Speeding up the decision-making process at times of emergencies - here’s how Barco helps


“Barco? I thought they made displays! Then what business do they have with a software solution?” It’s a quote we have heard quite often when we present OpSpace, our operator workspace solution. We cannot blame you – although our Control room Management Suite (CMS) and networked visualization system (TransForm N) have proven their value for many years, our main products have always been the large video walls. So it probably takes some time to realign with our new focus and expanded strategies.

The dynamics of mission critical control rooms
"We want to speed up the decision-making at times of emergencies"Looking for inspiration? Discover more on OpSpace.

As a longstanding market leader in visualization systems, we have visited a lot of control rooms, and have heard the same aspiration from control room managers and operators all over the world: “We want to speed up the decision-making at times of emergencies”. They want to view, share and control all operational information sources from an integrated visual environment, instead of switching workstations all the time. They look for an effective way to share information with remote colleagues and remote experts. Plus, their managers want to securely push relevant situational awareness information from their 24/7 control rooms to the boardrooms or crisis centers in real-time.

Elevating the operator experience

Barco’s ambition is to enable operators doing their jobs in the most optimal way. Whether reviewing situational awareness on the overview wall, controlling operational systems in the operator workspace, refocusing on escalated incidents in a remote crisis room, or securely sharing the latest information onto mobile devices of field workers. Our focus is on collaborative decision making and operational efficiency and effectiveness.

The operator workspace revolution

In order to optimize the operator’s personal workspace, we have created Barco OpSpace: the first workspace solution that enables the operator to be more efficient by offering integrated view, control and interaction with as many operationally disparate systems as needed. In other words, all needed information is always available – both to be consulted and manipulated – in the same workspace environment. With just one keyboard and mouse, the operator has everything within easy reach – even data from secure networks. This is a big difference with most contemporary working situations, in which the operator constantly needs to switch to a different workstation to use other data.

Overview situational awareness for fastest decision making

However, the availability of all information in one workspace environment does not make the classical 24/7 control room video wall obsolete. This remains the place where all information comes together to be analyzed and interpreted. Using Barco CMS (Control Room Management Suite), you have a secured and enterprise-friendly software solution at your fingertips for easy overview wall management, efficient collaboration and fastest decision making in and beyond any control room. This software suite provides operators and decision-makers with easy access to video, images and data, and allows them to connect to this information, to configure how and where it is displayed, and to collaborate in the most efficient way. Information can be grouped within perspectives, pushed to the large video wall, or shared with remote decision makers.

Enabling collaboration with remote experts

During escalated crisis situations, decisions need to be taken fast yet accurately. However, experts and decision makers are often not in the same location. The absence of collaboration can make the effectiveness of decisions uncertain. That is why Barco allows pushing a perspective (a layout of information sources) from the control room to one or more crisis rooms to consult remote experts or higher management. This situational awareness can be crucial information coming from the control room, data available on one of the attendees’ mobile devices, or any other available source. The ability to group all available information in real-time guarantees an efficient setting for the most effective decision-making.

Breaking out of the enterprise towards field workers

Often action takers are not located inside the premises of the enterprise and these field workers need “eyes on the situation out there”. Barco’s expanded offering allows to securely make situational awareness information available on almost any current generation mobile device (supporting HTML5). In other words, most devices that have a web browser and an internet connection (using WiFi, 3G, 4G, or LTE), can be used to view the required information. Enterprise-level security ensures company confidential operational information is protected.

Taking control rooms into the future

Control rooms have come a long way – and we have been a part of that history for a long time. But in order to keep on top of the game, we need to stay sensitive for the ever changing pain points of our key users: all the critical decision makers out there. What started in that classical control room with a single overview wall, has evolved into a distributed decision making process with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. With our renewed strategy, we are confident to empower critical infrastructure decision makers like never before – now AND into the future. Barco is empowering task operators to transform into business operators by enabling an operator experience like never before. Are you in?