Wednesday, 13 April 2016 11:17

Xero integrates with Microsoft Outlook for SMBs

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Cloud accounting software provider Xero says its integration with Microsoft Outlook REST API allows small businesses to get a single, 360 degree view of all interactions with their contacts and customers.

Xerox chief technology officer Craig Walker says small businesses will now benefit from real-time access to emails with Xero, and the integration will help businesses keep track of customers, spot opportunities and stay on top of issues.

“More than 75% of small business communications is via email. This integration will enable small businesses to be more agile, to keep track of what their customers have asked for, what they’ve purchased recently and whether they owe money.

“Xero’s longstanding relationship with Microsoft gives our small businesses better tools to make smart up-to-the minute business decisions. This latest integration gives our 600,000+ users real-time information, so they can keep track of their business relationships and help make sure nothing slips through the cracks.”

Walker cites research by the Enterprise Strategy Group which he says showed that around 75% of a business’s key information - including documents, contacts and commitments - are in email. “With this integration, small business customers are able to have real-time access to Outlook emails without leaving the Xero environment,” he said.

Other features of the Microsoft integration highlighted by Xero include:

•    Small businesses can also initiate new quotes from within Xero and attach their customer’s email as a record. Once customers have emailed to confirm an order, small businesses can then invoice – all while staying within Xero.

•    Earlier this year, Xero announced an integration with Microsoft Power BI to offer small businesses an easier way to quickly connect with, and gain insight from, their business data through the deep visualisation tools and rich reports available on every device.

•    From within Office 365, a direct feed from Xero allows customers to see the financial position of that customer — what was purchased and what is owed — and tap into their Xero contact information without having to switch screens

•    Rob Howard, Director Office 365 Ecosystem at Microsoft said the integration with Xero gives small businesses a streamlined view of customer interactions “without having them switch between Outlook and Xero – in other words, it empowers small businesses to work smarter and more seamlessly”.

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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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