Barco’s Overture Dilemma


Update: Just two days following the publication of this blog, Barco announced exactly what I suggested — they’ve integrated Overture into ClickShare! It will be shown at InfoComm. Click here to read more about the announcement.

At least year’s ISE show in Amsterdam, Barco officially launched itself into a (potentially) competitive fight with the likes of Crestron, AMX, Extron, Kramer and Utelogy. How? Well, they launched a pre-packaged network-based AND browser-based control system they are calling Overture.

But, Overture didn’t appear out of thin air. In fact, Barco telegraphed its entry into the control system market when they purchased Medialon back in 2016. Originally aimed at live events, Medialon’s system was starting to catch on in the educational space with a room-based system and Barco, no doubt, saw the synergy between that and its highly-successful ClickShare product line. So Barco bought Medialon.

So, what is Overture and how does it work? Watch this:

So, how’s Overture doing so far? Not well.

In fact, not only has it not caught on in the commercial AV world yet, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any facility-wide adopters anywhere. The AV integrator channel has, so far, rejected it as not robust enough to compete with the likes of the big-three control system companies and not as progressed as the software-centric Utelogy platform.

So, is Overture a dud?

Nope. Overture’s problem isn’t hardware or software. It’s Barco. As successful as Barco’s been at selling the hardware-based ClickShare in staggering numbers (they announced over 300,000 systems since its launch only six years ago), they’ve been equally unsuccessful at marketing the software-based Overture control platform to that same market. Yes, the same market.

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The same AV buyers and users who were frustrated at how complicated it was to integrate BYOD (bring your own device) products like iPhones and tablets into the meeting room back in 2013 and lauded the ClickShare for its simplicity are saying they are frustrated with custom-based control platforms like those from Crestron and AMX. So, even though Barco has a built-in market for simplified, pre-configured control options, they can’t sell it.

But, there’s a simple solution to the Overture problem: Integrate it into ClickShare.

If Barco integrated the Overture control platform into ClickShare, the company would see traction. And, they’d have the potential of some 300,000 instant-adopters — or, at the very least, a built-in sales channel of ClickShare users.

So Barco, what are you waiting for?