It’s been a big couple of months for us at Intuit APAC.
In my part of the business, Strategic Partnerships, we’re celebrating the arrival of eight new developer partners that have chosen to connect to QuickBooks Online. Internally, we’ve invested heavily in the people, technology and processes that help ensure our APAC team is able to support and grow a world-class ecosystem of App connections. We also recently had Avi Golan, our GM for the Intuit Partner Platform, in town. He met with lots of partners and is super enthusiastic about where we are currently, as well as the opportunities ahead with our Australian and New Zealand partners.
It feels like a good time to step back, evaluate where we are with the Intuit Partner Platform in APAC, and look at how our work here brings together amazing App solutions and small business…and also connects developers to the larger global ecosystem of Apps.
Many of you know our roots are in the US, where we’ve been the market leader for much of our history. We’re also the largest cloud accounting provider in the world, with more than 1.5 million QuickBooks Online users as of February 2014. Our success is built on the strengths of our partnerships – with bookkeepers, accountants, and increasingly App partners who, in partnership with us, give our customers a better experience than we could deliver on our own.
Our partners make us better, and the way we structure our relationships reflects this. We have a shared objective, responsibility, risk and – ultimately – success. That’s why we have an open platform. We also have a shared customer, and as our CEO Brad Smith recently said in Fortune Magazine,
The average small-business owner uses 18 apps to run their business every day, and if those applications don’t allow data to flow seamlessly and they don’t integrate, it’s going to become a point of friction. It’s going to prevent the small business from being successful. So we have to be open, and we embrace that opportunity because our ultimate goal is to help the small business.
At Intuit we understand that managing accounts in QuickBooks is only one piece of a small business’s technology needs. To many small businesses, we’re not the focal point of their business; we’re part of a toolset that helps them win. That’s why we’re creating an ecosystem where all the apps a small business uses work together, seamlessly. We’re making it easier for small businesses to focus on their passion, instead of the details of making their systems integrate. Case in point, we joined forces with KeyPay to provide payroll solutions to small businesses, and it’s been a huge success. Similarly, Invitbox chose to join the Intuit family because of a shared passion for small business success.
I often hear local App companies referred to as ‘Add Ons’. The term is so popular we even use it so people can find partners on our website, but I don’t like it. At Intuit, you’re a partner. An essential part of small business success. Which would you rather be?
The coming months promise to build on the success we have already seen. If you like what you have seen to date, watch this space…
(Note: This post originally appeared on August 15, 2014, on our Intuit Australia blog.)