- Mobile applications and certified hardware
- Document management system
- Software times out quickly
- Limited certified scanner product selection
Although the Neat Company made a name for itself with the since-discontinued Neat scanner, the product has evolved into a cloud solution for various industries.
Now, Neat’s products are comparable to most mainstream document management ecosystems like Google Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud.
Neat discontinued the manufacturing of the company’s private-label scanners in 2016. According to the company, they seek to “to partner with the leading manufacturers of scanning hardware to certify their devices, while we focus all of our efforts on our software.”
This approach has enabled the company to develop software for third-parties, enabling Neat to partner with companies like Brother, Panasonic, Canon, Fujitsu, and several other world-leading manufacturers of scanners and printers.
Provided the manufacturer’s native software and hardware is compatible with Neat’s document cloud, this arrangement leaves for product innovation on both fronts.
Purchasing certified hardware
Congressional offices need to purchase scanners that are Neat certified. The only downside to Neat’s accredited hardware strategy is the lack of compatible scanners. Several of the Neat-backed brands offer a limited number of certified components as a part of their product line.
For example, only three of the twelve scanners and 53 all-in-one printer-scanners provided by Brother are certified for Neat’s software.
Neat-certified scanners vary widely in price, ranging from $80 to well over $400. The pricing is entirely dependent on the brand, product, and availability, among others.
Cloud software and congressional certification
House Information Resources (HIR) certified Neat’s software and cloud solutions for secure congressional use. Senate certification is unknown.
The software itself is reasonably user-friendly but lacks stability during extensive use on desktop and mobile devices. Neat’s software ecosystem is simple, with various accessibility endpoints, a browser-based web portal, and installable software for Mac OS, Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems.
Once a user launches the application and enters the necessary login credentials, users can see scanned documents sourced by certified hardware and the mobile apps.
The A.I. behind this software simplifies data entry by extracting critical details from scanned documents and sorting it into an exportable database. Users can store most types of scanned documents in the Neat cloud platform and track records or export filtered data to PDF or Excel.
Desktop software stability
Neat is notorious for random software crashes on desktop devices. Though the application itself is continuously updated, the crashes persist, and frustrating users. The software times out way too often, forcing users out to a login page.
There is no workaround to this issue, unfortunately. Nevertheless, customer reviews indicate high user retention due to the company’s continued software development.
Neat sells its software through monthly and annual subscription plans and scalable user licenses. Neat’s “Lite” subscription plan is $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year with one user license.
The “Premium” subscription plan is $14.99 per month or $94.99 per year with two user licenses. The “Business” subscription plan is $24.99 or $199.99 per year with five user licenses. Premium and Business plans have 30-day free trial periods.
What we think
Neat is a software that could simplify key document management processes in congressional offices. For offices that choose to employ this House-approved platform, they need to keep in mind the need to purchase both the software and the necessary hardware to get the most out of the tool.