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"At Barco, change is the only constant"

A globally important player of Belgian origin. An innovative digital leader of the highest order. A surprisingly versatile tech company. We from Fastfwd were particularly proud to organise a Go & See session at display giant Barco.

Our expectations were high, but the evening (with a keynote speech, a tour of the Experience Center and focus groups afterwards) did not disappoint. Fair is fair: we were secretly impressed with Barco even before anyone had spoken. The water feature connecting the inside with the outside, the imposing building with its special architecture, ... Barco wanted to build the Silicon Valley of Flanders with its Experience Center, and we certainly see the resemblance. But once we heard the Barco top speak, we were completely convinced: these digital leaders know what they are talking about. If you want to remember one thing, let it be this: 'If you don't create added value, you only create more costs'.

Proud of Belgian innovation

Founded in 1934 as the Belgian American Radio Corporation, Barco's product range has come a long way. They started with radios and jukeboxes and then focused more and more on the audiovisual: after the TV came the projector and then today's technology with laser projection, LED and LCD screens and so on. No less than 1 in 2 cinemas in the world is equipped with Barco technology, developed here in our very own Kortrijk.

The innovative character was there from the beginning, and it remains there. They evolve along with the market, with the needs and wishes of the end user. The user experience is therefore extremely important in the development of their products, in any sector or market. They may have originated in West Flanders, but they are now a major player worldwide, and with their innovative image they attract talent from all over the world.

Also in the operating theatre

Besides the entertainment sector, Barco is also active in two other sectors. For the healthcare sector, they make visualisation equipment for medical imaging, diagnostics and surgery. razor-sharp image quality without distortion and without delay is of vital importance here. 

Did you know that they are also fighting cancer with their technology? For example, their Coronis Uniti display increased the chances of detecting breast cancer by 30%, and they developed Demetra, a device that helps dermatologists detect skin cancer faster and more efficiently. 

Our Healthcare solutions are the only products you hope to never see in your life,' says Wim Verstraete, Experience Center Coordinator. But if by any chance you find yourself in an operating theatre and you see the Barco name on the equipment, you can rest assured you are in good hands,' he winks.


Barco is also active in the business world. Like1 million other users worldwide, you have probably heard of their ClickShare technology. With WeConnect, they are now tapping into a new market, that of hybrid forms of learning. Thanks to WeConnect, following online lessons becomes a much more interactive and interesting experience. Remarkable: whereas Barco is generally product-driven, they do not offer any hardware here, but only focus on the software. This means you can also use WeConnect with screens from other manufacturers. This just goes to show how they keep questioning themselves, keep evolving and start from the needs of the end user. 

WeConnect is a good example of what we mean by value-driven customer centricity,' says Hans Dekeyser, VP Digital Transformation at Barco. For online meetings Zoom or Teams are fine, but for online classes the needs are different. Teaching via those platforms is often talking to your own presentation, without seeing or even hearing your audience. With WeConnect, the teacher sees everyone's face at full size. You can look at people while you are speaking to them and have the feeling of really standing in front of a class. You can ask questions and see the answers of each student in an overlay. This way, you can address people by name and invite them to interact in a natural way, as if you were really in the same room. That's how we differentiate ourselves from the competition: by making products with the end user in mind.'

"We differentiate ourselves from the competition by making products
with the end user in mind." - Hans Dekeyser, VP Digital Transformation

Change in full flight

Director Innovation & Design Thinking Guy Van Wijmeersch kicked off the evening with his keynote speech. I have been working at Barco for 30 years, and the feeling I have is that we are completely changing and rebuilding an aircraft in full flight, while also playing with new things, like drones. Change is the only constant at Barco.'

Quote of the day: 'If you don't create added value, you only create more costs'. In everything they do at Barco, they think about the value for the end-user. That means that R&D sometimes has to step on the brakes, take a step back and think about why they want to develop this innovation, what the added value is for the user. Is that not there, or not enough? Then drop it. That is perhaps the most valuable lesson we learned from Barco.

"If you don't create added value, you only create more costs."
- Guy Van Wijmeersch, Director Innovation & Design Thinking


A lot is changing, and not just in technology or the product line. The biggest challenge for me is adaptability: we have to constantly adapt to new ways of working,' says Rebecca Vanderpiete, VP Global Marketing at Barco. There are no silos anymore, the line between teams and responsibilities is blurring. This is not always easy for everyone, it requires a lot of adaptability, both in mindset and in tools. Teams who have always worked with SAP and now have to get used to cloud systems, sales teams who see direct, personal interaction with customers evolving into more digital contact, ... But this decentralisation is very nice: we notice, for example, that Sales and Marketing are now working much more closely together, and are pursuing a common goal together.

"We have to constantly adapt to new ways of working. For me
that is perhaps the biggest challenge." - Rebecca Vanderpiete, VP Global Marketing

Learning from each other

Barco didn't want to co-organise this Go & See to preach about how others should tackle their digital transformation. Some people look at us as 'The Oracle', says Inge Govaerts, Head of Corporate Communications. But we are not, do not pretend to be, and do not want to be. At Barco too, it is a story of trial and error, always learning. This session is also an opportunity for us to learn from those present, to enter into dialogue and to learn from each other. We found this West-Flemish sobriety refreshing.

At the tables, while enjoying a snack and a drink, there was indeed a lot of discussion about topics that occupy professionals today. How do they deal with data? This is different in every company, and hearing how others do it brought refreshing insights and new ideas. What about hybrid meetings? What problems are recognisable to everyone, what solutions are being worked on? During the discussions, attendees challenged each other, nodded in agreement, and insightful questions brought surprising answers. In addition to inspiration and insight, many people also made valuable new business contacts as a result of the evening.

Would you also like an inspiring talk? A keynote speech that makes you think? An infusion of new contacts into your network? Then quickly register for one of the upcoming Go & See sessions! Attention: participation is free of charge, but places are limited.

Stefan Dierckx
CEO, Projective & Exellys

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