During Xerocon I was fortunate to be on a panel session during the Developers Day that was discussing the relationships between accountants, integrators and add on partners.

Interestingly, the questions and discussion turned to the role of the cloud integrators.

Integrators help us provide an overall solution for our clients. We’ve worked with Rype and TradiePad to deliver a holistic solution to our clients, and look forward to discussing potential opportunities with several new integrators we met at Xerocon.

These relationships work well for us. Our focus is on using back-of-house solutions to provide efficient bookkeeping and admin solutions for our clients. But integrators tend to focus on front-of-house solutions that affect the relationship between the client and their customers, such as Vend, GeoOp and Deputy.

By working together we can deliver an efficient business platform for the entire business, rather than an efficient back end that doesn’t deliver due to an inefficient front end or vice-versa.

So why use an integrator rather than doing it ourselves?

Here are a few reasons:

  • These guys specialise in certain industries, and know the issues and pitfalls to avoid.
  • They know the programs inside out because they specialise and use them all the time.
  • They’re up to date on the latest releases, features and (occasionally) problems.
  • We can access this expertise as needed without having to invest time and resources for what could be only two or three installation a year for each industry/program.
  • We can focus on our “inch wide, mile deep” philosophy—the cornerstone of our business model.

So how do partners choose integrators? If you’re looking for one, we suggest you:

  • Check out the Xero partners pages.
  • Talk to the add-on partners. They can tell you about the integrators who regularly use their products.
  • Monitor social media such as Twitter, and follow partners or potential integrators who talk about the products you’re interested in.

When working with integrators, you need to understand the roles you both play in planning and delivering a solution for the client. For example, we focus on setting up the Xero files and the back-of-house functions, while the integrators work on the add-on partners and integrating with the Xero file.

Recognise your strengths, understand your business focus, and use the integrators to deliver the balance. The result? A happy client with an efficient Xero-based business platform.