Network Visualization To Fuel The 'Connected Enterprise'

by Sohini Bagchi    Apr 21, 2017


In today’s sophisticated workplace, employees are connected with one another through collaborative software and devices. It is here that connected visualization systems [including hi-tech large screen display solutions, digital projectors, medical displays, rugged displays for professional applications] play a big role in making businesses more agile and productive, as critical data can be shared in real-time and decision-making becomes more information-driven and accurate. Such an approach is already finding traction in multiple applications from corporate boardrooms to hospitals and control rooms for public amenities. Consumers, too, benefit from the enhanced quality of service and faster query resolution.

One of the key players in this domain is Barco, a Belgium based company, with its India headquarter in Noida, UP. The company is aggressively working in the areas of smart cities, enterprise and healthcare center. In an interaction with  CXOToday, Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director at Barco Electronic Systems discusses Barco India’s plan in the coming quarters and benefits of network visualization in the age of the ‘Connected Enterprise.’

CXOToday: Tell us about Barco’s journey in India. How has the market evolved in last decade?

Rajiv Bhalla: Barco India was established in New Delhi in 1996 with a team of 50 people. Today, it is an established domain leader in the networked visualization sector, and has over 500 team members across R&D, software development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and customer service divisions. In addition to its Noida headquarters, Barco India also has corporate offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, and is active in more than 90 countries with 3,500 employees. This growth in size has also corresponded with several awards and industry recognitions for the company, both in India and on a global stage.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen that the Indian market has become more open to technology and technology-led solutions. The government’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission is expected to further accelerate this evolution towards a technology-first approach. Existing infrastructure will be upgraded and service delivery improved, as cities are made more citizen-friendly and the standard of living increases. Several domains, such as healthcare and entertainment, will be modernised to meet the rapidly changing requirements of Indian consumers, while a massive demand is to be expected for effective control room solutions in smart cities.

CXOToday: : What are the sectors that are mainly adopting connected visualization systems and why?

Rajiv Bhalla: Networked visualization products can significantly improve business productivity, enable better decision-making, and enhance knowledge-sharing. As such, they are witnessing increased demand across almost all industries. Several high-precision sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, security and surveillance, quality control, and administration are already employing connected visualization technologies across multiple applications. Smart control room solutions such as video walls and controllers have been optimizing efficiency and enhancing service delivery across multiple applications like traffic management, security, telecom, utilities, and process control systems in smart cities and safe cities.

Networked visualization solutions have also been registering great demand in relatively newer industries such as e-commerce, while there is also a major scope of disruption in traditional markets like education and entertainment. A range of innovative technologies, products, and applications are also being employed to bring unique visual experiences to residential setups.

CXOToday: What is the strength of Barco India’ Plant and capacity of production?

Rajiv Bhalla: The Noida unit is amongst the key manufacturing sites globally for the brand and is home to all Barco manufacturing operations in the country. Every single DLP Projector engine in the world for Barco’s large videowall activity is built in Noida. The plant is certified for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & AS 9100 for PCBA process, while products manufactured here are compliant with international norms like UL, Cebec, CE, CCC etc. The state-of-the-art factory has been manufacturing hi-tech products for both national as well as global markets in compliance with all the international safety and quality norms.

We have PCBA lines and projector assembly lines in our factory. Our projector assembly has an installed manufacturing capacity of 1000 projectors per month. It is slightly more difficult to measure the production capacity for our PCBA lines, as we manufacture different kinds of boards; almost 65-70 types of modules are manufactured every month with an overall capacity between 2000-2500 boards. We also manufacture lamp power supply modules for digital cinema.

CXOToday: What kind of activities Barco is doing to scale up R&D at India plant?

Rajiv Bhalla: Noida is home to Barco’s largest software lab in the world. The R&D team here developed the recently launched flagship ClickShare CSE – 800, and has also been in charge of the end-to-end development of other recent launches such as CMS launchpad, Barco Pulse, and Event Master Expansion unit. We are looking to increase our involvement in product development for global Barco operations, specifically when it comes to defining the product, architecture, and the level of automation. We have been defining the architecture and standardising software development aligned with Barco divisions and measurability at every stage. Team expansions across multiple divisions, especially the entertainment and enterprise verticals, have also been planned.

CXOToday: How is Barco contributing in Government’s Smart City Initiative. Can you mention some of your other areas of work?

Rajiv Bhalla: Information is one of the most vital aspects upon which the smart infrastructure of the Smart Cities Mission will be built upon. Smoother day-to-day operations and effective query resolution will require information from multiple sources to be combined and shared with little to no lag. As a leading provider of visualisation and networked distribution solutions, Barco has the technological prowess and the market expertise to become a key enabler of the Smart Cities Mission. By allowing multiple stakeholders to share and view real-time information through connected devices, Barco can provide the necessary building blocks for a highly reliable and efficient smart infrastructure.

Barco’s diverse array of leading-edge solutions has been employed by almost all prestigious public and private sector organisations in India. Barco has closely worked with leading Hospitals in India by delivering high-quality healthcare solutions like Color displays. Apart from working in healthcare sector Barco has also collaborated with major telecom brands to monitor all data traffic and operations. Most leading power generation & distribution companies in the country are also employing our control room solutions for optimising productivity and enhancing real-time monitoring and decision-making processes. We are also providing hi-tech security surveillance solutions for interconnected control rooms in smart cities.

CXOToday: What are the major challenges you face in the Indian market?

Rajiv Bhalla: Given that different markets have different requirements for technologies, stacks, and hardware, creating a strong partner ecosystem has been one of the major challenges for players in the networked visualisation space in India. The technological barrier in the Indian market also presents a major challenge. The country, despite being one of the largest exporters of skilled IT workforce in the world, still has comparatively low levels of technological awareness and penetration.

CXOToday: Which all innovative products and technology Barco providing to healthcare Industry. Name some clients from the sector

Rajiv Bhalla: Barco has a rich legacy of delivering dependable display systems and visualisation solutions which help in enhancing the quality of healthcare delivered to the end-user. Its state-of-the-art solutions for the healthcare market include high-precision displays for radiology, mammography, surgery, dentistry, pathology and modality imaging, as well as clinical displays for healthcare specialists, digital OR systems, and point-of-care devices. Fortis Hospital, Seven Hills Hospital, Apollo, Medanta Medicity, and Columbia Asia are amongst our major clients from the sector.

CXOToday: Can you compare India to the global counterparts in terms of demand and technology utilization?

Rajiv Bhalla: India is still playing catch-up with developed nations as far as technology and utilisation capacity is concerned. Recent advancement in tech adoption and innovation, however, is extremely promising. If the country continues to make technological progress at the present rate, it has the potential to emerge as the global tech hub within the next decade.

CXOToday: What is the road map for next five years?

Rajiv Bhalla: Control room solutions for smart cities and safe cities are a big part of our long-term vision. With our diverse product portfolio and effective networked visualization solutions, we aim to be the go-to enabler of an interconnected smart city & its infrastructure which facilitates an intersection of utilities, processes, administration, and the end-user.

The entertainment industry is also a key focus area for us. With consumer spending on entertainment having increased exponentially, we are looking forward to providing cutting-edge solutions for cinemas, events, and projection mapping etc. for major players in the sector.

We also plan to work closely with the government to support the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives. Creating an entire ecosystem that will facilitate industry collaboration and promote latest manufacturing technologies is the need of the hour, and will be a win-win situation for everyone involved.