MYOB, which since 2011 has been majority owned by Bain Capital, co-founded by US Presidential contender Mitt Romney, has spent about $90 million developing its new cloud product which targets small businesses in 5 to 20 staff range.
According to MYOB CEO, Tim Reed, the firm has spent considerable time and effort on surveying its customer base with the resulting message that they didn’t want change.
“Their collective voice was overwhelming – they didn’t want to change anything,” Reed told iTWire.
“We tried to tell them that they could get a 25% to 75% time saving by working online but they weren’t interested,” he said.
As a result, what MYOB has released is a product that it describes as “additive” – a combination of a rich desktop application (with its familiar interface) fully connected to a cloud platform.
“Having rich desktop functionality plus cloud capability is more powerful than having just a browser application alone,” Reed told the audience at the launch event.
“With this functionality, users will be able to invite their bookkeeper or accountant into a file – there will be no more thumb drives to deliver. There will also be the ability work offline and they can store data online and take offline backups anytime they wish,” said Reed.
CloudRight Live, which has been built on the Microsoft Azure platform, will be a free upgrade for all existing AccountRight users.
“For them there will be no new application to install and no rekeying of data,” said Reed. “Soon there will an API for third party developers.”
The only drawback for small business users will be the lack of an Apple Mac version. However, according to Reed MYOB does not consider this to be a serious issue.
“Very few true small businesses in the target market run their business on Macs,” he told iTWire.
However, Reed and other MYOB officials told iTWire that a Mac version is in the works.
The MYOB event was also attended by Broadband Minister, Stephen Conroy, and Small Business Minister, Brendan O’Connor.
“MYOB is bringing the cloud into wider use and best practice,” said Mr Conroy.