Xerocon has become a defining moment on my business calendar, a lot of the work I do leads up to the Xerocon celebration.
2012 — I met with Rod Drury CEO of Xero and my publisher Kirsten Hammond from Wiley to agree the concept of Xero for Dummies.
2013 — launch of Xero for Dummies and 3 other books in the series.
Xerocon 2014 was huge – it is three full days of learning, talking, networking and trying to absorb everything that’s happening. I attend every day including my favourite day – the developer day. My Xerocon started on the Monday, by plane, train and ferry I journey across to Mosman to visit my elderly Aunty. The weather was unusually horrendous and I was sending lots of positive vibes to the heavens and Fi Massey and conference organisers hoping the weather would dissipate.
It worked. It turned out pretty good by the end of the week. It’s essential if you visit Sydney, you take a ferry ride out across the harbour. It’s beautiful, relaxing; it centres you before a busy week.
The Young Ones
Everyone at Xerocon is so young! When I attend other accounting conferences I look around and I am typically one of the youngest in the room. When I look around the Xerocon conference I am one of the oldest in the room.
Xerocon is like comic con for accountants.
Young guns are managing teams, growing businesses and bringing to the market robust add-on solutions. It’s impressive, its fast and its here!
Young business people don’t have affiliations with solutions, like perhaps my generation do, so I imagine they’ve reviewed and jumped on board with the most visionary tech savvy solution available in the market: Xero. As a trainer it leads me to two questions: how can I help older people feel comfortable learning Xero? In reality, I’ve found if the person is open to change, they pick up and run with Xero quickly. It’s also important the Xero user still undertakes the same basic bookkeeping cross checks, such as reviewing balances on clearing accounts. It’s not magic. My second question is: are the Gen Y’s being taught how to sell back into the Gen X’s. I feel I am being bombarded with how to sell and adapt to the Gen Y’s coming through, but surely the reverse also has to be a real phenomenon?
It’s not JUST about implementing a game changing accounting solution.
Over and over again, I see the implementation of Xero massively improving the workflows of businesses, and reducing mundane administrative hours. But let’s take a step back. Migrating to Xero gives the business the opportunity to detox their data. This enables users to clear up historical messes that have been clouding their numbers for a long time. This is good. But what Xero also brings to the party is the add-ons. The availability and diversity of add-ons is multiplying rapidly. It has become really clear to me, that when someone asks me to migrate their accounting solution, I need to turn around and ask can we review the current workflow in their business. Understanding their business, and being in an educated position to suggest suitable add-ons – will optimise the outcome for the business.
From this I think for the cloud integrators, be that all they do, or be they an accountant or a bookkeeper as well; to truly implement Xero efficiently they need to niche. There are too many solutions to be an expert in. Take a look at what Marcus Wilson is doing with http://www.surgicalpartners.com.au/ focusing solely on medical practices – smart.
BRAND AWARENESS and working within the community
But what puzzled me was how they did not already know about the Cloud Stories when the campaign had been huge. It had been global. It had come from lots of different corners. I think it’s important if you are selling into a community – you stay connected with that community. That does not mean hours on social media – it can simply mean dipping in and out of various mediums, even twice a week. Subscribe to the Xero blog, (or subscribe to my blog) join the Xero LinkedIn Group http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Xero or follow references to Xero on twitter https://twitter.com/search?q=xero&src=typd, subscribe to my podcast Cloud Stories. In this evolving tech world where we rarely see each other face to face it is important to stay connected with the community. Cross promoting, guest blogging, and post commenting is an easy way to get your brand name out there and stay connected with the community.
The Xero Community & Selfies galore
Yes we had some fun taking selfies. I discovered new technology add-on in the form of a selfie stick.
I also spent a lot of time with these lovely ladies…
I should also mention there was a Xerocon stall selling my book – Woot Woot!!
So Xerocon is over for another year. I have returned to my normal life (and a bout of bronchitis) and realise I missed out on speaking to some of the new add-ons at Xerocon. Also most disappointingly I never managed to get a flashy eWAY ball. I kept heading in the direction, but would get side tracked. I did though return with lots of rugby balls – thank-you RACKSPACE.
Thank-you to everyone who contributed to the smooth running of Xerocon – it was a blast!!
I am planning to go to the New Zealand Xerocon in early 2015 – so hopefully I will see you there! Let me know what your takeaway from Xerocon was below …