Rod Drury’s name wasn’t mentioned on the agenda for the AWS Auckland Summit. So it was interesting to see the Xero founder and CEO chatting to the other keynote speakers as media representatives filed into to the hall.
AWS put Drury on stage early. He talked about the advantages of building a business on cloud services.
That’s something Drury often talks about. More about that in a moment.
Then, almost in passing, Drury told the crowd: “Xero is migrating to PaaS and AWS”.
Xero has been a Rackspace customer. Only two years ago the small business accounting software-as-a-service company moved to a new Rackspace PaaS service.
That’s a blow for Rackspace and a big win for AWS. Xero is a flagship in New Zealand and others here will figure ‘if AWS is good enough for Drury, it’s good enough for us’.
Xero is a major cloud customer. Drury says his business runs 625 servers and has 584TB of data. In the last year Xero had revenues of $160 million, but is responsible for managing a whopping $130 billion of transactions.
Drury says Xero’s move to AWS is all about speed and cost. He says: “Our culture is one of speed. We know if we can go faster than the incumbents we can grab significant market share.
”It’s not the strong that eat the weak but the fast that eat the slow“, he says.
That speed means Xero can move far faster than its competitors. Drury says: ”We release small bites of functionality quickly“. That is a competitive weapon, last year Xero rolled out 729 software updates. He says migrating to AWS and investing in PaaS is about bringing down the cost of serving each of his customers.
Despite putting Drury on as a keynote AWS was coy about winning Xero’s business. AWS regional sales manager Tim Dacombe-Bird says ”We’re excited about bringing on Xero as a customer“. But other than to explain the process was through the company’s ANZ region with ”engagement out of the US” there was little detail.