We’re at the Add-on and API day for Xerocon NZ in Auckland today – the first time it has been sold out! You can follow our Twitter hashtag #xerocon. The incredible interest shown by our Add-on partners, developers and advisor partners and demonstrates how the ecosystem is taking off.
This morning we have been covering big picture stuff including the key things we are working on this year.
Tony Rule, API Product Manager at Xero took us through some of the achievements of the API team in 2012:
- 7 API feature releases
- Over 1,000 applications using the Xero API
- 1,000s of support tickets from developers and end users answered
- Improvements to documentation, wrapper libraries and new integration guides
The balancing act of features requested by existing developers, new developers that need additional functionality built in order to integrate and the continual development of new features in the main Xero application that the API needs to keep with, is Tony’s joyful task.
Tony took us through some of the releases coming up shortly: changes to accommodate Australian tax code changes, the new payroll API for Australian customers, and improvements to the credit notes endpoint. The goal is seven or more releases in 2013 also – keep an eye on how we do!
Ronan Quirke, Developer Partner Programs Manager at Xero gave us an update on how the Add-on & Developer partner programs are tracking. There are now over 150 partners, connecting Xero customers to over 200 applications.
As the ecosystem grows we are keeping pace with improvements to the Add-on directory to more easily find suitable Add-ons using search or new vertical categories. Advisors will also have access to a feedback forum where they can share their tips and experiences of using different Add-ons.
We know our Add-on partners have concerns about how new features that Xero develops might affect their market. Ronan and Tony were joined by Xero Product Manager Andrew Tokeley (Tokes) to discuss what our future plans are, and things on the roadmap that we think our partners should know about.
Tokes talked about major projects anticipated in the Xero Business Application so developers can be aware of what might be possible to leverage through the API in future and able to express such interest. More about these features will be covered in the product reveals tomorrow.
The key message was that we are open and transparent about what we are doing, and always happy to discuss our plans in more depth if our partners have any questions here.
Verticals are a huge opportunity with Xero addressing the huge-investment horizontal component of online solutions. Think about your pricing. A big decision in determining this is the size of the market you want to address – that determines the structure and nature of your business – you need to consider the complexity and the cost of sales. Just because Xero is a $49 product does not mean you need to be.
A key message to New Zealand Add-on partners is that we see opportunities around the world – if you can leverage Xero and our customer base to market your application, go for it!
Looking around the world, Australia is booming since we added payroll there, as the market was conditioned for payroll as part of the base accounting package. There are now 40,000 customers there. Our recent roadshow there had over 3,300 attendees. So look there for Add-on business. UK is also growing, now at 16,000 customers – another solid market. In the US it’s early days. We have a big investment going on there and some big partnerships so keep an eye on it and we’re more than happy to help Add-on partners landing there.
We are now breaking into afternoon content streams: a business stream for the suits to find out how to market and sell Add-ons to the Xero audience, and a technical stream for geeks where there will be talks from the Xero team and one of our top developer partners, Trineo.
Otherwise, tune in tomorrow for the all day Xerocon Live Blog!