August 18, 2008
"SMBs are at an interesting point right now. When they open for business they don't think about main street, they think across the county, they think globally. The days of the yellow pages are gone."In talking with Rick Jensen, SVP and General Manager of Intuit's Small Business Group, one thing is clear -- this guy is amped up about the opportunities online technology opens to small and midsize businesses. Of course, he should be -- he's promoting the announcement about Intuit's new Connected Services strategy a rollout of QuickBook-connected services.
For the smaller businesses that use the various flavors of QuickBooks, the announcement opens the door to the exactly enhanced functionality that competitors have positioned as QuickBooks biggest liability. The move into the SaaS realm comes as the drumbeat for cloud computing edges into deafening territory and captitalizes on the Intuit's $170 million acquisition of Homestead Technologies late last year. Not that the shark has jumped in the cloud, but it's worth noting that recent outages for Amazon, Citrix, and Google has raised more than few eyebrows about the reliability of SaaS -- a concern that is perhaps compounded when businesses review financial/accounting software. But Jensen was clear that Intuit is not departing the desktop for the cloud, positiong the new strategy as as "increasing the value of the the desktop offering," helping SMBs build a bridge "from the deskopt world to the online world," and connecting SMBs together through the new Intuit Accountant Work Exchange (now in beta).
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