Earlier this morning, