Interview: Jason MacBride, Neat


Thursday, 14 December, 2023

Interview: Jason MacBride, Neat

After years of extensive disruption, will 2024 see the dust settle or can we expect the same rate of change?

The dust shows no sign of settling anytime soon.

As we know, the last few years have led organisations the world over to adapt and re-adapt to rapid change. Optimising hybrid work with certain technologies and processes has been a big focus and shows no signs of slowing down.

Organisations are actively planning for their next-generation workforce and how to bring people together both physically and virtually in a way that is seamless. Now, it’s about creating meeting equity for all: ensuring everyone can be seen and heard, regardless of their location.

We’re seeing huge growth driven by customers looking beyond traditional videoconferencing solutions for tools that are aligned to their hybrid workforces. Within a healthcare setting this might include mobile video carts that can move with the patient. Within a council department this may include video booths to improve citizen communication.

Is on-premise officially dead? Where is cloud headed in the year ahead and what are the implications for government?

Many government organisations still have some on-premises infrastructure that is not easy to lift and shift. While change management can be overwhelming, to put it bluntly, cloud is more capable than on-premise and those making the transition are reaping benefits.

The ability to leverage the cloud for enhanced productivity, functionality and ease of use is paramount. As such, we offer in-built cloud management and monitoring capabilities, and we see this as reflective of the broader cloud trend.

Looking forward, we anticipate that cloud will enable other capabilities, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, with an emphasis on equity and accessibility. Ideal for those who are hard of hearing or have visual impairments, for example.

Machine learning, AI and automation have grabbed the headlines — what separates the hype from reality in terms of useful application?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can improve experiences and amplify what organisations can do. This shouldn’t be scary: used in the right way, this technology can help us make informed decisions faster. It also allows for moving away from repetitive tasks to those that are deemed higher value.

Across the board everyone is curious about what these technologies can do. Some are moving with caution, and others jumping right in. The biggest impact so far is on small problems. If you can take a small problem, but it touches many individuals, and utilise smart technology to remove the problem, the output of that is substantial, improving many lives.

In the context of video collaboration, AI is helping us and our partners such as Zoom and Microsoft to automate mundane tasks like transcribing.

Privacy, data security and the exceptional customer experience — can they coexist?

They can absolutely coexist.

Some of the most secure government locations on the planet are using technologies that are connected to cloud-based platforms, and these devices are delivering some of the most critical important meetings in the world at any given time.

For instance, Neat devices are being used by the President of the United States and the staff in the White House. To reach this level of security clearance, we’ve had to invest in R&D efforts to ensure we’re delivering products that are not only capable but extremely secure.

Jason MacBride, Neat’s Regional Director for Australia and New Zealand, leads the expansion of Neat in the region, ensuring that clients and partners maximise the benefits of their Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Teams Rooms. With over two decades of experience, he is a seasoned solutions specialist with expertise spanning multiple industries.

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