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Just four years ago, about 17 million people used products hosted on Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) servers, contributing about half of the company’s revenue. Today, 45 million customers rely on Intuit’s connected services offerings, generating almost two-thirds of the company’s revenue – strong evidence of its rapid and successful transformation to a leading provider of cloud-based services.
Validating this strong position, Brad Smith, Intuit president and chief executive officer, outlined an evolving connected services strategy that builds on the company’s position in cloud-based services, and provides mobile and data services for consumers and small businesses. Smith shared details of the strategy at Intuit’s annual Investor Day, which also included presentations from Chief Financial Officer Neil Williams and several business segment leaders.
The company also reaffirmed its full year and first quarter
guidance for fiscal 2013.
“Over the last four years, we’ve met the challenge to innovate in a social, mobile and global world. Most important, our strategy put Intuit in position to win big in a connected services economy,” Smith said. “Building on this momentum, and capitalizing on the ubiquity of mobile, the richness of our data sets and the power of community, we are ready to usher in the next phase of great at Intuit.”
Accelerating Connected Services: A Three-point Plan
Intuit’s assets, ecosystem and innovation engine uniquely position the company to take advantage of emerging market trends – an increasingly borderless world, the prevalence of mobile devices and the scalability of the cloud – to continue solving the unmet needs of small businesses and consumers.
Its evolving growth strategy includes three key elements: awesome product experiences, enabling the contribution of others and using data to delight.
Awesome Product Experiences
Intuit remains committed to its heritage of customer-driven innovation and creating an entrepreneurial environment where small teams innovate to delight customers, Smith said. Intuit estimates that more than $100 million in fiscal 2012 revenue came from products that didn’t exist three years ago, a 10-fold increase from two years ago. Awesome product experiences drive active use and positive word of mouth – the company’s No. 1 source of new customers. As part of this effort, Intuit plans to create more stand-alone mobile applications. Two current mobile innovations include:
Snap Payroll, the latest innovation from Intuit’s Employee Management Solutions group, which allows small businesses to quickly calculate taxes and withholdings so they can pay their employees with confidence.
Intuit Fasal, offered in India, which helps more than 1 million farmers get the best prices on their crops by delivering text messages that provide prices at local markets.
Enabling the Contributions of Others
The second strategic element includes tapping into the innovations and contributions of customers, partners and third-party developers. Harnessing the power of many, the company can address new customer problems and personalize and localize customer experiences better and faster. Current and new examples include:
Live communities, where customers can get questions answered by other customers about everything from special tax circumstances to competitive pay for employees. These online communities have been part of products including TurboTax, QuickBooks and Mint for several years. Today, they reach more than 10 million users, and have answered more than 25 million questions.
The Intuit Partner Platform, which allows third-party developers to integrate their services with QuickBooks data. There are 130,000 third-party developers in the Intuit ecosystem serving more than 2.9 million registered users. In addition, Intuit is opening the application programming interfaces to its financial data service in the U.S. and Canada, creating a unique opportunity for third-party developers to build new and innovative financial solutions.
QuickBooks Online, which is now available to small businesses around the world. Built on the existing platform, the global product taps into the power of community by inviting customers and third parties to further localize the product in numerous ways, from language translation to tax analysis.
“We have come to appreciate that we are operating in a world where we alone cannot solve all of our customers’ problems,” said Smith. “We are finding new ways to open our products and platforms so that our customers and third-party software developers can help us add value to our products, even while we sleep.”