MYOB has announced its roadmap for a move to the cloud, despite research it commissioned finding that just four per cent of Australian SMEs want to move to cloud-based finance software.
According to Tim Molloy, general manager Online at MYOB, the move to the cloud, starting with the launch of online accounting solution LiveAccounts in June, was about providing the company’s customers with choice and would initially complement, rather than replace, its on-premise software business.
“We’re not standing in the marketplace having to peddle a story about cloud as the only way to go… we are saying there are different products for different parts of the market," Molloy told Computerworld Australia.
“If you think a browser-based cloud approach is right for you we have an offering, and if you think desktop plus cloud is the way to go we have an offering, and if you think desktop-only way to go we have something too.”
Molloy said a major driver for a move to the cloud was to facilitate the integration of banking data into accounting software to provide both accountants and businesses owners with real time information on how the business was tracking.
In line with this the LiveAccounts application will incorporate data feeds from 100 financial and other organisations including the ATO, BPay, Westpac, Paypal, eBay and Google.
Improving collaboration between accountants and their business customers was also another major focus of the cloud roadmap, Molloy said. Accordingly, cloud collaboration tools will also be rolled out in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Because you are online you will be able to have a different relationship with your accountant,” he said. “Instead of packaging your data up and sending it to your accountant every quarter you will now be able to collaborate with them. It will change the business model of how accountants interact and assist their small business customers.”
Reacting to research indicating that only 39 per cent of Australian businesses had their own website, Molloy said the cloud roadmap would also include the launch of a website building and hosting service in the fourth quarter of this year.
The service will be provided by a third party provider, but will be branded by, and incorporated into, MYOB.
Finally, an AccountRight product will be launched during 2011 and will include software plus services such as data storage and back up, payment gateways, and compliance and regulatory reporting tools.
The new cloud services would be hosted at a data centre located within Australia, Molloy added.