Last week in London NZTE hosted Business in the Clouds, an event which showcased Kiwi software companies that are changing the ways small businesses run.
ICT is New Zealand’s fastest growing export sector and has grown by 41% from 2012 to 2014. It's expected the sector will surpass $15bn by 2025 from $1bn today.
In 2013, New Zealand exported $61m in IT services to the UK.
In the UK, cultural acceptance of cloud business models is continuing to grow across traditional industries such as banking and utilities.
This allows small, flexible cloud-based companies like those from NZ to compete on the world stage.
Business in the Clouds was held at the New Zealand High Commission Penthouse and attracted more than 100 small businesses and advisors.
Vend and Xero were two primary NZ companies showcased. These companies shared the ways in which they are working to make businesses run smoother, increase efficiency and become more valuable.
Volcano Coffee Works, born and bred in New Zealand and now based in London, served guests flat whites and helped demonstrate a day in the life of a retailer who is using technology to better their business.
The cafe owner did his bank reconciliation with Xero on the bus to work, then served his first customer using Vend’s online point-of-sale and Payment Express.
He then sold the wares of his roastery online through his RocketSpark website with its built-in e-commerce platform.
At the end of the day, the cafe owner looked at the day’s sales flow into Xero and used Spotlight Reporting to check how his business was tracking alongside KPIs.
Following this presentation, various thought leaders behind cloud solutions talked about how NZ companies are transforming the landscape for small businesses.
Speakers included Gary Turner, Xero UK managing director; Pierre-Emmanuel Perruchot de La Bussiere, Vend general manager product partnerships and add-ons; and Dan Taylor, NZ Trade Commissioner for UK and Ireland.
“We’re seeing sectors that have traditionally not adopted technology really buying into it now because of the need for productivity and efficiency - two areas where New Zealand has real strength,” says Taylor.
“The growth’s been really significant. The sector as a whole has grown 14% compounded annually for the last six years, which is massive.
“It’s now New Zealand’s third largest export. The UK’s a really important part of that and we see it growing significantly over the next few years,” he says.
The evening was concluded with a beer tasting from the New Zealand Craft Beer Collective and a short talk from Stu McKinley, Yeastie Boys founder, on taking his small business global.
Xero uploaded a video that gives a snapshot of the event and looks at the significance of the UK market for Kiwi businesses.