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Partners will need to wait to get into Xero's new machine learning automation system

Partners will need to wait to get into Xero's new machine learning automation system

Initial trial underway with full rollout expected later in the year

Rod Drury - Xero CEO

Rod Drury - Xero CEO

Cloud accounting company, Xero, has launched a machine learning automation system designed to automate manual processes for accountants.

The New Zealand-based Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner said the system uses statistical analysis to learn from and assist the individual business and their partner based on their own specific circumstances.

Xero business product lead, Luke Gumbley, told ARN the tool was developed internally because the company could not find an appropriate solution from those already on the market.

“We did have a look at using Amazon machine learning tools but their platform wasn’t suited to the particular problem we were trying to solve," Gumbley said.

“They have big models which work across large amount of data, but we needed a large amount of small models,” he explained.

Gumbley added that the platform had not been opened up for third party developers to work on as it was still in the early stages, but there were do technological barriers for this to happen in the future.

Luke Gumbley - Xero business product lead
Luke Gumbley - Xero business product lead

“We could absolutely do that, it is not something we have focused on, initially improving our own interface for customers.

“It is kind of an untested thing, we don’t know what people’s reaction is going to be which is why we are being fairly careful with the initial rollout, but there is nothing holding us back from making those endpoints available to partners," he said.

Gumbley said the company wanted to see how the customer base was adopting the platform before letting technology partners have a chance to develop solutions.

“What I expect will probably happen is that as this starts to get more popular, our partners will start getting questions from their own customers about the technology,” he explained

“When we start adding things like web hooks to our public APIs that our partners use, they would then find it easier to generate these kind of models."

The initial release is for 1000 customers which use the invoicing feature on Xero’s platform. This will run for two weeks and be followed by a more formal beta release which will include select Xero customers and partners.

The company said the benefits of the platform have already been demonstrated in early testing.

“After just one invoice, machine learning techniques understood invoicing behaviour in general better than Xero experts,” Xero said in a statement. “By the fourth invoice, early machine learning implementations are accurate over 80 per cent of the time and by the 50th they consistently reach over 90 Per cent.”

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