SilverStripe growing up alongside Xero

Guest post from Sam Minnée, SilverStripe CEO

SilverStripe has in a sense grown up alongside Xero. When Xero launched, our business – just down the road in Wellington – was one of the first subscribers. Several years on, Xero is still at the heart of our reporting and decision-making.

Like Xero, we’ve expanded offshore. Our web development and content management business has grown significantly beyond our Wellington HQ, with offices in Auckland, Melbourne, Tasmania and Cologne. Such growth requires sound financial management and a strategic approach to data.

Now that we’ve grown from a small, simple business to a multi-office, more complex operation, it’s great that Xero and the ecosystem of related applications can still meet our needs. Like us, Xero continues to move forward and innovate, providing an attractive option for medium-sized enterprises too.

More Complex Needs

As we grew, we realised we needed more useful data for decision-making, but without the administrative burden. We needed an accounting system and reporting approach that:

  • made up-to-date data and reports accessible to our key managers and Directors
  • is visible at any time to advisors such as our accountants
  • can scale as our business grows and becomes more complex; and
  • works seamlessly with add-on software such as Spotlight Reporting and WorkflowMax.

Comparing Xero to our previous system (MYOB) is like comparing day to night. Previously, data was really only visible to our bookkeeper, and doing meaningful analysis was manual and time-consuming. Xero and business intelligence Add-on Spotlight Reporting give us so much more – and in an accessible and digestible format.

Integration is key for Business Processes

As we’ve hired more staff and taken on larger-scale projects, processes such as time-recording, budget management, support and even payroll have needed to become more efficient. Xero add-ons such as WorkflowMax for time and budget management, Zendesk for client support and Smart Payroll for our pay cycles and annual leave have become bedrocks. Their seamless integration with Xero reduces our administrative burden significantly.

We’ve recently won some high profile work in the New Zealand and Australian government sectors, so transparency to non-executive Directors and our Virtual CFO is more critical than ever. In our high-growth environment, my management team and our advisors need to know what’s going on now, as well as what is over the horizon. Our mix of apps – Xero, Spotlight, Trello, Google docs and WorkflowMax – allow sharing and collaboration with the management and governance layers as appropriate.

Going global together

The years ahead will see a lot more change at SilverStripe, and that is as exciting as it is challenging. Like Xero, we aspire to share transformational software – in our case, an open-source content management system – to an ever-expanding global community.

Knowing that Xero is continuing to evolve and now operates in our key export markets such as Australia, the UK and the US gives us peace of mind that it will be able to handle our accounting and, via Spotlight Reporting, business intelligence needs no matter where we are. We look forward to many more years of partnership with Xero.


One Comment

July 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm

CMS was one of the technology areas that Rod Drury foresaw would not make money these days …

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