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.