Book Smart: how one of Italy’s biggest book distributors got Neat with video

Neat Board - photo Alessandro Della Savia

Luca Paleari, Chief Information Officer at Emmelibri, estimates that nearly half the books on sale in Italy at any given time will have passed through his company’s warehouses and logistics network. Emmelibri coordinates all the distribution, commercial and support services for Messaggerie Italiane, the Italian publishing giant which dates back to 1914. Emmelibri’s sister company, Gruppo editoriale Mauri Spagnol, publishes international bestsellers by the likes of Lee Child, Jonathan Safran Foer and Marie Kondo – and prides itself on introducing Harry Potter to Italy. Mr. Paleari tells us more…

How long have you been using Video Conferencing?

“We’ve been actively using video conferencing for over 10 years. It was prompted by some very senior people in the business wanting to relocate from Milan to Rome. We initially worked with a number of different platforms and devices but for cost and simplicity we shifted to Zoom in 2016. By the time the pandemic came along, we were already working well with Zoom.”


So, what led you to using Neat devices?

Previously, we would buy mini computers, cameras, speakers, microphones and displays. We were also using iPads as controllers and schedulers. When you work this way, there’s no guarantee all the devices are going to play nicely together. Plus, this method was very expensive, more or less €7,000 per room. With the old way of doing things, the cleaning people may have accidentally switched something off, then suddenly people are screaming a their assistants to call IT. So, we adopted Neat in 2019. We tried and tested other products,
but we definitely preferred Neat’s all-in-one designs. We love Neat, because it’s power on and it’s going to work, that’s it.

Was it love at first unboxing?

Yes, we fell in love with these devices for many reasons. The packaging is one. It’s so easy. You open up the box and you have all the instructions, the QR code, all the screwdrivers. It’s absolutely stunning. We fell in love with this approach, and then of course, with the devices.

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