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If you believe Xero is awesome, please vote!

We need everyone’s help.

This is the final week when you can vote for Xero to be selected for the Sleeter Awesome Award. It takes two seconds.

If you’d like to vote for us, simply head to the Sleeter Awesome Award page on The Sleeter Group website. You can vote each day so please set up a reminder to vote every morning until the end of this week.

Sleeter Awesome Award logo

The Awesome Award recognizes companies that are helping small businesses and accounting professionals develop efficient business processes through accounting software.

Right now we have only 553 votes and we need a thousand more. If we all work together and vote each day until the end of this week, we can improve our ranking substantially. The popular vote accounts for 40 percent of the award so your vote could help us significantly.

Thank you!

 

 

 

Getting paid via internet banking is easy with POLi Payments

POLi Payments Xero Add-on

POLi is an online payment option which facilitates a Pay Anyone payment from a customer’s bank account to a merchant. It is a great way for businesses using Xero to offer their customers an alternative to credit card payments by allowing them to pay with their internet banking. POLi populates the payment details and informs the merchant as soon as the payment is complete. With the POLi Payments now integrated to Xero, it’s never been easier to setup and use.

Who is it for?

POLi is perfect for those who don’t have a credit card or those who prefer not to use it online. There’s no registration required and customers can use it for free.

How POLi Payments work with Xero

POLi enables your customers to pay with their internet banking. It populates the payment details and updates Xero as soon as the payment is complete through an easy 4 step process:

POLi Payments Xero integration

Where can you use it?

POLi works for customers with Australian or New Zealand bank accounts. POLi can be used to make payments from anywhere in the world. POLi is available as a payment method with hundreds of merchants worldwide including Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas Cash, OzForex, Cars Guide and many more.

It’s free to set up your POLi account

Looking to start using POLi? Check out the Australian or New Zealand website for more details.

 

Thoughts on Apple Pay

The big announcement for me at the Apple Event last week wasn’t the new iPhone or the Apple Watch, lovely as they may be. Apple have long been rumoured to be entering the world of payments, and now with Apple Pay, they finally have. With more credit cards on file than any other company in the world, they, along with Google, Amazon and PayPal, represent the greatest disruptive threat to established payments systems than anything else out there.

Apple Pay has the most impressive number of payment cards on file (globally)

Many, including me, were probably expecting a more aggressive payments entry. Something around storing value, the development of an Apple merchant terminal product, and moving funds from one customer to another through a closed network with low fees like PayPal (or newer entrants Dwolla), bypassing the banks altogether and undercutting them and the card companies on fees.

Continue reading ›

 

Apple special event 2014

Many eyes are glued to Twitter streams and live feeds for the Apple special event today! The much-awaited unveiling of new hardware, software and tech is taking place at the Flint Centre in Cupertino, California. That’s the same place they announced the original Mac and the iPhone 5s, so expectations are high.

Pizza + live stream of the Apple special event = perfection

It’s supper time in the UK but keen Apple fans are in the office keeping an eye on the live stream!

From designers to developers our team are feasting on the announcements. Keep checking back – they’ll share their thoughts below:

Thoughts on the Apple special event 2014

Well, that’s a wrap! Tim Cook and U2 are offstage and the rapturous applause has died down. Over my tenth cup of coffee this morning (the event started 5am NZ time), what do I think of the announcements? The new iPhones look great, but unusually they were almost a sideshow amidst a slew of new directions from Apple.

From a design point of view, I’m excited that the new phones have a more integrated landscape experience. Permitting a landscape home screen may seem like a small touch but it means there’s no longer a ‘preferred’ orientation. It’s a natural move with the extra screen real estate of the 6 plus. I’d expect to see a lot of phone apps (including our own) become more tablet-friendly with the extra layout options. Continue reading ›

 

Using Google’s Chromebox for Meetings at Xero

Here at Xero we are rolling out Google’s Chromebox for Meetings globally – and for the first time in a long time I am actually excited about meeting room A/V.

Global collaboration is crucial for Xero. Unlike a lot of global corporations that run fairly independently in each country they are based in, we have many teams that have members spread across various locations around the world. For the Xero Internal IT team it has been a huge challenge for us to facilitate the process of these teams working together.

Pre-Chromebox frustration

Prior to the Google move we had multiple methods of communication. This led to confusion and frustration between people and teams – “What do I use to talk to person X in the San Fran office?”. There were many options available and nobody was exactly sure what the correct method was. Adding to this confusion, many of our meeting rooms offered multiple connection methods (room PC, local HDMI/VGA, projector, etc) which more often than not could be difficult to set up. Delays in meetings were frequent. As Xero grew larger the problem also increased and productivity was starting to suffer.Chromebox being used at Xero Continue reading ›

 

US Payroll API live with first integration

We’re pleased to announce the general availability of the API for US payroll. This extends the reach of the payroll API to Australia and seven states in the US that covers approximately 40% of the US population.

