Date: 22nd August 2014
Xerocon Sydney kicked off this week with 1300 delegates gathered at The Dome in Sydney Olympic Park to hear the latest news about Xero and 82 exhibitors showing off their clever add-ons and services.
A common theme emerging from the speakers appeared be the changing future of business and technology. Here are some highlights from three inspirational speakers on day one.
“My, there are a lot of you,” Rod said as he looked out over the 1300 delegates in the packed hall. “It wasn’t that long ago there were four people in a very smelly apartment in Wellington, and we had a Xero conference and there were only 25 people.”
Xero now has 900 staff and Rod praised their talents and enthusiasm. “I’m pretty sure if I applied for a job at Xero I wouldn’t get one – it’s very hard to get in,” he said.
He noted that Xero had the same sort of growth rates as some of the best companies in the world. It’s hit $100 million in revenue outside of the US, and this is because of its success in selling to small business, thanks to Xero’s relationships with accountants and bookkeepers. “Accounting software is the key to getting businesses onto all this advanced technology,” Rod said.
There are a number of innovations in the pipeline. For example Xero is working with Veda to expand its business verification service into seamless credit checking. And deeper data will help accelerate small business lending, and accountants could become part of the loan, using their customer relationship to drive down their risk profile, Rod said.
At the Xero developers day Rod Drury announced “We want to move away from just recording the transactions to be more involved the business. The step before recording a job is managing it on the fly. Xero will be moving in there so make sure you can still add value.”
“The types of things you’re doing into the future are going to evolve,” Michael told the audience. “I suspect that for many of you, you’ll become business advisors. Small businesses look to you as a trusted guide.”
As more customers move onto cloud-based accounting, accountants and bookkeepers will form deeper relationships with them and become more valuable. They can also bring insights to small businesses on how to leverage technology.
He highlighted the potential of the cloud to enhance relationships with customers. “You transfer the power into the hands of the person you’re serving then all of a sudden you have a much more intimate relationship,” he said.
Digital is not about technology, it is not a department in your business – it is a culture that must run through every single one of your businesses to create great experiences for your customers”. Chris Riddell
He outlined how many of the world’s most innovative and successful companies have put customers at the heart of what they do: Apple with the App Store, Uber by letting customers book their own rides, and Netflix by providing video on demand, not when TV stations decide you can watch something.
There are three things businesses have to do to thrive and survive in this fast-changing environment:
More about Xerocon Auckland earlier this year
More about the Xero and the future of business