QuickBooks Connect has wrapped up. Lessons have been learned. Connections have been made and information sharing has just begun. If you did not make it to this event you missed some good food, great educational sessions, fantastic hosts, new Apps and some interesting main stage speakers.
My post event thoughts:
- QBO is here to stay and you had better get used to it. I know that is no secret, but based on the survey we hosted recently, there is still a segment of ProAdvisors who don’t like it (or hate it, even). According to the leaders of Intuit, Desktop is going to be supported for the foreseeable future, so don’t fret. However, Intuit also just invested a considerable amount of time, energy and money to show the world how important QBO is to the future of the company, so don’t be surprised when support begins to diminish, especially if it that takes place sooner than you would like.
- You can bet on the Intuit team striving to do their best for their clients. I know it may not always seem that way and I know that sometimes it may seem that decisions are being made in a vacuum, but after spending the amount of time I have spent with so many different people on the Intuit Accountant team, I truly believe they are committed to being the operating system behind small business success. Will they get it right every time? Probably not. Will they strive to serve their customers as well as they can? Yes.
- If you have a chance to participate in an Intuit Design 4 Delight event, do so. I have sat through 3 now and have learned something each time. My take away this time is to work on “rapid experimentation”. This is a core principle in the D4D process. Find a way to participate. You just may find out what your next growth opportunity is and it may not be that difficult to obtain.
- Even Martha Stewart has her moments when she wants to tell people that she disagrees with them in a way that you may not normally hear coming from someone of her “stature”. Not sure what I mean? Ask someone who was in the session. A gentleman would never write such words!
- Arianna Huffington is actually pretty funny and Magic Johnson is the real deal when it comes to business.
- There is another QB Connect in the future. No details were shared, but we’ll share them as soon as we have them.
- There really is “an App for that”! You can be assured that there is an app for whatever challenges you or your clients have. Many of them were represented on the exhibit hall floor.
I’d like to say thank you to those at Intuit who made the event what it was for those of us on the guest list. It was great catching up with friends and colleagues and hearing directly from the leadership of the company about what is taking place and what the future holds.
Keep up the good work Intuit and keep supporting the ProAdvisor community as they support Intuit.
And now it is 'my turn', but Gary did such a great job there isn't too much left for me to say, but just a few Murph views.....
Let me say that Intuit has a lot of wonderful people working for them, not only the staff that was present at this event working in so many different capacities, but a lot of people none of us ever really get to see, and perhaps many who no one even gets to talk with. I had the distinct experience of going to Intuit's Menlo Park campus for an event where hundreds of Intuit employees were celebrating Diwali, a national holiday in India. This was a chance to speak with some of the software engineers and technical developers who make the Intuit products we use a reality, and I'm not just talking about project managers. Best of all I had an opportunity to thank them on behalf of all of the ProAdvisor community (even if you didn't send me your proxy of approval) who's lives are enriched by the software they write.
I think it is important to remember that our relationship with Intuit is much like the debate over the 'chicken and egg', one doesn't exist without the other. Intuit enriches our lives and our practices, I can't begin to think what I would be doing today if I hadn't purchased that very first copy of QuickBooks for DOS all those years ago. I need Intuit, we need Intuit and Intuit needs us.
I remember thinking to myself 20-sum-odd months ago when I was contacted to begin a Beta review of a product Intuit called Harmony how silly it seemed that they would call the totally revamped QBO by such a name. But I soon saw for the first time promise in the QBO product because of its significantly improved performance (speed) and operational friendliness, yet this new name didn't sink into my head. At last year's VIP event the big emphasis was on the presentation of Harmony to those in attendance, and Intuit's commitment to the product and making the new QBO the operating system behind small business.
Over roughly the next year I was hearing about continual improvements rolling-out the door and becoming aware that 'developer acceptance' was steadily improving. More and more ProAdvisors were earning QBO certification. The user base was growing progressively, and then the International releases of Harmony started making their way into Australia and India and Canada and the UK. With each new update and expansion the user base continued to grow until now we realize that more people are actually becoming QBO users then are purchasing desktop QuickBooks products. Oh sure there continue to be way more desktop customers than QBO customers, but everything that is expanding the very technology we use is expanding the QBO user base, not the desktop base. So how long do you think it really will be before QBO fully overtakes the desktop platform? (that's retorical), it could be much faster than we suspect.
As Gary put it, QuickBooks Connect was all about QBO; certainly the desktop products were represented at the Intuit displays and in a couple of presentations, but for the most part this was indeed a QBO show. More importantly this show was also about connecting Intuit with their ecosystem of advisors, developers and product (SMB) users, and to a great extent it reached 'around the world' with attendance from those countries into which QBO has been released.
One of the most 'gung ho' contingencies here came from Australia; I already knew they were the most prolific 'social media' Intuit bunch, but I had no idea that they lived and breathed this stuff; their enthusiasm is contagious, I know I caught it (despite my already having a cold). What I see is that QBO is not only about bringing accountants/advisors together with their customers and also attaching developers along the way, but about bringing 'the world' of users (at all levels) together.
I believe the day will come when even the smallest mom and pop store using QBO may be dealing with customers around the world who also use QBO, and who readily exchange A/P and A/R across the platform directly, and 'bit coin' payment direct to each other. A day when I as a ProAdvisor may share a client with one or more other ProAdvisors half-way around the world in order to facilitate the special needs of multi-national locations to manage a special problem, all because QBO makes the connectivity easy and instantaneous. A world in which a developer from 'the land down under' (by the way more Apps are pouring out of there than anywhere else) can troubleshoot with a ProAdvisor half-way around the world, (perhaps several at a time) via QBO while we beta-their newest product in a shared QBO test file.
The times are a changing, are you?
As I see it, the new QBO is all about sharing, and connecting, and reaching out into the future, and in doing so making it's name a reality by providing 'Harmony' between all of its users 'world wide'.
PS - Thanks to everyone at Intuit; you have indeed 'changed my life so profoundly, I can't imagine ever going back...'