A year ago Intuit acquired Demandforce, an online marketing and communication product, to bolster offerings that help small businesses attract and retain customers. Intuit recently celebrated several Demandforce milestones, not the least of which is that Demandforce has helped Intuit’s Small Business Group achieve 17 percent revenue growth for the quarter over this time last year.
Back in November 2012, Intuit launched an Intuit Pay pilot project for the United Kingdom. The company has since learned a lot, improved the product, and announced that Intuit Pay is generally available, giving anyone who sells products or services in the UK a reasonably easy and low-cost way to accept credit and debit card payments, whether in person or over the phone.
Per Intuit’s most recent Small Business Employment Index, the employment rate is gradually improving. Intuit and LinkedIn have agreed to host the first “Hire Smart” event for small businesses looking to hire their first employees. This free event at Intuit’s HQ in Mountain View, California, is slated for April 27, 2013.
As part of its ongoing quest for innovation, Intuit recently announced that QuickBooks Online is now available for mobile devices. QuickBooks Online for iPad (the name is somewhat deceiving given that the product runs on multiple mobile devices and not only on the Apple iPad) is the newest addition to the QuickBooks Online suite. Through a single QuickBooks Online account, a business can access and interact with its data from a computer, tablet, or other mobile device. There are native apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones (but no native Android tablet app yet). Data automatically syncs between devices and users, so small businesses can manage their finances anytime, anywhere.
Intuit recently released its “December Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes” as well a special 2012 look back report. All data cited in the blog post and year-end report are based on a combination of government data and an anonymized subset of Intuit QuickBooks Online, Intuit Online Payroll, and QuickBooks Online Payroll users.
Intuit’s payments group launched Intuit Pay, a mobile payments pilot geared at small businesses in the United Kingdom (UK). The service offers users an inexpensive way to accept card payments anywhere with a free mobile app and low-cost chip and PIN reader.
A survey of 1,000 small businesses in the UK found that 19 percent of micro-businesses (firms with fewer than 10 employees) currently accept card payments. Almost half (47 percent) said they would accept cards if there was a more affordable way of doing so using their smartphone or tablet. There are an estimated 4.6 million micro-businesses in the UK.
These days, amid the austerity, cuts, and general malaise, it is refreshing to hear about the whopping annual growth of a manufacturing-oriented enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor. Sure, one can discount the magnitude of this upbeat news—this particular vendor is still budding, if you compare it to SAP, Oracle, or Infor—but I welcome this it(and so should any ERP vendor). More impressively, the vendor in case, xTuple, has also been tirelessly delivering new features for customers, and all the tinkering in the lab isn’t keeping it from ringing the cash register.