A quick look on the Xero partner page today yielded some interesting results. Only a week or so after having released its API, Xero already has four partners (plus their own Xero to Xero transaction ability). I took a look at a couple of the offerings (the other two are specific real estate industry solutions).
iPayroll is a New Zealand based payroll solution. It’s a little disappointing as the initial payroll solution to be partnering with Xero – their site is pretty amateur and the pricing is steep. As an example, for my manufacturing business with 10 or so weekly pays, we’re looking at over $25/week. That’s over $1200 per annum for something that has no real value add (it’s SaaS/s as opposed to SaaS/v).
If we do a direct comparison between Xero and it’s competitors we see that Xero costs around $600 per annum. This is slightly more than it’s installed software competitors (MYOB v17 is selling for $469 on TradeMe). For this we get some real value adds like direct bank feeds, Xero network value adds and lots of goodness to come from their open API strategy.
iPayroll on the other hand costs nearly 5 times what the competing product does (MYOB Payroll on TradeMe is going for $250) and, as far as I can see, offer no real bonus (other than the on-demand aspects). It’s hard to see where iPayroll could really add value – payroll is a pretty generic offering.
I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a Xero payroll product in 12-18 months – they could create it easily using some of their existing code, make something that worked really nicely with their accounting offering, and could generate significant extra revenue. Even undercutting the other SaaS payroll products, the could create a 100% revenue boost from companies needing payroll (iPayroll is around $110 per month for 10 staff – if Xero could do it for half that they’re doubling the revenue they make from the accounting users – win/win)
WorkFlowMax is a job and project management offering. It provides timesheeting, job tracking, project management as well as pricing andinvoicing functionality. Priced at $90/month and an extra $20/month for extra users, it’s also a pretty heftily priced option.
It’s a pretty fully featured offering, there is a bit of double-up with stuff Xero already does, invoicing, AP, contacts and the like, but it seems to be pretty substantial.
I can imagine WorkflowMax adding some value to the sort of users that need it’s functionality – perhaps software companies with lots of project planning to do, or Architects and the like.
Other than the double up on some particular functions – WorkflowMax (and other offerings of its ilk) seems to be a reasonably good fit with Xero
The API has always been the secret sauce for Xero that will provide the real value-add that they’re promising. It’s great to see it rolled out, and even better to see partners start using it quickly. I can’t comment on the real estate solutions but they would seem a great way for Xero to target discrete verticale. The project management functionality makes sense and is sufficiently outside of Xero’s core busienss as to be a good fit. As for payroll – Rod, get a few of those hot shot developers onto it soon!