Despite what many “new economy paradigm” aficionados would have you believe, the rural sector makes up a huge proportion of New Zealand’s GDP – it’s for this reason that travesties such as the Factory Farming issue are so vitally important to nip in the bud.

I love it when a story arises that sees new-economy partnering with the old economy and in doing so achieving good things for both. Case in point today – Xero and federated Farmers sign a heads of agreement to:

facilitate the roll out of its international award winning solution to members of Federated Farmers and the rural community.

CEO of Federated Farmers, Conor English, keen to remove the stereotype of farmers being dullards, points out that:

We have been lobbying Government on the provision of rural broadband because we know it is vital to get a step change for rural New Zealand. Some have suggested that farmers don’t need or would not use broadband. This is simply wrong.

Another interesting points about this deal is that it’s a chance for farmers, often in very poor connectivity regions, to have two services integrated at source – banking data and accounting – this reducing the amount of data needed to obtain over the pipes. Of course it creates some challenges for Xero, in terms of ensuring their footprint is as small as is humanely possible.

English also hints at some specialized development work that Xero will do for this partnership when he hints that Xero will also integrate

with other data sets such as dairy or lamb receipts and
farm input

An excellent development for all concerned – it’ll be interesting to see what specific integrations comes from this, and what sort of uptake it garners.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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