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The rise of Xero’s cloud integrator channel

Lately we’ve seen a new channel start to rise in our ecosystem: cloud integrators. Cloud integrators are specialists who support small business owners as they implement Xero with some of our many Add-on Partners. The result is a perfect cloud solution to run their businesses.

One of the benefits of the cloud is you can piece together the perfect solution for your business using best-in-class or best of breed apps, instead of using one vendor offering a compromised solution trying to be everything to everyone. This means it’s important to get it right up front and if you’re not an expert on what’s available, that’s where a cloud integrator can help.

Productivity Plus

Chris Ridd, our AU Managing Director spoke about the cloud integrator channel at #xerocon 2013 and he believes that this channel will play a major part in helping Xero Partners and small businesses move their businesses into the cloud with ease. With that in mind, it was great to present this new channel at a nationwide roadshow run by Express Online. The roadshow ran across two weeks, covering Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and gave us the perfect opportunity to springboard the project to bring cloud integrators into the extended Xero family.

Working with our add-on partners Vend & Geo-Op, we presented how our solutions work together and showed potential integrators the new way that small businesses can create efficiency. The roadshow helped us to begin recruiting cloud integrators from the best IT resellers and technology gurus from around Australia. And following on from the roadshow we have partnered with some highly skilled and motivated tech companies from around the country.

What we learned

The great thing about cloud integrators is the way they create a sustainable future for IT resellers who traditionally sold software in a box. With software moving into the cloud, the reseller role needs to evolve. And that’s where cloud integrators come in. Rather than sell boxes of software, cloud integrators can offer sets of cloud solutions. Through their specialist expertise in a specific software application or industry, they can provide a complete functional solution.

They also they give existing accounting and bookkeeping Partners the ability to focus on their strengths. The cloud integrators can get clients set up with Xero and other cloud solutions, while their accountant takes on the ongoing support and consulting that they do best.

If you’re in Australia, you can see a list of local Cloud Integrators. Australia is just the beginning though – as cloud adoption rises around the world, so does demand for integration services. If you want to be among the first in your area, get in touch with us at sales@xero.com. Someone from the  team will be in touch with you to explain the process to help you get onboard.

 

Read more about Accountants, cloud accounting

 

18 comments

Gayle Buchanan
21 January 2014 #

Fabulous Aussie has a cloud integrator tab on the Xero Website… can’t wait till NZ gets one too – just loving the cloud integrations side of my business – LOVE cutting down the business owners hours with software – win win for all of us

Derek Draper
21 January 2014 #

What a great concept! Would love to see this replicated to attract new Xero partners and small business users in the US as well.

Clinton Cowin
21 January 2014 #

Great article Mark. TradiePad is super proud to be one of the original Cloud Integrators, the revolution has begun and we’re stoked that we’re able to help drive the progression of the entire Trades and Services industry. This will be a very important year for Small Business around the globe.

Sandra Hunter
22 January 2014 #

Is this what Cloudxenta does? I got an email from them recently. It sounds like a great concept but I wonder if the integrators will be truly impartial and recommend the right products for each business or whether they will get incentives to push certain Add-ons over others?

Evielyn Chapman
22 January 2014 #

This is such a great move on Xero’s behalf. I work with a lot of small businesses who want to move to the cloud, but are overwhelmed with the choices. Xero is often the first cloud software they are using & when they realise it can integrate with so many other services they are keen to jump on board. It’s a great space to be in & very exciting times ahead!

Evielyn Chapman

Mark Harris
22 January 2014 #

Thanks Clinton. I look forward to working with you in the new world of Cloud Integrators

Mark Harris
22 January 2014 #

Hi Sandra. I’m not across Cloudxenta and what they do. We are vetting the Cloud Integrators so they are specialist’s in a specific software application or industry, they can provide a complete functional solution for clients within their preferred industries. I hope this helps

Teresa Johnson
22 January 2014 #

This is a welcome and natural evolution in the cloud industry. As a Xero bookkeeper, I often get asked to setup both Xero and Add-Ons together which I choose not to do so I can specialise in my favourite areas. I always pass this work on which I am happy to do and having a directory of specialists to field this work out to will be great. We knew this would come, a simple case of supply following demand and an exciting area for bookkeepers and IT specialists to diverge into if they wish. Individuals can really tailor their own job market – love it!

