When former Xero country manager Leanne Graham hopped on board the GeoOp train in February, she brought more than just a half-million dollar cash infusion to the three-year old job costing solutions provider.
As GeoOp’s new CEO, fresh from building Xero’s channel, Graham expanded the staff with eight new employees focused on channel growth alone.
Graham’s view is that GeoOp’s channel naturally extends outside the traditional resellers that it started with, namely, accountants.
“The guys have spent the last three years building the product. We’ve had it in the market for the last year and we’ve had fantastic growth,” says Graham. "There is no true leader in this mobile workforce job costing space.”
GeoOp is a cloud-based product that puts job costing into the hands of mobile workers using their consumer-grade devices. The product allows staff and job scheduling, workforce tracking, quoting and invoicing, all from a smartphone or tablet. While it was a natural fit to begin reselling through accounting firms, especially Xero users, Graham is pushing IT resellers as the third leg of its channel to market, joining accounting services and telcos.
“I think there’s going to be a cross-pollination we’ll see across these channels over the next few years,” says Graham. “An accountant can sell it, but they can’t give advice on the hardware, because they don’t know it, and they don’t want to know, and they can’t give a recommendation.”
GeoOp has been driving hard to bring its solution to the trades, which she counts among the “micro” businesses that make up the bulk of the New Zealand economy.
The vendor has an agreement with local plumber trade organisation NZPM to recommend the solution.
“We have an entire industry that does business on pen and paper and in this day and age, that shouldn’t be happening,” says Graham.
Work in the Cloud, a provider spun off from an accounting firm, and a Xero customer, has also been working with GeoOp over the last year, and has seen the benefits of that trades-relationship.
“You’re out there 40, 50 hours working and you have to come back and do 15 hours of work writing up an invoice, posting and emailing the invoice,” says Margaret Holmes of Work in the Cloud. “It does really cut down that invoicing and accounting time that you have to do as a small business owner.”
Holmes says her company’s Xero business generated leads to add GeoOp to the mix, but more recently, Work in the Cloud has been queried for a more capable cloud solution based on what the users need. That has led to interest in GeoOp.
The cost for the service ranges from $25 a month for a two-user licence to $249 a month for unlimited users.
“It really scales from micro to even divisions of large businesses,” says Graham. “There hasn’t been an affordable platform to bring this kind of service to that SMB space.”
The product can be integrated with Google maps, or with fixed geospatial solutions, such as NavMan or eRoad, a solution used in the trucking industry. Graham sees GeoOp as putting business solutions into the hands of vertcials that couldn’t afford them before.
For IT resellers, the opportunity is to add this on to the services they are already selling. Graham hypothesises that many in the channel will be challenged to think more nimbly.
“You’ve got your ERP software resellers, their world is going to very much change in the next one to five years. It might be a lot earlier than that,” she says. “Many of their clients have an installed low-end ERP system, and the resellers generated the revenue from the margin of selling the box or the licences with the services.”
“But people are now expecting more than the functionality of what those systems provide for almost nothing beyond commodity cost. And the technology is so intuitive these days the clients don’t have to pay for big services contracts.
“So I think we’ll see a lot of the ERP resellers transforming their businesses to the cloud, and to be that expert. But my succcessful ones will narrow that to certain industries.”