Norwegian Startup Neat Aims To Take Zoom, Microsoft Teams Meetings ‘To The Next Level’
Joseph F. Kovar
‘We really started this company to take this industry to the next level and really deliver the best experience with Zoom. So we really worked very closely with Zoom on the engineering side, the product development side, as well as the market side, to deliver on that,’ says Neat CEO Simen Teigre.
So you started off with Zoom, and you’ve just brought in a relationship with Microsoft Teams. How about future relationships with say Google Meet or Cisco WebEx? Any plans to expand?
If you look at cloud-connected video rooms, Microsoft and Zoom have about 75 percent of market. But I would not preclude us working with other partners as well. But we want to make sure that we deliver a great quality solution to our customers. That’s why we focused on Zoom initially and on making sure that is a tight and delightful experience. And now we’re doing the same thing with Microsoft to make sure that the Teams experience is great on our devices as well. We’ll see in the future what happens with other potential partnerships.
When will the Teams connectivity be available for the market?
That’s in process now. We’re working on certification with Microsoft. We will have products supporting that by the end of the year. It’s going to be a software upgrade for all of our products, and the customer could then choose if they want to buy Neat devices for Zoom or Neat devices for Teams. And then it’ll be available on the Neat Bar, which is [our] best-selling product, as well as the Neat Board. And then we’re also bringing out a number of new products. These are the Neat Bar Pro, the bigger brother of the Neat Bar, as well as the Neat Frame, a personal device, and Neat One, a video peripheral for the PC, later this year. And all of these products will also be certified to support Teams.
Will the hardware be able to switch between Zoom and Teams with just a flick of a button or something?
It’s basically something the IT administrator would do. You set the system up in the Zoom mode or Teams mode and then you run the room in that setting. It’s not something you can flip between meetings, but it’s something that you do as you set the system.