I woke up in the middle of the night to take part in a phone conference (NZ 9am is some ungodly hour in India) only to find my time zones were confused and I was an hour to late.
The conference was initiated by Telecom New Zealand and was to announce their partnership with Xero. It seems Xero will now have a presence on the Telecom Business Hub – Telecom customers can get a free 60 day trial of Xero (as opposed to the standard 30 day one).
It’s a big win for Xero in my opinion, despite their bullishness they need to achieve scale (their released half year report show a burn rate that demands scale). Telecom is already in the mind of most New Zealand business customers so this move just increases that presence.
So from a marketing perspective I understand the benefits to be gained from this deal. From a user perspective there are a few things that would really create a value add that a partnership like this could bring such allowing for a single billing point and tight functional integration between the two companies.
Given the economic climate however it’s a great win for Xero that should see them ramp up their customer numbers, and for Telecom it builds the perception that they’re building a complete business needs marketplace for their customers.
(And maybe, the recent announcement about the new WCDMA network will mean that Telecom customers can have those iPhones that Rod has long been saying will be revolutionary )