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BW Businessworld

Every Business Is Now A Digital Business

Digital transformation initiatives, employee-centric work model and right talent mix will be central to scaling up operating in the years ahead, says Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India, in this interview with BW Businessworld. Excerpts:

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What are some of the technology trends that you foresee shaping up in India in the current workplace?

Covid has led to a paradigm shift resulting in the biggest business challenges of our time. As we look forward to work, life, and leisure post-pandemic, the challenges are being felt across a multigenerational audience. One of the key insights of a global study by Barco ClickShare says that employees worldwide are desperate to get back to the office and want their employers to invest in a technology-driven hybrid working environment post-Covid.

Technology will be fundamental to this journey as businesses have now realised that they need to invest in the right mix of hybrid meeting technologies to enable better engagement, productivity, and collaboration for a workforce split between the office and remote locations. There is no doubt that the present and future of work is hybrid. Technology is being leveraged to create greater flexibility at work and, offices are being retooled and redesigned to cater to a more collaborative and agile work environment.

We also foresee acceleration in digitisation and increased adoption of new-age technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT, machine learning, cloud-led data, and AI innovation. Every business is now a digital business and digital transformation initiatives, employee-centric work model and right talent mix will be central to scale up in the years ahead. Automation of tasks and procedures across the board and focus on technology-based reskilling and upskilling are the other major trends we foresee.

Why are hybrid meetings so important in a new normal?

The unprecedented amount of change in business operations has led to an acceleration towards digital transformation. Social distancing and nationwide lockdowns have made software technology adoption imperative to enabling a new remote workforce. Even with the downtrend in the pandemic, we have witnessed a decisive change in work cultures and hybrid workplaces are here to stay. With freelancers and gig workers creating a shift in the traditional workstyle, hybrid work is the new normal and collaboration can only be powered by hybrid meetings. Hybrid meetings enable collaboration by significantly increasing participation, better engaging attendees and helping organisations lower business expenses required in in-person meetings.

What are some of the focus areas for Barco in India?

Initiatives like Digital India have laid the foundation for digital transformation across the canvas. We aim to grow our India R&D Centre into Barco’s Global hub for software development and innovation and expand the team in India leveraging the strong pool of technology talent. Barco India has a strong team of professionals that develops software products and solutions across enterprise, healthcare and entertainment verticals using diverse technology stacks from embedded software on hardware devices to SaaS solutions deployed in a multi-cloud environment (Azure, AWS).

We are focused on increasing our market share across these domains even as we already cover over 50 per cent of the Indian cinema space with high-end projector installations and over 40 per cent of the smart city solutions segment with our display solutions. We are also leaders in the enterprise space with our wireless collaboration and video

conferencing solutions. Going ahead, we plan to leverage our USPs to grow business in India by creating value propositions for our products and by devising go-to-market approaches that cater to India-specific market requirements. We are further strengthening our partner network with an additional focus on new and emerging verticals.

How are these impacting the future of healthcare, education, entertainment, and tourism in the new normal?

With a broad portfolio of hybrid solutions, Barco’s key priority is enabling remote and hybrid workspaces across verticals such as meeting experience, operator experience, events and healthcare and we have steadily launched new solutions to support these industries. Remote and hybrid learning also became a necessity with Covid-19 and Barco weConnect, a virtual classroom software that is dedicated specifically to distance learning in real-time, without giving up on class engagement and contact between teacher and student, is an excellent fit for academic purposes.

As telemedicine and teleradiology gained prominence Barco’s medical-grade displays have ensured increased efficiency for the practitioners and our line-up of high precision, disinfectable displays provide accuracy, efficiency, and safety, ably supporting radiology, teleradiology, remote reading, and excellent diagnosis. Barco’s comprehensive portfolio of visualisation and processing technology enables larger-than-life visitor experiences be it at the cinemas, concert halls, or museums, at theme parks, music festivals or corporate events. Barco is in pole position to deliver distinct entertainment experiences leveraging our products, software, and service offerings.

What are the new technologies and projects you are working on at your R&D centre in India?

We are extremely proud to say that Barco GEAX, or Globally Empowered to Accelerate Xperiences, is our largest centre of excellence for software innovation and R&D, globally. Our R&D hub at Noida contributes towards enhancing software capabilities in all our products focussing on entertainment, enterprise and healthcare segments. We are heavily focused on cloud technology and the Noida centre is offering SaaS solutions across all three major segments. In Learning Experience, we are working on weConnect; in healthcare, GEAX is working on Demetra, the innovative solution to detect cancer in skin lesions and in Remote Work Collaboration, we are leveraging XMS for our flagship product ClickShare Conference and its cloud-based management platform. Our Synergi team is working actively on virtual clinical collaboration for healthcare. India’s R&D centre is also working on developing Cloud Device Management software for our full range of Smart Cinema projectors.