Checkfront helps businesses manage their inventories, centralize reservations and process payments online. Checkfront has a flexible pricing, rates and rules engine which makes it ideal for accommodation and other tourism related providers. Its detailed reporting gives you instant views of your bookings, customers and availability. There are plugins for many popular content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal that let you take bookings from your own website.
Who is it for?
Checkfront is suited to any business that needs to take bookings in real time such as hospitality, accommodation, tour and activity providers. For more of an insight into businesses using Checkfront, check out their customer reviews.
Timely is an online appointment scheduling system that has everything you need to take bookings online or in person. The flexible multi-staff and location appointments capability lets you do recurring and penciled-in bookings and rebook easily. Timely’s email and SMS reminders help you cut down on no-shows. It even integrates with our friends at Vend if you need point of sale too.
Who is it for?
Timely works great for any business that takes appointments – beauty and hair salons, massage therapists, dentists, day spas, tutors, photographers and many more – if scheduling is a key part of the business, Timely might be able to help.
As Gary mentioned in a post the other day, a new version of Windows has just been launched by Microsoft, one the many pundits see as the biggest launch of any Microsoft product in its history: Windows 8. Right now in Redmond Microsoft are in the middle of a massive Windows 8 launch conference for Windows developers called Build. The reason it’s so massive is because this is the first Windows that has been specifically designed to operate in the Post-PC era (even though they refuse to admit that’s the world we now live in) – a Windows not just for your desktop – but also for your tablet or your phone – a unified experience, glued together by Microsoft’s cloud offering (SkyDrive), consistent in user interface through Metro (Windows UI) and an experience that’s designed to flow seamlessly between home and work and back again.
For anyone upgrading to Windows 8 it’s very obvious what the biggest change is as you are greeted with it when you log in – the Start screen, an evolution from what Microsoft invented with Windows Phone 7, is colorful and unique, fully utilizing the Metro design language (I don’t care what Microsoft want me to call it – it’s Metro). There is no Start button – just rows of colorful, “live” tiles. Definitely this interface is the most controversial aspect of Windows 8 – it’s a complete change, however one that will be familiar to the 2 Windows Phone 7 owners out there (sorry – couldn’t resist). The tiles are cool though, and were the best part of WP7. It actually makes Android and iOS look extremely dated – instead of rows of static icons, Windows 8 offers users glanceable, personalized, dynamic information from your favorite apps, even when they’re not running.
It’s always a big challenge re-designing a homepage, so we thought we’d share some of our thinking, why we made the choices we made.
Today we’ve released the ability to mark an invoice within Xero as “Sent” using the API. This was our most requested API feature from current developers. It is really useful if the invoice has been sent/presented in another system and you want to reflect this in Xero.
Full details on how to use this in our release notes.
There have been requests for the ability to email invoices from Xero through the API also – we are holding off on any development until some of the new functionality within the Xero application around emailing invoices is completed later this year. Keep up to date on this here.
Upping the tempo
It has been 2 weeks since we announced the release of the first version of the conversions import tool, a project the API team have been working on for the past 5 months, so we wanted to increase the velocity of feature development with some short, sharp releases through the latter part of 2012.
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CustomerSure makes it easy for your customers to give valuable feedback on your products or services. CustomerSure has developed tools for you to collect and manage that feedback, whether it’s suggestions, requests or complaints, and the reporting and analysis help you track how you are handling them.
Who is it for?
CustomerSure can be used with any Xero business that sends invoices to customers. To get the most out of CustomerSure of course, you will need to have email addresses for these customers.
Since we first raised the opportunity of developing services that make it easy to switch from other accounting applications to Xero towards the end of last year, there has been a lot of progress to report.
There are already four Add-on conversion services for Xero that we have certified and promote, covering all the popular accounting systems that customers moving to Xero might wish to convert from.
As these services have been developing, we have been taking feedback from developers, accountants and end users on what we can do to streamline this process further.
Read more about Accountants
In early October I’m heading to Christchurch in order to give a talk at the Canterbury Software Summit entitled “Xero to a Million: The Fear and Ecstasy of building Web Scale”. It’s an emotive title, but I want to convey the rollercoaster ride of building a software platform where the number of users can double every year. It’s the most thrilling but scary project I’ve been involved in, and as I come up to my 5 year anniversary I can’t help but look back at the journey of the last half a decade.
This is HQ as it existed some 5 years ago
Following up from our commitment to help Xero Add-on partners raise funds we attended the Ice Angels investment event last night.
What an inspiration! Sir Ray Avery regaled a fascinated crowd with stories of health sector entrepreneurship both in New Zealand and with the legendary Fred Hollows in Africa. His key message – be customer centric by using observation, and just solve the problems you see. “People say things in surveys but don’t do them, just watch what happens – that is my only trick,” Ray says.
Following on presenting accounting software after Ray spoke of saving lives is always a challenge but I then covered the Xero ecosystem and pathway to market. The evening was held in conjunction with ICE Angels and JBWere and attracted an influential audience of over 70 people.
This desire to get more developing software companies in front of funders came out of our thinking on the Apportunity and what we learned at Xerocon Melbourne about Xero as a platform with a growing range of enthusiastic development companies connected in. We want to make sure that our Add-on partners are well resourced and this event was just the beginning.
Wise.NET is a complete cloud solution for training providers. They offer a range of applications that include student administration, CRM, e-learning, surveys and finance management to suit organisations of different sizes and with different needs. The Wise.NET team also provide expert consulting services to tailor a solution and implementation as required.
Who is it for?
Wise.NET has been designed to address each stage of the student lifecycle. It can be used in training environments such as corporate training divisions and is developed to meet the specific needs of private and vocational training organisations. The Wise.NET Platform meets all reporting and compliance obligations for Australian RTOs, New Zealand PTEs and Singapore PEIs.