XeroXero has announced new technology features and connections. The intention is to enhance the Xero ecosystem for small businesses and make it stronger. The hope is that this will become a virtuous circle with advisors and clients mutually supporting and finding each other.

Nick Houldsworth, Executive General Manager of Ecosystem, Xero
Nick Houldsworth, Executive General Manager of Ecosystem, Xero

Nick Houldsworth, Executive General Manager of Ecosystem, Xero, commented: The magic of the Xero small business platform really comes to life with the entire ecosystem — from financial services to the third-party apps that businesses use every day to grow and thrive.

“These new features make it easier for developers to create seamless experiences for their customers, and for advisors to help clients find the right apps to suit their needs. With trillions of dollars transacted on the Xero platform every year, every step forward is a step to fuel the global small business economy.

The Xero ecosystem announcements

The announcements, unveiled at Xerocon Brisbane 2019, include:

  • Single Sign-On (SSO): Xero is making it as easy to sign into business apps as into a Google or Apple account with Single Sign-On’. This offers a seamless, secure way for developers to build on the Xero platform, onboard new users (without making them remember more passwords) and integrate Xero with certified third-party apps.
  • Advisor-powered app recommendations: With more than 800 certified apps, Xero is broadening the choices available for small businesses to adopt best of breed suite of tools, whether for industry or unique requirements.

SSO gives small businesses one password, and hundreds of possibilities:

  • Developers can create connected experiences between the platform and third-party apps via Xero’s new Single Sign-On.
  • Small businesses and advisors will be able to log in using their Xero credentials, making sign-on and connecting to apps simple and seamless.

In order to ensure that advisors are making good choices, advisors can also curate the Marketplace. The idea is that this will ensure businesses:

  • obtain a tailored experience
  • sourcing the right tools, apps and services for their specific needs.

The ecosystem

Xero’s ecosystem – of small businesses, advisors and developers – continues to grow. With more than US$1T in transactions on the Xero platform in the 12 months to the end of June 2019, this places the Xero ecosystem on par with the 20 largest economies when measured by GDP.

In addition to the Xero platform, small businesses can access:

  • those 800 certified third-party apps
  • over 200 financial institutions
  • an Advisor Directory where small businesses can search for local accountants and bookkeepers.

The added functionality will enable Xero’s platform capabilities, by connecting apps which will encourage greater usage by the network. Later this year, Xero will combine advisor recommendations through a new tool which:

  • enables advisors to give each of their small business clients a view of the Xero App Marketplace specifically suited to that client
  • provide recommendations on the apps that matter most to them based on their unique requirements, size and capabilities.

Just as Netflix provides a tailored entertainment e,xperience, advisors can now personalise the App Marketplace for every client, hand-picking the right apps for them” Houldsworth said.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This year, Xero says it has certified more third-party apps than in all of 2018. Its App Marketplace’s selection – with 800 certified apps – has more relevance to small businesses, no matter their industry or specialisation.

With more than US$1T worth of transactions executing through Xero, such ecosystem platform enhancements establish the Xero business as being of a global size. While many of the new features will roll out over the next few months, some are already in test with app partners in the UK – including Practice Ignition and Float. All in all, Xero is providing itself with deep foundations by embracing the principles of the Network Effect.

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Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.

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