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Xero partners with British Telecom

This morning we announced we had signed a reseller arrangement with British Telecom.

Leading online accounting solution provider Xero, announces it has entered a reseller agreement with UK telecommunications giant British Telecom Group plc.

Xero will offer its award-winning service to BT small business customers via their business applications service portal.

Xero was selected after an extensive evaluation process to be made available to BT’s over 1.7 million small business customers.

Over the next two months Xero will complete integration with the BT platform. The solution will be available around July.

We’ve been working on this for a long time. Hamish in the UK especially, who has been driving this forward.

We’re really proud that we’ve been able to build a relationship with the incumbent telecommunications carrier in all the markets we currently have a presence. Telecom in NZ, Telstra in Australia and now BT in the UK.

On top of that we have technical and marketing relationships with most of the major banks in NZ and Australia.

This has been a key strategy of ours since the early days. Our model was to build a multi-disclipined team of around 50 including senior people that could deliver these international business partnerships.

As we’ve always said, SaaS is not about software. It’s about building a complete business: application, operational excellence, customer support and business development.

It’s also important that we had the financial credibility to be able to partner with these sort of companies. It does take a huge amount of effort and commitment to get to a deal like this. Smaller companies just don’t have the resources to have their most senior teams work on these types of opportunities. It was also important that we had the Balance Sheet strength to be able to invest in the relationship and provide comfort we would be around for a while.

So what do these relationships mean? Eventually we hope they will mean lots and lots of customers but in our experience this is just the start. There is a lot of work involved to win the hearts and minds of internal marketing people. We do know that these relationships provide a lot of credibility to other stakeholders like our accountant partners.

We do believe we are entering into an exciting shift where telecommunications carriers become a primary channel for enabling solutions to the massive consumer and small business markets. The rise of the NetBook and richer phones will see a shift in carrier focus up from pipes to the high value services that can be delivered over those networks.

Thank you to the BT staff who helped us through the process. We’re looking forward to working more closely with you.

 

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11 comments

Ivan
11 May 2009 #

Congratulations Xero in building relationship with British Telecom.

Jim Donovan
11 May 2009 #

A huge coup, Rod. BT has been building a more complete SME business ICT offering for some time now, with a clear marketing pitch. This news affirms that focus. Shall I order the yacht now?

[...] good news keeps coming at Kiwi online accounting  firm Xero, which has announced a partnership with BT, the leading UK telecommunications company.  Xero shares, already lifted by MYOB founder Craig [...]

James Murfin
12 May 2009 #

Congratulations! Fantastic to see the news public, you’ve worked hard to make this happen. Now the real work begins!

We’re excited too of course, talk soon :-)

Keith
12 May 2009 #

Congratulations to the team.
And nice coverage in the business section of the Dominion Post today.

Martin Gatehouse
20 May 2009 #

Another great step forward and this above all things previously will put Xero on the ‘competitive landscape’ amongst the ‘big market share’ accounting software providers …

[...] have announced a big capital raising and a number of new marketing partnerships, won some prestigious awards, and most importantly have signed up lots of new paying [...]

David
1 May 2012 #

Hi – I was looking for this on the BT website. Has this finished?

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