A Belgium-based digital display company is looking for Canadian resellers with IT and audio-visual expertise to help push its products here.

“”We’re talking to a number of potential partners to launch a full digital signage package, which would include our indoor and outdoor solutions,”” said

Tom Ray, executive vice-president of Barco N.V.’s North America operations.

“”We expect to sign a couple of new partners in a month or two.””

Ray, a Canadian, will be in Toronto today for a press conference to trumpet the company’s new division here by announcing it has been selected to supply a giant screen and imaging management software for a prime downtown location.

The 30-by-40 foot LED screen, which can show full motion video, will be part of a four-panel advertising display outside the Eaton Centre, a block-long indoor mall anchored by two department stores.

Sony of Canada will be Barco’s integrator for the project, for which Bell Canada is the prime contractor. Ad content will be sold and managed by the Outdoor Broadcast Network.

Barco sells imaging systems and wall display management software including rear projection, LED and LCD displays in some 90 countries. They are used in installations from network operation, financial and surveillance centres to flight simulator displays.

The new three-person Canadian division, Barco Projection Systems, based in Mississauga, Ont., opened in January. It reports to Ray, who is based at Barco’s North American headquarters outside Atlanta.

“”We anticipate doubling our staff within the next 12 to 18 months,”” he said.

After years of Canadian sales being run from the U.S., the company decided to open an office up here not long after hiring Ray a year ago from a company developing carrier-grade voice-over-IP products.

“”We decided to expand into Canada because the economic situation here is very positive,”” said Ray.

Until this year the company’s only presence here was a person in Montreal selling Barco’s solutions for the defence and avionics sectors.

The Mississauga office will concentrate on digital signage. “”The media business is a major, major interest to us,”” he explained. With the Eaton Centre win and one with Outdoor Broadcast Network “”we’ve been able to secure some really significant outdoor signage locations.””

The company will also announce today it has signed up seven partners across the country to sell its products into the corporate presentation and education markets.

They include Solotech Inc. of Montreal; Sono Video of St. Leonard, Que.; Dynamix Professional Video Systems of Toronto; Adcom of Toronto; Sharp’s Audio Visual of Calgary; Matrix Video Communications Corp. of Edmonton and Matrix Professional Video Systems of Vancouver.

Barco is also looking for other partners in the rental and events and digital cinema markets. The company will give its VARs “”significant territory”” so they can maximize business opportunities, says Ray.

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