Tracking the tracks at Tech Ed New Zealand


Xero and the state of SaaS during the Tech Ed New Zealand 2007

, posted: 15-Aug-2007 10:10

Yesterday I had a chat with two of the Xero guys, COO Alastair Grigg and CTO Craig Walker. It looks like my questions were around the same topics they have planned for todays session Voice of the Customer session ("Xero: Utilising Microsoft Technologies as the Platform for a Global SaaS Offering").

Quick background if you don't know: Xero offers on-line accounting with strong emphasis on user interface, design and functionality. The company tries to make the customer experience part of the brand and internal culture, investing in a big design team, which was one of the first things in their project.

The company launched an IPO in the NZX a couple of months ago, raising about $15 million, to help push their products in the market. Initially aimed at New Zealand businesses, Xero is also working to enter the international market.

The interesting thing about Xero is how the company is reaching for "influencers" in this market, most of the times those we know as "advisors". Right now Xero is focussed on getting accountants and consultants on board to ensure they have met the requirements of the advisors and create industry capability before trying to sell the idea directly to personal and SME businesses.

I was told there isn't really a direct competitor for their on-line product, sitting in a different category, in a market dominated by players delivering applications to the desktop.

This is also one of the differentiators for the company in terms of infrastructure. Xero adopted a quick cycle of "release early, release often" with a release almost every week, with differences and features users can notice. Because the product is completely web based, cost with support are extremely reduced because support personell need only to know about the current version, plus there are no need for complicated migration procedures from previous versions, supporting many upgrade paths, etc.

Xero based its product on Microsoft technologies, because of proven track - and support for developers. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 are part of the tools used. Craig tells me they did look at alternative open source tools and technologies, including Ruby on Rails, but the support for developers needs in terms of IDE for example weren't up to the same quality of Visual Studio - yet.

The company has already reached Microsoft Gold Partner status, just a few months after the official product launch.



Tech Fest Tech Ed New Zealand 2007 (short video)

, posted: 15-Aug-2007 00:21

Arghhh.... There's a reason why I think built-in cameras in mobile devices shouldn't be there - look at this quality. But you will see how busy the party was:

Video: Tech Fest Tech Ed New Zealand 2007



Tech Fest at Tech Ed New Zealand 2007

, posted: 14-Aug-2007 23:18

I feel terrible. I can't speak - my voice is completely gone. But I managed to go to the Tech Fest anyway, and more importantly I even uploaded some pictures directly from the party, thanks to my Windows Mobile device and Yahoo! Go, which comes with a built-in Flickr client.

As I blogged before, the party was based on Las Vegas, with lots of "gambling" going on, candy lane dancers walking around, and lots of drinks.

Evermore performed the main act and the crowd was crazy - even more those two guys who needed to be removed from the stage...

As usual look for the pictures in my TechEdNZ07 Flickr Set, or look for the TechEDNZ07 tag.








Tech Ed New Zealand 2007 Live site (and see me too!)

, posted: 14-Aug-2007 12:04

While here at Tech Ed I am following everything through direct face-to-face chats, e-mails - and the web. Check out Microsoft's Tech Ed Live website for daily updates, pictures and videos.

Day one has lots of links, and you can see me talking to Darryl Burling about the Keynote, Windows Mobile and Virtualisation sessions, and a second video of us talking about the Tech Ed Marketplace and User Communities.





Windows Mobile Security at Tech Ed New Zealand 2007

, posted: 14-Aug-2007 11:00

This is really interesting: Yesterday's "What' new on Windows Mobile 6" session was full... But today's session "Windows Mobile 6 Security" by Steve Rilley is full. And I mean it. There are about 300 people on this room right now, with about 30 people standing up on the sides (including myself). Very interesting information about the new Recovery Password feature on Windows Mobile 6 when used with an Exchange Serverr 2007. Another interesting thing: Steve asked how many people used a work supplied phone and about 95% raised their hands. Seriously. Unbelievablle. This session shows all the interest mobility is attracting.





Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand is a technology event run by Microsoft New Zealand. The Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2010 is happening in Auckland (New Zealand), 30th August - 1st September 2010, at the SkyCity Convention Centre. If you are attending the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2010 and would like to contribute with stories, profiles, and feedback please contact us. This blog is written by Mauricio Freitas and published by Geekzone.



Most recents posts

MS Communities Summit 2010...
Registrations open for Microso...
Connect with your local .Net u...
Microsoft Tech.Ed Online: Offi...
Microsoft SQL Server MVP Brad ...
Unleash your development poten...
One for the IT Professionals: ...
Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealand ...
Microsoft technologies and the...
Ben Gracewood talks about secu...


Recent comments

teched on Registrations open for Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zeala: Thanks folks!...

MikeSkyrme on Booth Babes at Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009: No harm done, the girls were there to do a job, which in this case was 'promote ...

Lisa on Booth Babes at Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009: I too was expecting to see some actually hot chicks when my bf linked this to me...

adam mork on Microsoft Tech.Ed Online: Office and UC: Hi Chris, great speech at SPC2009 on open xml. Any idea when the new 2010 docume...

d3Xt3r on Loke Uei Tan talks to us about Windows Mobile 6.5 : But the "improved UI" sucks. Well, the today screen anyways. Titanium just doesn...

tonyhughes on Security: Treat your input like trash.: Ohhhh... you are a developer. That explains a lot....

mattyboy2 on The technology behind Microsoft Tech.Ed New Zealan: Any idea when the videos of the sesions are gonna be uploaded to the official Te...

Flemming Riis on Distributing and monetising Windows Mobile applica: -- If an application is approved but later removed from the marketplace it will ...

Kyanar on Distributing and monetising Windows Mobile applica: You forgot to mention that refunds which are for any reason other than Microsoft...

chchgirlgeek on Booth Babes at Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009: Well Im a 'gurl' who works for Gen-i and I was quite unimpressed at the presence...