Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:46

Intuit says new releases open global SMB market to Aussie developers Featured

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The big US online accounting software provider Intuit, which entered the Australian market in its own right just over one year ago, has launched a set of new developer tools which it says will open up global access to a cloud-based small business market for Aussie developers.

According to Intuit, makers of the QuickBooks Online platform, the new developer.intuit.com offers best-in-class developer tools, allowing developers to create “game-changing applications” for small businesses efficiently and quickly.

These latest developer enhancements are part of a number of new product enhancements unveiled at QuickBooks Connect in the USA that brought together small business, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers for the first time.

According to Intuit Australia managing director Nicolette Maury, the big American is already making its mark in the Australian market with the Intuit brand by leveraging on the significant recognition amongst small businesses of the QuickBooks product offerings.

From just a handful of staff when the Australian business was established just over one year ago, Maury says Intuit has grown significantly over the past 12-months to now have around 50 staff working from offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Despite the growth achieved over the past year, Maury recognises the strong competition faced by Intuit from the well-establish market leader in MYOB and its New Zealand challenger Xero. She says, however, that Intuit already has 7,000 Australian customers in a growing but crowded accounting software market, and expects further growth over the next 12-months on the back of its cloud-offerings.

“The QuickBooks brand is still very well known and we’re leveraging that. It still has really good brand recognition but now is a good opportunity to raise awareness of our cloud offerings.”

And, despite the intense competition for client acquisition across the SME market, Intuit does see this release of new developer tools as giving it a real differentiator over its competitors in the small business sector.

Echoing the global announcement by Dan Wernikoff, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Small Business Group, Maury said today that Australian developers could now access the world market of over 700,000 small businesses.

“We have a thriving developer community here in Australia that builds functionality, not just for local small businesses, but also for global small businesses. So this now gives them exposure to a global market rather than just limiting it to their own country,” Maury says.

“We have made it much quicker for a developer to test an app, so if they want to go from a concept to a live test of an app they go to intuit dot com and do that in less than 15 minutes.

“Developers are telling us this is really essential because they want test something out quickly to see if it has legs rather than spend days or weeks trying to build something to see if it’s going to work.”

According to Maury, release of the new developer tools gives Australian developers a much bigger incentive to innovate as they now have access to a global small business market. “We expect to see even more innovation in the Australian market.”

Maury said key enhancements launched today by Intuit include:

•    Hello World in 15 Minutes: The new experience makes it possible for developers to test an idea for a new app by working with sample code and testing it out within QuickBooks Online – all within 15 minutes

•    Seamless Cloud Integration: Intuit’s recent acquisition of ItDuzzit, a cloud-centric integration platform, makes it easier than ever to create sophisticated integrations between web and mobile apps

•    New Tools: New SDKs and simple documentation make it easier than ever to call QuickBooks Online APIs. Sample apps provide examples of eCommerce, time-based billing and customer relationship management (CRM) integrations, and a new Sandbox makes it possible to test apps live in QuickBooks Online.

In his announcement out of Silicon Valley today, Wernikoff said Intuit was focused globally on delivering what he describes as an “amazing developer experience because we know that the QuickBooks Online platform is only as powerful as the third party apps that connect to it.”

“The QuickBooks Online platform is already home to leading cloud solutions for small businesses. With this new developer experience, we’re ready to take things to the next level as the global platform of choice for business management solutions.”

Wernikoff said that once an app is built, developers will be able to publish live on the new Apps.com in as little as two weeks, allowing them to reach a global market of small businesses on the QuickBooks Online platform.

“Once their apps are in market, developers will benefit from dedicated developer support resources and self-service forums. To date, more than 300 apps have been integrated on the QuickBooks Online platform.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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