On the Road; MYOB Roadshow Diaries Week 2

MYOB AccountRight Product Manager Dale Dixon is on the road in Australia and New Zealand, presenting to 8,000-plus accounting and bookkeeping partners. In his down time, he’s blogging about the experience with observations from each event, questions from attendees, and tales from road. If you haven’t seen it, check out part 1.

THURSDAY 12 FEBRUARY – SYDNEY

A tired team arrive in Sydney for the last Roadshow for the week. This will be our fourth event – having completed Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. I have been doing Roadshow for 5 years with MYOB and by far this has been the largest and has had the best vibe ever. It’s a very exciting time to be with MYOB.

We arrived in Sydney about 8pm, which is early for the week so out we go for a quick bite to eat.  A quick search on the iPhone and we found a little Malaysian place for dinner. After walking for a few blocks in completely the wrong direction we finally re-orientated ourselves and found the place.  The restaurant was very small with plastic cups and small wooden tables and we were a bit concerned what we had gotten ourselves into but the food was absolutely awesome.

Dinner with the team

The team sneaks in a beautiful Malaysian Sydney meal

The Sydney venue is one of my favourites as it was once a building where trains were repaired and it has been converted into a great conference centre and innovation hub.  The building is full of old equipment and machinery and it makes you wonder what the workers of the past would have thought about large conference being held in their workshop.

Locomotive Workshop

Is it a bird? Is it a train workshop? No, it’s a conference centre.

It’s certainly a warm day in Sydney and the air-conditioning struggled a bit. That didn’t stop the crowds, though, with the event being completely sold out and this being our largest event to date.

Lots of screensLots of screens to accommodate lots of attendees

Our awesome add-on providers are also here, showing off the great solutions that they have to make business life easier working hand-in-hand with their MYOB software.

Roadshow rolls on

Another bustling MYOB Add-on Tradeshow

The Sydney MYOB Certified Consultants and MYOB Bookkeepers in the breakout session were the most engaged of all the cities to date. The new features released today to partners in AccountRight 2015.1 were very well received.

Now we are all off home to spend Friday in the office and then next week continue on to Brisbane, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.  These are exciting times!

MONDAY 16 FEBRUARY – BRISBANE

Out we go again on Sunday afternoon on our way to Brisbane – our last major Australian city before heading off to New Zealand.

Just like all the other cities we had a great number of attendees, along with the huge number of add-on providers at the trade stand.

Brisbane

The MYOB Add-on Showcase rolls on in Brisbane

Late last week we launched AccountRight 2015.1 to all of our partners, and I was amazed to hear from one of our Certified Consultants that over the weekend she had uploaded 250 supplier invoices to smart bills and created and linked these source documents to all the transactions. It is exciting to see what a great response we have had to the new smart bills feature.

A very purple audience

A very purple audience

It’s also amazing how many people use our software. Standing at the airport in my MYOB-branded shirt minding my own business (pardon the pun), I was approached by a guy who uses our software and wanted to have a chat. It was a great way to get feedback and ideas on how we can continue to improve our software.

Now we’re off to Auckland to prepare for our next event on Wednesday for all our awesome NZ partners.

WEDNESDAY 18 FEBRUARY – AUCKLAND

You wouldn’t think the three hour time difference would be a big deal between Brisbane and Auckland, but it’s not easy getting up at 6:30am in Auckland, I needed at least three coffees before I was making any sense at all. I’m grateful I wasn’t presenting until 11:30am.

Not only is Roadshow a great chance to catch up with our partners in Auckland, it’s also a really good opportunity to catch up with our NZ colleagues. The recently renovated BankLink offices are awesome and you can really feel the engagement and energy there.

Auckland was packed just like every other city. Have I mentioned that this is the BIGGEST ROADSHOW EVER!

This time it's Auckland's time

Another packed house. This time it’s Auckland’s turn.

Again social researcher and keynote speaker Michael McQueen has our Auckland partners playing rock, paper, scissors like little kids. Here’s a video…

http://youtu.be/uTYL1w3ftEo

Our NZ partners are a great crowd and were really engaged throughout the event – many telling me about how more and more of their customers are moving to the cloud. Smart bills is also a real hit and just like all the other cities, the feedback has been great.

During my presentation I spend some time walking through some of the little changes that exist now in the new versions of AccountRight that that can often be missed amongst the big features like smart bills.  These little things can make a big difference in the day-to-day workflow for customers. Our approach is every time we make changes to an area of the product, we make it just that little bit easier to use. It is really cool watching the nods and sometimes surprise in the room. I think everyone walks away learning something new.

We had to rush to the airport to catch our flight to Wellington and landed there late afternoon.  Wellington is such a beautiful city and the weather was just great.

A few of the MYOB team went out to search for something to eat – for many of us this was the first chance to eat we had all day – and I for one was a little hungry. We found a great Spanish restaurant and enjoyed a quiet night with my wonderful colleagues, including explaining to my colleague Rob this was actually not Mexican food (we had paella)!

Looking forward to the Wellington event tomorrow morning.

THURSDAY 19 FEBRUARY – WELLINGTON

For those that know me, I really can’t function in the morning without a coffee, and this morning I got to have my coffee sitting outside by the water in the sun. And wow the Wellington weather was great!

Our conference again kicked off well and we had one of our best turnouts ever.

A few tips for presenters, make sure your online subscription isn’t going to expire during the roadshow. Yep, this happened to me today and had a bit of panic just before my presentation which is all about demonstrating new online features in AccountRight. Luckily we got it all sorted and the demos went off without a hitch!

But my favourite part of today was that one of our Wellington-based customers heard about the conference and decided to come along. This customer had previously been on AccountRight v19 desktop running in their local network. They are now on AccountRight 2014.4 which now allows their five users to all work collaboratively together on their network.  The new version is faster and more reliable and they’re now in the process of automating the entry of their sale order using our API. They were very excited about the new features and what this is going to mean for their business.

And just to wrap up a great day, I just received the following email from one of our customers: “Our Office Manager is very excited and super happy about the new in-tray feature in MYOB.”

As I type this I am sitting at the Wellington airport waiting for my flight to Christchurch for our final event in New Zealand. It has been a great week and a great Roadshow. We have some fantastic partners, but I have to say I’m looking forward to getting home and seeing my wife and kids.