A rich software ecosystem has grown up in just a decade, says Xero chief Will Buckley.
Small business apps blossom ‘thanks to local developers’
Innovative software developers have embraced the opportunity to support small business and the result is a “rich ecosystem” of apps, says Xero Australia country manager Will Buckley.
“It's been such an incredible trend to see how quickly the number of apps have grown that specifically focus on solving those small business problems,” Mr Buckley said on this week’s Accountants Daily podcast.
“Traditionally, we think of apps and platforms that go after big problems and big platforms on the big end of town.
“But like the amount of dedication and innovation that is coming into supporting small businesses and their advisers has been something to look back on over the past 10 years and I think be really proud of.
“In particular the way the Australian ecosystem of apps has, like really embraced the opportunity to support small businesses in particular.”
Mr Buckley said Xero had a careful screening process to ensure products in its app store were up to scratch.
“We have an open API, which means that any developer can securely use the Xero API to build their own app,” he said.
“The only apps that get onto the Xero eco-system or marketplace are the ones that have been vetted by the Xero team. We go through a pretty rigorous customer feedback process to make sure that the apps that are using our API that want to get listed in the ecosystem are getting vetted.
“So it’s not it's not an easy process to get onto the app store.”
He said the Xero store now boasted more than 1,000 apps and that meant it could be challenged to work out which were most suitable. However, there was a vibrant community that shared its learnings on metrics like ease of use and value.
“There’s lots of influencers and thought-leaders that do take the time to go deep into all the e-commerce apps, and they become specialists and they post videos and articles and reviews.
“We look to serve those up in curated selections. We’ve got staff picks, we look at segmenting it by industry. So if you’re looking for apps specifically for your retail clients or for job management for your construction clients, we look to help advisers and business owners navigate that process in the app store.
“Because 1,000 to get through – you don’t want to sort it out by alphabetical order, and then try and figure it out from there!”
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