A conversation with Barco’s George Stromeyer in the space between ISE and InfoComm 2018
In the space between ISE and InfoComm, Barco’s George Stromeyer has partner co-selling, creating experiences, and getting in the (work) flow on his mind.
Barco had one of the largest stands in Hall 12 of this year’s record-breaking Integrated Systems Europe (ISE). It was the first time the Belgian company was showing off their award-winning UniSee product to a large European market. The Barco marketing team had come up with the “Golden ClickShare” contest; one lucky entry won actual gold. The entire space spoke to the enterprise, education, and entertainment aspects of what makes Barco a player in the audiovisual industry.
We sat down with George Stromeyer, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Barco Enterprise Division, to talk about the ISE stand, ClickShare at 5 years old, and facilitating workflows and customer experiences.
ISE topped 80,000 for the first time in 2018 and continues to grow with expanded floor space, an increase of global audiovisual dealers, and bringing more end users in the doors of the RAI. Stromeyer explains the importance of connecting with decision makers within those companies.
“We are a partner-led business. But as we penetrate large, global accounts there is a strong need for co-selling in these large accounts,” Mr. Stromeyer said. “Our partner community understands this. We are able to identify broader more comprehensive opportunities when we work together. It’s a big deal for us to be a good partner.”
Barco representatives practice consultative selling, meaning they are able to point to solutions for a company’s pain points, even if the solution lies outside Barco’s product portfolio. For the AV integrators, who may not know the full depth of the company’s product offerings, this means that training and education become just as important as the product itself. What are the ideal applications for this product? Is there another product that would be better in this application? How can the end user creatively address their needs? These are the kinds of issues Barco’s sales team can address.
When InfoComm International changed their name to AVIXA (the audiovisual integrated experience association) late in 2017 there was great effort to focus on the experience part of that new name. Stromeyer says that is precisely what Barco anticipated two years ago when it renamed its businesses around experience, e.g. the Meeting Experience.
“When we consult at an enterprise level, we’re focused on partnering with our customer to create experiences,” Stromeyer explains. “The purpose of creating engaging experiences is to unleash the power of shared knowledge. We can send and manage secured audio and video signals in an easy way, unleashing the power of collaboration and shared knowledge. We believe staying focused on customer objectives for the end-user experience keeps us responsive throughout the sales cycle.”
That shared knowledge shows up in products such as their control system Overture, WePresent, and the industry standard ClickShare. It also extends to their state-of-the-art video walls, control rooms and entertainment experiences. In every instance, Barco has incorporated customer-driven features and benefits into the portfolio.
ClickShare is five years old and boasts a healthy market share within the wireless video collaboration devices category. George Stromeyer indicates they are not done with the device and is excited about what lies ahead.
“We have automated our quality and assurance processes so we are able to test the myriad of BYOD devices coming into the marketplace to keep our finger on the pulse of this important category. Collectively, aggressive competition is what keeps moving the needle on collaboration, and it’s exciting!”
We will see more from Barco at the InfoComm show when it comes to applying their products to what Stromeyer calls the “workflow” of each environment; the classroom, the control room, and the meeting space. This could mean a more integrated ClickShare experience with even more connected and secure devices, integration with UC players like Zoom and others, as well as SaaS offerings for Overture.
InfoComm also holds a big emphasis on training and education around Barco offerings. Ultimately, impacting workflows means educating integrators to think creatively about possibilities. The bright outcomes for existing clients will also be a showcased feature of Barco’s presence this year. And, of course, they wouldn’t be Barco if they didn’t inject a good dose of fun, as well (think beer and chocolate!).
About The Author
Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.