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Xero gets “dream break" into Aussie market

Homegown online accounting software company Xero is getting to piggyback on Telstra’s June launch of its “T-Suite”, a software-as-service (SaaS) portal that will mirror Telecom NZ’s Business Hub.

Chief executive Rod Drury says being part of T-suite will give his company access to up to 700,000 Australian small businesses - making it easily Xero’s largest ever reseller deal.

Other T-Suite launch partners include heavyweights like Microsoft, McAfee and SAP.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better start. After signing up all the major banks to offer a Xero feed - which we’ve done - out next goal was to sign a carrier. Telstra gives us instant credibility in the Australian market,” Mr Drury tells NBR. “It’s going to give us a lot of publicity being part of the launch. It’s a dream deal.”

In launching Xero, Mr Drury has eschewed traditional reseller channels in favour of a focus on direct partnerships with banks, and a focus on telcos. “We believe the carriers are the natural channel for SaaS applications.”

Mr Drury says signing with Telecom has worked well for Xero, which signed its 4000th customer recently, just 50 days after signing its 3000th.

The Telecom deal also served as a template Mr Drury could present to Telstra and, now, carriers further afield.

After a long period of struggle, Xero’s shares (NZX: XER) have been on their own dream run recently, rising from 69 cents on March 18 to 89 cents today.

More by Chris Keall

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Update: Xero now has 6000+ customers. 40 days after the quoted 4000 in this article