research, Inc, whose product lines cover image processing, image communication and image functionality & interactivity
- In 2008, it acquired High End Systems, an automated luminaires, digital lighting and lighting controls company
- In 2010, it acquired Fimi, a company specialized in medical imaging
- In 2010, it acquired all intellectual property of Element Labs, a manufacturer of LED equipment
- In 2010, it acquired dZine, a Belgium-based company specialized in Digital signage
- In 2012, it acquired IP Video Systems, a company specialized in networked visualization
- In 2012, it acquired JAOtech, a manufacturer of patient entertainment and point-of-care terminals for hospitals
- In 2013, it acquired AWIND, a manufacturer of hardware and software for wireless presentation systems
- In 2013, it acquired projectiondesign®, a manufacturer of projection technology
- In 2014, it acquired X20 Media Inc, an enterprise communication specialist
- In 2014, it acquired IOSONO GmbH, a 3D audio expert
- In 2015, it acquired Advan Int’l Corp, a manufacturer of LCD displays
- In 2016, it acquired Medialon Inc, a US based company
- In 2016, it acquired MTT Innovation Inc., a Canadian developer of next-generation projection technology (HDR)
A list of Barco divestments:
- In 2001, Barco Graphics was acquired by Danish Purup-Eskofot, and renamed Esko-Graphics, which was again renamed Esko in 2006
- In 2007, BarcoVision was acquired by Itema Group from Bergamo, Italy
- In 2008, Barco sold its Advanced Visualisation (AVIS) group (the previously acquired Voxar) to Toshiba Medical (TMSC)
- In 2014, Barco divested a wholly owned subsidiary of Barco NV, Barco Orthogon, based in Bremen, Germany, to Exelis.
- In 2015, Barco’s Defense & Aerospace division was sold to US-based Esterline Technologies Corporation (NYSE: ESL).
- In 2018, Barco’s X20 Media was sold to Stratcache.
Through the ‘90s and the first decade of the new millennium, Barco developed and marketed new display technologies such as liquid crystal display (LCD), light-emitting diodes (LED), Texas Instruments’ Digital Light Processing (DLP), and later, liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS). It now covers markets that include media and entertainment, security and monitoring, medical imaging, avionics, 3D and virtual reality, digital cinema, traffic control, broadcast and training and simulation.
Barco CEO’s during this time period (through today):
2016 – Jan de Witte
2008 – 2016 Eric Van Zele
2002 – 2008 Martin De Prycker
2002 Hugo Vandamme
(All information can be found here on Wikipedia).
Bringing it current
In the current day, when one considers all that Barco has to offer, the main product that’s always front and center is ClickShare — a bit disappointing if you ask me, since Barco has so much more to currently offer as shown here on their website. It does hold a top share in the wireless presentation market, a plus of sorts – however this market does continue to become much more competitive as it goes.
And the evidence is right here on the Barco homepage.
Tap into amazing. I’m not sure that I’ve heard many (if any) wireless presentation/collaboration systems referred to as amazing (meet, present,collaborate, simple – right?), which at times will no doubt lead to one of my utter favorite industry buzz words – magical.
Can Barco, downsize, reorganize and climb on an upward trend – with ClickShare still at the forefront? A straight-focused single product that commercial integrators have the option of selling to clients — or not?
Barco ClickShare System Overview | Full Compass (Published on Nov 8, 2013)
(Note: Header image – CC0 Creative Commons via Pixabay).
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, Convergent Tech Talk, AV Talk+ and Convergent Week. 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 https://www.linkedin.com/in/mosscorey/.