Barco Launches AVaaS Service Aimed at Education and Meeting Room Control Markets

Barco has become the first manufacturer to launch a AVaaS (AV as a service) model for integrators that involves real hardware that the client never has to purchase. Here at ISE today, Barco announced the launch of what it’s calling, in the press announcement, a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offering — something I predicted back last fall. Powered by its newly-minted Digital Engagement Platform, it is marketed as a “new way for Barco to provide great value for the customer.”

At first, the AVaaS model is only part of the Barco weConnect (higher-ed collaboration system) and Overture (meeting room control) platforms but I predict it will be rolled out in an even larger offering in 2019. The current offering through their Digital Engagement Platform provides a digital portal that allows partners and customers to manage their subscription and, even if the customer comes firstly to Barco via a referral or inquiry, Barco told me that they will still engage an integrator. They made it clear to me they have no plans to sell SaaS offerings directly without a partner.

With this service, Barco leverages digital approaches such as cloud technology and BYOD, offering customers the opportunity to benefit from flexible consumption. With the subscription-based model, customers only pay for the services they use, at a predictable cost.  Barco partners also benefit from recurring revenue offers. For example, the weConnect hardware required for a system would be sent to the customer – without an upfront charge for the hardware itself — and would be covered via the monthly “seat license” or “room license” for usage of the AVaaS-based Digital Engagement Platform.

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Barco’s software-based A/V control solution (Overture) and collaborative learning solution (weConnect) are the first products that will be offered in a subscription-based business model via the Digital Engagement Platform. Overture provides centralized management, monitoring and A/V control for meeting rooms. For its part, weConnect enables BYOD content-sharing and video collaboration in classrooms. These new solutions serve small and large organizations, likely fitting in well with the flexibility of the SaaS model. As an organization grows, new rooms can be easily introduced into the system.

In the first phase, starting in February 2018, weConnect and Overture will be available in a SaaS-model in the U.S. and Western Europe. More regions will follow later this year. Barco is here. weConnect is here. Overture is here.