US Payroll API

The US Payroll API covers the main use cases including employee information, creating and updating timesheets, and processing pay runs. This is the first release of the US Payroll API and there are extra end points that we’ll address in future releases including time off and holidays. Developers will be familiar with the same pattern being used as the other Xero and payroll API endpoints. The same OAuth process is utilised, but with the addition of granular permissions.

US Payroll API Continue reading ›

 

NZ Data Futures Forum final recommendations

NZ Data Futures ForumWe welcome the New Zealand Data Futures Forum final report – Harnessing the economic and social power of data – released on Monday 28 July. This is a good example of the public and private sectors collaborating to deliver positive change and sets out ambitious recommendations to derive value from New Zealand data.

Data has the potential to be an incredibly valuable resource for all New Zealander. It’s great to see the Government is focussing efforts in this area and that feedback from the private sector has been taken on board in this third paper.

We’re now in the third generation of the internet revolution which is all about big data. This data must be managed in an ethical manner and in a way that creates value and instills trust.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to open data and its innovation potential to address business, social, environmental and community issues. Already, globally we are seeing great potential for data to play a role in emergency management, weather patterns, tourism, geographic segmentation and customer trends – just to name a few. The opening up of London’s transport data through the London DataStore has been a good example that has seen many innovative uses developed.

Three out of the four foundations that underpin the report’s recommendations specifically place individuals and their comfort at the forefront. This indicates the Data Futures Forum has really listened to people’s concerns and that it is likely there will be a lot of opportunity for people to have ongoing input and feedback to ensure those foundations are upheld. Here in New Zealand we have an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage through a data-sharing ecosystem built on trust, control and inclusion. Continue reading ›

 

The biggest myth about CRM

Today’s guest post is written by Gene Marks, small business owner, technology expert, author and columnist. He writes regularly for leading US media outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur. He has authored five books on business management and appears regularly on Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC and CNBC. Gene runs a ten-person CRM and technology consulting firm outside of Philadelphia. Learn more at genemarks.com.

CRM systems and databases

Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The rebranding of CRM

My company has been selling Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems for more than 15 years. During that time I’ve watched these products go through multiple rebrandings, from “contact managers” to “sales force automation” to “collaboration” to CRM, which now encompasses not only sales but service, marketing and operations.

But, rest assured, these are all just elaborate names for one thing: databases.

The makers and marketers of today’s CRM systems will throw around all sorts of buzz words to describe what they do. “Social CRM.” “Workflows.” “Automation.” “Call Center.” They will dangle cool and exciting features in front of their customers Continue reading ›

 

KANZ Technology Summit 2014

kanz

Photo Credit: @TurnbullMalcolm. From left to right: Yoon Jong-Lok, Vice-Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Korea; Amy Adams, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, New Zealand; Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications, Australia, at KANZ.

Earlier this month I was fortunate to be invited by NZ Trade & Enterprise to the Korea, Australia, New Zealand (KANZ) Technology Summit in Auckland. The conference brought together members of the technology communities of all three countries to forge links and share ideas about how to grow and support the ICT sector and strengthen the high-tech economy.

For me, the highlight of the event was Dave Birch’s stream on digital identity and money. Dave is the Global Ambassador for Consult Hyperion, a UK based consultancy focused on security around electronic transactions. Dave is something of a payments raconteur, whose wisecracks about ATMs needing thatched roofs and assuming anyone using cash is a drug dealer were funny and insightful – but they were all inching toward the point that despite all the innovation in financial services, all that we’ve really done is move physical payment paradigms into the digital world, and it’s not all that great an experience. Proving and managing identity for online financial transactions is still a big barrier to efficiency, and establishing identity, even in the physical world, often gives the illusion of security without any true validation. It’s “two people acting in a play about security” rather than an exchange that is truly secure.

Also, all the innovation in payments is happening on networks that were Continue reading ›

 

Technology and the British economy

This week saw the IMF upgrade the UK’s economic growth forecast to 3.2%, placing the UK at the top of the class for growth among the world’s developed nations. In general terms, the health of the British economy has now recovered to a position equal to or better than the state it was in 2007 at the onset of the Global Financial Crisis.

While the UK has been clear of the technical definition of an economic recession for a few quarters now, these latest reports hopefully signal a period of coming prosperity, not just economic convalescence.

At long last.

However, what piques my interest is that while the curtain of economic frost shrouded the UK, a wave of broad technological innovation endured and even accelerated, meaning that as the UK’s population of five million businesses steps back into the global economic limelight, it does so with a clutch of quite different technological enablers that weren’t around back in 2007.

bookends

I’ve actually seen this movie before. Continue reading ›