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Xerocon Sydney 2013 – Day 1 Live!

Here we are at Xerocon Sydney 2013. What an amazing location at the Australian Technology Park.

Xerocon Australia entrance

I caught up with our CEO Rod Drury before the conference started and he was saying how in the beginning they dreamed that one day we’d have conferences in multiple countries, with multiple streams, guest speakers and a big trade show.

Well it happened. Xerocon Sydney is kicking off with over 900 people and a massive trade show. We believe this is a little bit larger than the Microsoft Australian partner Conference last week and believe it is also Australia’s biggest accounting conference.

Xerocon Australia Day 1

We’re live blogging today and tomorrow with loads of pictures and posts, so check back regularly. Follow twitter activity on #xerocon or see the #xerocon wall on Also, there’s loads more photos during the day in our flickr album

Next door there are 53 exhibitors, which is massive.

Arriving at Xerocon Australia

Looking around the exhibition stands the breadth of solutions and services is incredible – from the full range of Add-ons to integrators and technology services.

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Xerocon Sydney 2013 – Developer Day

Xerocon Develoer Day 2

We are now past halfway at another record-breaking developer day at a Xerocon conference, with over 200 attendees at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney.

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Total Synergy: Practice management software for designers

Xero Add-on Total SynergyXero add-on partner Total Synergy provides business management software for designers. This means the architecture, engineering and construction design industry (AEC) has more time to do what it loves: design!

Synergy software makes it easier for AEC businesses to manage projects more efficiently, accurately and profitably. Because Total Synergy is software for designers, it has a whole bunch of industry-specific features and management tools. These include project and account management, document management, drawing register and transmittals, resource and capacity planning, contract administration and loads more. That means more time for design!

Synergy Cloud Services gives AEC professionals flexibility with online access to timesheets, contacts, projects, support and accounts via mobile, tablet or desktop with Synergy Cloud App.

How Total Synergy works with Xero

Synergy and Xero integration allows seamless, synchronized transfer of data from Synergy Practice Management to Xero to provide a single point of entry of all project related financial documents. Synchronized data includes invoices, supplier and sub-consultant invoices, staff expenses and contact information. It also includes invoice payments sent to or retrieved from Xero.

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Rate your Add-ons

Last week we released a new feature in the Xero community: Add-on reviews.

As the variety of Add-ons that integrate with Xero grows, customers and partners are asking for more information to help decide those that work best for them. In fact one of our most common requests from partners was helping them in the discovery of quality add-ons.

Add-on reviews is the first piece of this project and it marks an important step in the Add-on journey. It strengthens the community connections between Xero customers, partners and Add-on providers, letting everyone have their say on how well Add-ons work with Xero.

Add-on Reviews

In just the first week, we have seen some fantastic participation with over 150 reviews submitted, and some healthy competition between Add-on partners on who can get the most customers reviewing:

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Live blogging at WDCNZ 2013

Here we go again at Web Developer Conference New Zealand (WDCNZ) – tech talks for web devs! All the action is happening at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington with over 380 participants, well up on last year.

Your live bloggers today, thanks Xero dev team, are Tokes, Liam, Craig and Owen. That’s Owen Williams not Owen Evans the WDCNZ organiser, but thanks to the latter Owen for organising, along with Charlotte Hinton of course.

Jason Naylor from We Do Photography is official photographer. We’ll post some here with more ending up on Flickr. Video will be available on vimeo.

You can follow the conference on Twitter with hashtag #WDCNZ. Sponsor from the Hawkes Bay, will be presenting tweets, facebook posts and instagram pics as they happen on the big screen and the web using their exciting cloud software.

Let’s get in a mention of the rest of the sponsors – Xero, Heyday, 3Months, Github, Rackspace, Wellington City Council, TradeMe, LilRegie and Campaign Monitor – check out their details.

All the programme details and speaker information are on the WDCNZ website

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Go fast, go global – Developer Day Sydney

We know from our own experiences, that moving from a local to a global stage is not without it’s challenges. This is why the focus of Developer Day at this year’s Xerocon Australia at the end of August is all about growing globally.

Our customer base has been growing dramatically in Australia, and it’s great to see Australian Add-on partners leveraging that growth. And given the Xero API opens up your products to Xero customers anywhere in the world, it makes sense to also go after the global market.

Small businesses in Xero markets
Map of the world showing the number of small businesses in Xero markets

Selling overseas is already a trait of our most successful Australian Add-on partners: the top 5 have an average of 45% of their customers based overseas. Not just across the Tasman either – USA & UK figure strongly in these numbers.

