The Problem Solver

The Problem Solver

Quick Bio

George Stromeyer

Name: George Stromeyer

Title: Senior Vice President, Enterprise Divisions

Company: Barco

SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?

George Stromeyer: I lead the Enterprise Division at Barco, and our team commercializes networked visualization technology integrated into smart workflows for applications across the enterprise. Our solutions create unique experiences that solve the productivity and knowledge-sharing challenges we all have in the professional or education domains.

My biggest responsibilities are threefold: assuring a continuously evolving business strategy in response to industry demands, building a great leadership team, and setting financial direction so that our investment dollars make an impact across our global footprint.

SCN: How long have you been at this position?

GS: I joined Barco 27 months ago, but who’s counting?

SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?

GS: Barco recognized the opportunity to assemble several diverse businesses into one division to address the needs of the modern enterprise. Increasingly, we see companies making centralized decisions favoring integrated solutions delivered through consistent, high-quality customer journeys. To take on this challenge, Barco looked outside for someone with modern enterprise technology and commercial experience. My years with Cisco, Scientific Atlanta, and Raychem gave me this knowledge base and diversity across several industries.

In addition, I brought an extensive international experience (including seven years in Belgium) while also being resident in Silicon Valley, where Barco hopes to benefit from more ideas, unique talent, and business relationships. On some days, I am also a nice guy….

SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?

GS: I am very pleased that, after two years, the business is healthy and growing, and I’ve worked hard to assure that every key position on the global team is filled with the right talent. Now we are focused on three objectives: predictably delivering exciting innovation, wrapping a perfect customer and partner journey around those technologies, and building out an enterprise-level commercialization engine working together with our partners worldwide.

Long term, we have this breathlessly attractive opportunity to solve big problems for a very large market that already recognizes our brand and reliability as a supplier. We have a bigger goal to consistently bring innovative experiences that incorporate a Barco-better-together value into the AV ecosystem; our partnerships at every level are extremely critical to our success. I am excited about what we are doing in the market already today, and we are extremely ambitious about where we can go.

SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?

GS: Like in many businesses, the challenge is internal. In some ways, we feel fortunate that there are no market, technology, or resource challenges beyond the normal constraints that every business faces.

Anticipating the customer needs, riding the right trends, selecting partners who share our vision, and consistently executing in a timely manner on a global scale: these are more than enough to keep us productively happy and challenged.

SCN: Where do you see the AV market heading?

GS: The good news is that the roles of our eyes and ears are not going away—the need for the most effective way to leverage these critical senses into our workflows is becoming more important in the accelerated world of information sharing and faster decision making. We all thrive on great sensory experiences when they seamlessly support what our minds want to do. The AV industry can not only solve the problem, but can do so in a way that professionals and students emotionally connect with—greatly increasing their engagement. So, I see the AV industry evolving to become central to the workflow that happens in classrooms, meeting rooms, control rooms, experience centers, and so on.

SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Barco?

GS: We are well on our way in making the transition from a strong hardware company with embedded software to a hardware + software + services business that delivers “bright outcomes.” In short, we are leveraging the world of digital, cloud, IoT, AI, etc. to deliver smarter and faster experiences in a variety of business models. This is no small challenge. Look for changes in the way users interact with and consume our offers to streamline workflows and collapse learning curves.

SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?

GS: We truly view these relationships as partnerships. First, they should know we are stepping up our game to ease their journey with us across every touchpoint they have with Barco. Leverage this commitment and ask us for what you need to be successful. In return, invest in getting to know us and our products. Much too often I hear, “I did not know you could do that.”

Secondly, integrators should invest time in understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO) with our offers, for both themselves and their customers. Long-term customer satisfaction, business growth, and improved profitability only result when lowest TCO is achieved while uniquely solving the customer’s problems. I’m proud to say, we do that better than most.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.