Xerocon London 2016: 10 things we learnt

After attending Xerocon London 2016, another hugely successful event, and listening to 2 days of inspiring talks, discussions and demonstrations, we at Nuvem9 have had a lot of fun and learnt a lot. We simply can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Here are our top 10 takeaways from the Xerocon London 2016:

1. Xerocon London 2016 showed the stats on Xero’s growth are always impressive

We only need to repeat a small number to paint the picture:
– 600,000+ subscribers worldwide
– Active in 180+ countries
– Xero is now 10% of all Australian businesses

– £60million of payroll processed in UK last month (Jan 16)
– Movemybooks transferred a Sage customer to Xero every 46 minutes in 2015

and so on…. Wow! Just Wow!

2. The dawn of Cloud 2.0 is here

As outlined by Rod Drury in the introductory Xerocon London 2016 keynote, machine learning and big data will now begin to deliver mass automation, with Rod saying: “Xero will do the work while you are sleeping”, and create data driven deep insights. This will be matched by increased integration with banking institutions to create a Financial Web; Advisors will empower the flow of capital to small businesses by providing the real time data needed by bank managers to release the funding.

3. Xero is aiming to address the productivity paradox

Gary Turner unveiled a sadly unsurprising statistic that only 40% of small businesses survive past 5 years, yet revealed the rate is 88% if the businesses use Xero’s technology advantages to bog standard spreadsheets. Gary explained the productivity paradox that is persistent in many small businesses, namely that the burden and fear of PAYE, VAT and corporation tax compliance associated with a growing business is actually blocking businesses becoming more productive and profitable and inhibits long term growth. Xero is focussed on developing the technology for small businesses and their advisors to ensure productivity can increase and global growth barriers are overcome.

4. We all need to unlock the data dividend

Dave Coplin’s highly entertaining presentation challenged the “straight line thinking”, i.e. using new technologies in the old ways of doing things, rather than inventing totally new ways of doing things instead or “thinking outside in”. Coplin said that whilst we are moving towards an age where computers will analyse data with such accuracy and speed that real time computer generated translations could be possible, machine learning can only ever deliver the answers. He challenged the audience to reinvent productivity, stop allowing ourselves to be “ensnared by technology” and instead adopt the transformative thinking that would generate the questions the machines will be tasked with answering.

5. Xero will continue to deliver on innovation

With recent and imminent solutions and upgrades on automatic enrolment, staff timesheets, employee payroll portals, reporting and contacts, the announcements at Xerocon London 2016 was proof that Xero is continuing to deliver the features that allow forward thinking advisors like ourselves to deliver deeper automation and integration for our clients. Given the wider strategic focus on improving data for deeper decision making, benchmarking, peer performance and breaking barriers in financial markets, the level of opportunity to add value is going to grow exponentially. It’s even more obvious that, if you’re not participating in this particular revolution, you’ll be a casualty of it.

6. Customers simply love the Xero brand

Andy Lark’s entertaining “How to Make Love” segment demonstrated the level of “love” the Xero brand receives, with statistics showing the level of interaction and searches received by the brand and how this is growing continuously. The important takeaway though is this presents a massive opportunity for the advisor community. As Xero grows, the eco-system will grow, the percentage of small businesses using Xero will grow and the demand for advisory services will grow. If advisors are not an extension of the loved brand that Xero has developed, and if they’re not prepared to work the way the customers want them too, they’ll be left behind by more progressive, forward thinking advisors.

7. Accounting advice doesn’t have to be complicated

Being an ex tech startup COO, Dale Murray’s talk hit home more than most. Her insightful approach, based on her ultimately, but not smooth, startup to exit journey, demonstrated how to deliver good, practical, understandable accounting advice. This really hit home against our own experiences with our clients, and it was refreshing to have our approach being validated. The theme from Xero throughout the conference was that automation will play a greater role as cloud accounting, and the impact of technology on service more generally, develops. The quality and deliverability of advice to clients will therefore play a much greater role as the importance of pure compliance work diminishes.

8. The Xero add-on ecosystem is thriving

Whilst we work with many of the Xero add-on eco-system Xerocon London 2016 allowed us to meet a whole new batch of fantastic tools. What is consistent amongst this community is a passion behind their solution, a slick, easy to use bit of software and helpful, approachable people just dying to work with advisors such as ourselves. We have come away with at least 3 vertical specific products now complete based on conversations over the 2 day period and cannot wait to launch these in the coming weeks.

9. Determination can overcome any obstacle

Sir Ranulph Fiennes delivered a hugely entertaining and engaging keynote and provided a fascinating insight into what true determination and will to succeed actually represents. He is also a quite fierce and more than a little bit scary and we’d rather have him on our team than the opponents!

And finally….

10. Daring marketing tricks on your rivals can backfire with hilarious results

Gary Turner

Enough said!

Contact Nuvem9 today in the contact box below to find out how we can provide you with a tailored Xero solution to enable your business to step up to the next level.

Niall McGinnity

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