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Dining with geeks, girl geeks

Girl Geek Dinners was established in London in 2005. The New Zealand chapter has been running for a couple of years now, and Xero recently got involved with sponsoring a New Zealand event. The concept is an evening of three inspiring women speakers who are either a business, technical, or creative type of geek.

I first heard about the Auckland Girl Geek Dinners on twitter and was unsure if I would qualify, I’ve really only considered myself a ‘wannabe’ geek. However inclusivity is the core value of the organization – “to be geeky is to be intelligent, have a passion for a subject and to know that subject in depth”. I AM a geek! I spend my days geekily creating videos used for training and in the Xero help center.

Shona Grundy, founder of Trigger Happy

Tuesday night was the most recent event of the Auckland chapter, held at a gorgeous intimate venue, which filled up fairly early on with interesting women – as well as a few male guests. I met geeks of all types; start-up founders, IT consultants, lawyers, designers, database specialists, some like me had been to prior events, some were new to the concept. Enthusiasm abounded.

The evening’s speakers provided a good balance of career types – Shona Grundy, founder of Trigger Happy, Courtney Johnston director of The Dowse Art Museum and Dr Michelle Dickinson Nano-technologist, all talked about their personal career journeys, challenges they faced, and their vision for women in business.

Now I’m, almost, a ‘woman of a certain age’ and over the years have worked in a broad range of industries, many male dominated. The tech industry, despite it being very nimble and new, still manages to harbor some old school biases I’d previously only seen in old-school-entrenched industries. It’s mind boggling to think in this day and age there are still some workplaces, or conferences, which aren’t inclusive nor consider the benefits to being so. This is why Girl Geek Dinners exist, a place where women can talk openly about what they do, what they’re passionate about and can share knowledge and life learnings.

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Xero school for mobile developers will rock!

Logo of Xero school for mobile developers

Mobile is the next big wave, already rocking small businesses. And we want to go much faster. We just aren’t seeing enough mobile developers coming through so we asked ourselves: how do we help people who can code, and want to work in mobile, but can’t demonstrate experience or point to apps they’ve built?

So we’re setting up a night school in our Wellington office with the team at App School to help developers who want to transition to mobile development but don’t know how.

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Integrating with New Zealand tourism

Nearly one in ten people in New Zealand are employed in tourism, so it is no surprise that compatible Add-ons for the industry are a hot topic.

So we are delighted to announce our latest partner in the sector, Tomahawk, who have recently completed integration of their ResBook accommodation booking software with Xero.

The ResBook application allows you to manage your reservations and rates, create invoices, market and distribute to the world’s most popular travel sites, work with agents and take payments – all seamlessly integrated with Xero.

New Zealand tourism – Rock the Boat Cruises

Rock the Boat Cruises

ResBook is fantastic for those that have a single holiday home, a boutique lodge, or a motel/hotel (up to 40 rooms) – it is even suitable for property managers with up to a hundred apartments!

This integration is already paying dividends for our joint customers, such as Rock the Boat Cruises in the Bay of Islands.

“It’s easy to do and it makes your life easier! Just do it. It has been the single biggest improvement we have made to our business systems this year and we love it,” says Sarah Greener, Director, Rock The Boat Cruises.
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Introducing Add-ons for Payroll in Xero

The end of the Australian financial year is also an opportunity for a fresh start, integrating Payroll in Xero with other applications like timesheets, rostering and WHS.

We’ve been working with Add-on partners during the development of the new Xero Payroll API to make sure you’ve got some great options.

Here is a round-up of some of our partners that can already be connected with Payroll in Xero, all available from the Xero Add-on directory.

Enable HR add-onEnableHR
EnableHR streamlines workplace management – manage and record everyday Human Resource, Contractor and Work Health Safety compliance obligations.

“We think the release of Xero Payroll API is a huge step forward and the new functionality will make it even easier for business owners and Xero partners to streamline accounting, payroll and HR – drastically reducing administration for business owners, their accountants or their bookkeepers,” says Richard Breden, Managing Director, enableHR.

Find out more about EnableHR.

Deputy add-onDeputy
Deputy brings people and workplaces together in real time with unified scheduling, tasking, attendance, business procedures.

“Through the open API, geo-locatable timesheets captured with iPhone and iPad kiosks in Deputy can be exported to Xero Payroll without the need for any further data entry. Our customers can now expect 1-click setup of employees from Xero to Deputy and 1-click export of hundreds of timesheets from Deputy to Xero. We have taken payroll processing from a four hour job on Monday to a two minute job for 100’s of Deputy customers using the Xero Payroll API!” says Ashik Ahmed, CTO,

Find out more about Deputy.

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