IDG Contributor Network: Xero breaks through its glass ceiling: customers, revenue and cashflow

It’s fair to say that no one has been covering Xero longer than I have. I first talked to its co-founder and CEO, Rod Drury, long before the company launched a product. Trawling back through my emails and I discovered that we first talked about his vision 10 years ago to the day. (Rod, we really should have a celebratory beer!) I can’t imagine he’ll be celebrating the milestone, but it does go to show just how long Drury has been on this journey.

When it was founded, Xero took a very unusual path, listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange before it even had a real product and customers. Backed by some high-profile names, and with Drury’s masterful marketing execution, Xero got its IPO away in the nick of time, just before the GFC really took its hold.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Docker rolls out an orchestration engine. Because what customers want, customers get

Ever since it became obvious that Docker was onto something pretty special, there have been questions about how the company would parlay its rapidly increasing venture-backed valuation into monetization and, by extension, what that would mean for the significant ecosystem of third-party software vendors and service providers that Docker has built around its eponymously named movement.

Indeed, there have been times over the past years when Docker has made acquisitions of ecosystem players or introduced functionality as part of the platform that has been somewhat competitive to one or other members of its ecosystem. These moves had been met with a degree of concern and worry. Over time, however, the ecosystem has matured and has come to realize that Docker has no option but to extend its functional footprint, which it will do in a broadly open way. And while there will certainly be some casualties from the roster of ISVs around Docker, the approach of making its own technology “swappable” for third-party tools gives some of these players a bit of an out.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: ZipBooks wants to shake up the accounting software market by helping customers collect cash

The accounting software industry is, contrary to what you might think, a pretty interesting place. Characterized by three large vendors that hold the lion’s share of the market in their respective geographies, until recently it has been a fairly sedentary place with Intuit (U.S.), Sage (U.K.) and MYOB (Australasia) happy to organically grow their businesses. That all changed around 10 years ago when Xero, a New Zealand-based startup, came on the scene and started taking well-aimed kicks at the three sleeping bears.

Since then, Xero has gone on to take significant market share in its home market of Australasia, pretty positive market share in the U.K., and is trying its hardest against a newly invigorated competitor to gain a toehold in the all-important U.S. market. That isn’t proving quite as easy as in Australasia and the U.K., due to some structural and competitive issues and also due to the fact that Intuit is doing a fantastic job (at last) of innovating and doing what it needs to do to keep market share.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Microsoft levels up web version of Outlook for business customers

Enterprise users who rely on the web interface for Microsoft Outlook email will be getting an upgrade thanks to new features Microsoft announced Tuesday.

The user interface for Outlook on the web (previously known as the Outlook Web App) has been redesigned with a cleaner look and easier access to key features like archiving and moving messages through a new action toolbar. In addition, Microsoft improved the single line view, so users who prefer browsing a condensed version of their inbox will get a streamlined preview of incoming messages. When they click on a message in single line view, it will be displayed in the same window, without spawning a pop-up.

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CIO Cloud Computing