Xero making a mark at TechEd 2007

Xero has arrived at TechEd 2007, Microsoft’s premier developer event. Most of our development team has made the trip to Auckland and we look like we’re ready to play a life size game of tic-tac-toe with our branded X and O shirts. It’s great to be here, Microsoft really knows how to put on an event, it’s incredibly well organised and a lot of fun.

Alastair, Kirk and I are presenting at TechEd this year so last night was the speakers dinner meet. Great to see so many familiar faces – New Zealand has such an interesting technology community and they’re all out in support of Microsoft, most of them presenting on some of the new cool technologies coming out soon.

First up this morning was the keynote presentation delivered by Michael Platt, Director Web Architecture, Microsoft Corporation and Lou Carbone, Founder of Experience Engineering. Here we got to see the two biggest themes Microsoft are pushing at this year’s TechEd – Software+Services and creating a great user experience.

The Software+Services (S+S) angle obviously interests us because we see ourselves as being heavily involved in this space – it was great to hear Michael talk about integration as a cornerstone of S+S and also about Microsoft’s vision for value-added services delivered over the Internet.

However it was Lou Carbone’s address that was particularly interesting – it wasn’t focused on technology at all and was all about customer experience and the need to deliver value to your customers, understanding what your customers need and delivering on those needs. It was a great talk and very inspiring – I commend Microsoft on opening TechEd with this kind of key note – it’s important to understand that technology is an enabler and in the end it’s not the technology that sells your products, it’s your customer experience. This something we pride ourselves on a lot at Xero and is baked into our brand. I hope other delegates who went to the key note got the message – love your customers!

After the key note the hard part is to decide what session to attend. There are so many great speakers, a bunch all the way from Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, US, so it’s important to make the most of the time we have here.

The team has done a good job trying to see as many sessions as possible – probably the highlights being on the newer technologies such as Silverlight and the more general architectural sessions such as architecting business applications and interface design patterns.

Now I’m off to the Ask The Experts event now – our very own Kirk Jackson is an expert there tonight and it’ll be great to see him up amongst the other experts from all over the world.

If you’re at TechEd and want to see Xero in action we’re speaking at the following sessions:

Tuesday 14 August
10:45am – 12:00pm
SVR308 Windows Powershell: The Future of Server Administration
Kirk Jackson
SKY CITY Theatre

1:40pm – 2:10pm (Lunchtime session)
VOC304 Fronde Debate – Software as a Service? Yeah, right.
Alastair Grigg, Xero
Gavin Lennox, Healthphone Solutions Limited
Dr. Andrew Connor, AUT
Ron Jacobs, Microsoft

Wednesday 15 August 9:00am – 10:15am
VOC203 Xero: Utilising Microsft Technologies as the Platform for a Global SaaS Offering
Alastair Grigg, Craig Walker

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