Tony Lorge
22 January 2014 #

@Sandra … Cloudxenta provides a fantastic way of being able to find a range of add-ons quickly and easily in one place. We are completely impartial as to what product is offered – the best product for purpose will always be the product of choice ! Also, we do not sell directly but rather work with the channel to build appropriate solutions and, if needed, we will then also assist you with the sales and implementation processes.

Ryan
22 January 2014 #

Would love to see cloud integrators tab for the US. As Vend & Geo Op integrators in the US, this could be a great way to know we are out there. This is still new territory here and I certainly feel that IT in the cloud is the future. I have a fantastic relationship with our preferred Xero accountant partner and I am looking forward to working with more US Xero accountants in the future!

Adam
23 January 2014 #

Is there a Cloud Integrator looking at the Childcare Industry that anyone knows of?? We are keen to look at Deputy for Payroll, Xero (already using) and integrating it with our Childcare Program??

Russell du Plessis
23 January 2014 #

This is certainly the future. Combining the appropriate on-line services and reporting tools allows the accountant to leverage himself / herself from bean-counter to solution provider. We can provide more efficient administration, timeous business information that facilitates better and faster decision making.

Jeri Murphy
24 January 2014 #

Great article Mark. What I love most about the Cloud Integrators is that there is a real sense of working together and helping each other. I think this is a true testament to the culture of Xero and expererienced by users and partners worldwide.

The key concept behind cloud integrators is that we focus on being great at what we do so the accountants and bookkeepers can be great at what they do. As a cloud integrator myself, I am in regular contact with other Cloud Integrators to pass work on that I am not comfortable with. We can’t all do everything and we know that.

The other aspect is that there are ever-growing choices available in the Add-On market. So much information to process and so little time. That is why I created to Xero Add-On Expo to share the knowledge we are all struggling to get to make the right decision. Can’t wait to see the Cloud Integrator platform grow with more great businesses who love Xero.

Mark Harris
24 January 2014 #

Thanks for all of your comments. Just a reminder you can view all the current Cloud Integrators here http://www.xero.com/au/advisors/?country=au&service=cloud-integrators if you have any specific questions you can email me directly at mark.harris(at)xero.com

Cameron
28 January 2014 #

Do you think that you are spreading yourself too thin if you act as an accounting/bookkeeping firm and also provide integrated solutions for your clients? This is what I’m struggling with as I rebrand my company.

Mark Harris
28 January 2014 #

@cameron the idea behind the Cloud Integrator channel is to align Xero Partners with Cloud Integrators. An Accounting or Bookkeeping firm can offer integration services by all means but we will only list your business once on the Xero website partner listings so its really up to you where you feel your primary focus will be. If this integration rather than Accounting or Bookkeeping let me know & I will deal with your enquiry

Diane Crawford-Errington
29 January 2014 #

Love the partnerships SAAS is creating – working together for the good of all business’s. Cloud integration is a great thing, very exciting, and the only way forward. As a bookkeeper, we can’t be great at all add on’s available. Great work guys, keep it up.

Trish Reeve
15 August 2014 #

If only @Xero were really supporting the “Cloud Integrator”.
I’m a solo cloud integrator – soon to be officially partnered with over 15 different applications – no, I don’t want to do the bookkeeping, I’m not an accountant… I want to find out what the business needs in the Xero Ecosystem – offer it to them with a full explanation of how it works (and possibly some examples so they can *see* it for themselves), set it up, train them (their staff, their bookkeeper and even their accountant) and then move on to the next client.
Hopefully retaining the subscriptions along the way – no, it doesn’t pay much in “side income” so providing a support retainer based on a number of hours per month is an additional feature to help them through any niggly issues that might come up at any time.
But @Xero doesn’t want to provide pure Cloud Integrators with Partner access – meaning I would lost my subscription with all the clients that I have obtained during that time. Thankfully, I still have a few clients that I *do* bookkeep for.. and thus can legitimately keep my subscription in the bookkeeping field – but it’s absolutely NOT where I want to be, but to keep my partner status, it’s where I am forced.
This feels quite unfair! :(
I have personally seen that this business model works (a lot of small/micro businesses don’t have the funds for their own accountant every month and want to do it all themselves – I simply provide the opportunity to make it happen). A lot of bookkeepers and accountants are more focused on the numbers, in getting the reports out, in lodging BAS and IAS and all the stuff that I really do not want to be doing.
So, I beg of @Xero to rethink their claim to support – and really DO support us. If the partners are giving us their “stamp of approval” and we are legitimately trained in apps… don’t you see that we provide a service unlike any other?

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