19 maart 2020   134   10 min

Discovering neXboard - the digital whiteboard solution

Legamaster believes in an ecosystem approach to offer our customers best-in-class solutions. Today, we would like you to meet neXenio, a Berlin-based software company that developed the digital whiteboard neXboard. To discuss the philosophy behind neXboard and neXenio’s take on mastering the digital transformation, we spoke to Harald Fladischer, Head of Sales & Marketing at neXenio.

Can you briefly explain what neXenio does?
The name "neXenio" comes from Nexus, which is Latin for ‘connect’. This is reflected in the way we connect the world of research with end-user scenarios. The company was founded out of the software engineering track at the renowned Hasso-Plattner institute in Germany, because the founders Patrick Hennig and Philipp Berger were astonished that a lot of promising research projects were never developed into real products. That sparked the idea to start a company that does exactly that with a focus on solutions in the field of Collaboration, New Work and Security. We currently have 58 employees and 45 of them are software developers - so basically, we are a software factory. neXboard is our very first software solution. It is a software-as-a-service solution that is, of course, still evolving, as software is all about continuous improvement.

How would you describe neXboard in 5 keywords?
The first keyword is definitely (1) digital whiteboard. The second one is a simple solution for (2) successful virtual collaboration, because you only need an internet connection and a browser to start working with your neXboard. The third keyword is (3) offline to online. Take a picture of your offline work and transform offline sticky notes to online sticky notes without any documentation hurdles.The fourth one is all about the topic (4) from creative to structured. Brainstorm sessions often start with a lot of ideas that need to be categorized and structured along the way. The last essential keyword is (5) security, because neXboard is ‘made in Germany’ and the data is stored in Germany.

"We see that professionals often have smartphones, tablets and laptops loaded with programs, but are lacking the right tools to visualize their ideas and collaborate in real-time."

You mentioned successful virtual collaboration. Why is that a challenge for teams?
It is a big challenge for teams to collaborate virtually with an experience that equals or exceeds that of a face-to-face meeting. This starts to become a major challenge, because a lot of teams are not working in the same physical space anymore. We see that professionals often have smartphones, tablets and laptops loaded with programs, but are lacking the right tools to visualize their ideas and collaborate in real-time. In face-to-face meetings, an astonishing 75% of people actually draw something on a flipchart, if there is one in the meeting room, hinting that visualization helps to bridge differences in culture, age or language.

How do you see the role of the employer in solving this problem?
This problem is a vital part of the digital transformation companies are facing right now. In fact, I see it as a shared responsibility - there is definitely work to be done by the employers including making sure that there is a good internet connection everywhere and facilitating easy-to-use, secure software in combination with the right hardware – at an individual level and also in meeting rooms. But it also needs professionals, so-called early adaptors, who are eager to try new tools to make this work. You always need a few people in your organisation, who are willing to embrace new tools and show these to their co-workers to also spark their interest.

You also mentioned the keyword offline-to-online. Does this keyword relate to the documentation part after a meeting?
Transforming from offline to online is indeed a big challenge. The problem is that, if teams have worked something out on a whiteboard or flipchart, they typically take photos to document their work and share these pictures with the team, but the content is not available to actually work with online. It is inefficient to sit down and manually digitize the work. Very often, nobody does that, which means that a lot of work is in fact lost.

How does neXboard solve this offline-to-online challenge?
After working offline, you can simply take a picture with your smartphone camera. Say, for example, you had a brainstorming session with sticky notes on a whiteboard. You can then simply take a picture and the neXboard software automatically recognizes the notes and instantly makes a digital copy that you can move around and edit. I absolutely love this feature, because ever since I turned 40, I have become more conscious of time. I actively ask myself: ‘How do I spend time and where can I save time?’. This is a perfect example of that!

Is that also your favorite neXboard feature or do you have another favorite?
I love the offline-to-online feature, but my all-time favorite is the possibility to easily invite someone to the board that I am working on. I can simply click on the ‘plus’ sign in the corner, share the link and instantly start collaborating in real-time.

Can anyone use neXboard or are there special technical requirements?
There are two basic requirements: an internet connection and a browser. That means I can open it on any smartphone, tablet, PC or e-screen with an internet connection and a browser. And I need one person with a user license access. All the others only need a device with an internet connection and a browser.

How does this relate to your mission as a company?
My personal motto is 'turn thinking into doing' and that is what we also aim for here at neXenio. We really like to solve challenges with the ultimate goal of making life easier for professionals. We see that there are two distinct types of people - early adaptors, who are very much at ease with new solutions, and people who are struggling to catch up. We want to close this gap by making it easy for everyone. That’s why we make it as simple and secure as possible to use our solutions by removing all the barriers. That’s also the reason why we collaborate with companies like Legamaster to offer all-in-one solutions to our customers.