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Exclusive: How Neat continues to challenge the status quo
Fri, 25th Aug 2023

Neat is a pioneering Norwegian video technology company that continues to challenge the status quo, addressing the complexities of today’s modern workplace with radically simple and flexible video solutions. 

Neat’s devices are designed to allow users to meet, create and collaborate whenever, wherever and however they want and natively support Microsoft Teams, Zoom and a range of compelling business applications. 

To learn more about the company and what they do, TechDay spoke with Niko Walraven, who is the Regional Director for APAC & ANZ at Neat.

Who is Neat, and what do you do?

Neat changed the game when it first burst onto the scene back in 2019. The problem then was around “can you see me, can you hear me?”. As remote and hybrid work took precedence, businesses wanted smarter solutions that would enable better collaboration and make meetings more productive and engaging. 

The company entered the video communications market with a revolutionary new way to solve these meeting room challenges. Its focus was creating true meeting equity – ensuring everyone can be seen and heard, regardless of their location, with simplicity and reliability at its core.

This, in turn, inspired people to use video in ways no one could have imagined. For example, the Neat Bar Pro packs a stack of technology into a slimline form factor, making it a perfect fit for modern office and co-working spaces. Its exceptional audio and video quality delivers an immersive meeting experience that gives true meeting equity. Everyone is visually present, regardless of whether they are at the far end of the room or sitting near the camera. 

Yesterday’s rigid solutions simply don’t meet the needs of today’s hybrid workforce. Neat focuses on designing engaging experiences that allow its customers to meet, create and collaborate whenever, wherever and however they want. 

As the office becomes the destination for collaboration, users are looking for a much simpler way to use their collaboration applications within meeting spaces. 

Video tools like the Neat Board 50 allow organisations to do just that. Soon to be available in ANZ (by year-end), the Neat Board 50 is a movable, all-in-one collaboration solution that goes beyond video and audio and acts as a digital canvas or any creative or collaborative session. 

This is yet another example of Neat’s elegantly designed product portfolio that enables complete adaptability and freedom of flexibility to work in any space, even creating space within a space where needed. 

“Yesterday’s rigid solutions no longer meet the needs of today’s workforce. As the office becomes the destination for collaboration, workers crave a simpler way to use their collaboration applications in the meeting space. Just as the cell phone evolved from just making phone calls to smartphones with limitless capabilities, Neat is also changing the game to make video devices supremely flexible with limitless collaboration capabilities,” says Niko Walraven, Regional Director, APAC & ANZ, Neat.

Does Neat use artificial intelligence in its solutions?

AI is hugely valuable when it comes to transforming the user experience in video conferencing. Already, AI is being used in everyday functions for video conferencing, including automated transcripts, virtual backgrounds, improved audio quality, facial recognition and more. 

Neat has incorporated this feature and taken it to the next level on its patented device, Neat Symmetry, a revolutionary development in video smart room technology and unique to Neat – it goes back to earlier regarding creating meeting equity.

Making virtual meetings feel almost as real as meeting face-to-face, Neat Symmetry combines advanced AI with a high-resolution sensor to detect everyone in the meeting room, zooming in to individually pinpoint and auto-frame each person, then presenting them up close on remote participants’ screens. 

Who are Neat’s customers, and does Neat have partners?

Neat devices are smart and equipped with features that are easy to set up, thanks to Neat Pulse, a cloud-based service providing simple and reliable control across Neat spaces.  

Being Norwegian, they are beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing. This attracts attention from architects and workplace designers who want sleek hybrid technology solutions for their customers that are future-proof, and this continues to be an important market for the company.

As an increasing number of companies commit to a hybrid future, customers’ pain points are also shifting with the rise and complexity of video collaboration. For many of Neat customers today, the conversation is firmly focused on creating meeting equity for all. For the product designers at Neat – this means creating simple yet elegant video devices that create inclusive experiences.  

“What Neat offers in terms of design, simplicity and workforce optimisation is unparalleled. Its solutions enhance collaboration and productivity for customers and transform the way people work and engage with their digital and physical workplace,” continues Walraven.

Take the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RCAS) for example. With members of the not-for-profit regularly using offices for training, workshops, exams and networking events, RCAS needed a video collaboration solution that was highly flexible, intuitive and easy to use with BYOD functionality. 

RACS installed Neat Boards with wheeled floor stands, running Microsoft Teams in their meeting rooms so they can quickly move them around different spaces when required. The company’s Neat Symmetry feature presents everyone in the meeting room equally up close as if in the same room, enabling conversations to be natural and free-flowing.

This seamless integration of Neat devices, which simplified setting up video meetings, allowed RACS members to focus on what really matters – their work as surgeons.  

Exemplified by this, hybrid ways of working are here to stay. Today’s modern hybrid office is constantly evolving to suit the way employees want to work, and this is really exciting. In fact, according to Frost & Sullivan, 49% of enterprises use two or more video collaboration platforms, with 21% planning to add more solution providers to the mix. 

Businesses need to provide their teams with the flexibility and video technology to collaborate where and how they want. Unfortunately, most solutions on the market today still don’t support this. 

As for Neat’s work with partners, Walraven added, “We are focused on optimising the entire channel ecosystem in the Australia and New Zealand region, and the wider APAC region, to meet the significant demand for our Zoom and Microsoft Teams enabled solutions. We are looking to build a diverse customer base including large scale enterprises and government organisations through to entrepreneurial start-ups and small businesses.”