Market Insight

Barco Acquires Montreal-Based X2O Media to Offer Complete Digital Signage Solution

March 24, 2014


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Barco announces their acquisition of Montreal-based X2O Media, supporting Barco’s strategy to broaden their offerings from display and projection technology. X2O Media will continue the development of its platform technology, while also leveraging business growth from Barco's worldwide sales and service presence. In addition, X2O Media’s specific capabilities and technology will be incorporated gradually in solutions for all of Barco's markets.

This acquisition will further expand Barco’s portfolio, offering a more complete solution to deliver enhanced and cross-divisional content distribution and workflow, based on advanced networking and connectivity capabilities. X2O's digital signage and visual communication platform will complement Barco’s offerings by integrating the connection, management and delivery of real-time data through dynamic and interactive channels.

X2O's software is employed across a wide range of applications and is consistent with Barco's target markets, including enterprise communications, corporate and education, retail and advertising, control rooms, broadcast and health care. The X2O software platform also uses hardware-agnostic standards, building on HTML-5 technology and can address any display and all mobile devices. The acquisition will also benefit X2O Media by allowing for global expansion for X2O’s application software and workflow focused capabilities, allowing both companies to go to the market with a more comprehensive offering.

Our Take

Many companies in the digital signage space are increasingly focused on providing a complete solution by offering hardware, software, content and integration, along with installation services. This can be accomplished through organic growth and the expansion into new markets, or inorganically through mergers and acquisitions. As many companies seek ways to implement all-inclusive digital signage solutions, a vast majority of hardware and software options present themselves as viable choices. With the exception of a few, many hardware and software companies begin in a niche market, and struggle to generate revenue to be sustainable. A low barrier of entry into the digital signage market, especially for many software companies, many times results in these acquisitions. To differentiate themselves from larger display companies or their competitors, these companies aiming to offer end-to-end digital signage solutions provide end users the simplicity of opting for one company to administer of all their digital signage components, while also providing service and maintenance support.

Many digital signage companies over the past year have undergone similar acquisitions to expand their business for future growth and technological advancements. For 2013, several key acquisitions took place, including Peerless-AV acquiring outdoor digital signage displays company Ciil Technologies LLC, RMG Networks acquiring Symon Communications Holdings Corporation, Wireless Ronin merging with digital media and broadcast solutions provider Broadcast International, Ballantyne Strong, Inc. acquiring digital signage content creation firm Convergent Corporation, Advantech acquiring European intelligent display company GPEG, and Stratacache acquiring lottery and casino signage company Carmanah Signs.

Strategic acquisitions allow companies to invest in emerging technologies, expand upon the current portfolio of products, and also provides for new business opportunities. It also allows for greater customization based on customer requirements tailored to their needs and budget. These ventures create a unique opportunity for many of the companies to offer comprehensive digital signage solutions, while expanding their global footprint and the progression of the overall company. 

 

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