The week began with a visit to our new office in San Francisco. It was exciting to see our bright and airy new office, and we could easily picture our new colleagues filling the space. But that wasn’t what this trip was all about. Three members of the Unleashed team (two Australians and one New Zealander) were taking a road trip down to San Jose to attend the QuickBooks Connect conference. After months of planning and correspondence leading up to the conference we were looking forward to the exciting week that lay ahead, and it was going to be nice to put some faces to names.
It was amazing to see QuickBooks Connect branding everywhere – there were flags down the street, billboards all over town, and even the staircase as you entered the building had QuickBooks Connect branding. When we entered the building, exhibitors were busy stacking t-shirts and testing screens, gearing up for the people that were going to descend later on.
Throughout the conference we were kept busy engaging with people who had travelled from all over the country, from many different skillsets and backgrounds. Those that we spoke to were excited about embracing the cloud and learning more about what software solutions like ours could offer both their business, and their clients.
Main stage speakers
The keynote speakers could not be described as anything other than brilliant, and there were certainly some great takeaways – here’s a quick summary of the ones I appreciated the most.
Brad Smith, Intuit’s CEO, introduced four major trends in the marketplace that he believes will either overwhelm small businesses or level the playing field for them to compete with larger businesses. The four trends included the impact of Social, the era of the Cloud, the importance of the Mobile experience, and the power of Data. His message was clear, measured and precise, and there was no mistaking Intuit have a clear vision for what they want to achieve and how they are going to get there.
Magic Johnson spoke about how important it is to know your customers, and said if you know what they want, then you can deliver that and gain loyal customers. He cited the example of how changing the food being served in his Starbucks store achieved just that, which resulted in the business going from strength to strength.
Arianna Huffington spoke about how important it was to get sleep and unplug from our busy work lives. She advised the fastest way to finish a project was to ‘just drop it’, to stop and decide which projects are really important to you. This certainly resonated with many conference attendees and exhibitors.
The QuickBooks conference experience
QuickBooks Connect gave us useful insight into how small businesses operate in the US. After talking to Pro Advisors and direct customers we found there is a lot of opportunity for growth for Unleashed in the SMB space there.
The conference also gave us a chance to learn about existing and upcoming solutions also partnering with Intuit, and the collaborative approaches they were adopting to work alongside QuickBooks Online.
We were really excited to be invited to take part in the QuickBooks Connect conference this year, and were especially impressed with the hospitality of the Intuit team who were friendly and accommodating hosts. We really enjoyed our first taste of the QuickBooks experience and are looking forward to much more as we work together over the years to come!
If you’re a QuickBooks Online user who missed out on the QuickBooks Connect conference or if you just didn’t get a chance to pop by our booth, make sure you check out our integration page to learn about how Unleashed makes inventory management easy.