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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.

How big is your North America business? Can you quantify that at all?
Well, we’re not sharing numbers as such, but I can say that we’ve shipped 43,000 devices in one-and-a-half years. And 70 percent of that business has gone to North America.

When I say devices, that’s the Neat Bar and the Neat Pad and the Neat Board. Those are the three products we’ve been shipping and are shipping. We added the Neat Board in October last year. So it’s been amazing. The U.S. is clearly our biggest market and where we have the most traction, but we’re also growing very fast across the globe.

What part of your revenue goes through indirect channels?
The majority of our business is going through the channel. We launched our channel program in October last year. But even prior to that, we were working with channel partners to fulfill our customer requirements. We closed our first enterprise deals in February of 2020 when we first started shipping our product. So we’ve been working with the channel unofficially all this time. We made it official in October last year. And now we’re extending it again to include distribution partners as well. We’ve had tremendous success with the channel. Our customers are asking to get their Neat products through the channel and be supported and serviced by the channel. This is something that we are doubling down on now.

We’ve had tremendous growth, as I said. But we also see that if we really want to scale this business, the way to do it is with a channel-first strategy. Channel is in our DNA. I mean, our founder, the former CEO of Tandberg, was all channels. And O.J. Winge, who was also running products. I was at Tandberg. All of the stuff I’ve done at Tandberg, Cisco, all channels. I started Pexip and ran that company as CEO. Pure channel model. ...

Last year when we launched our channel program, we brought on-board an old friend and a good colleague of ours, Rick Snyder, who did global channels for Cisco for many years. He also worked at Tandberg with us back in the day. We brought him on our board of directors to help us with our channel strategy. So we’re fully committed to that. [Channels are] all we’ve done our entire careers and that’s our number one opportunity now to grow this business.

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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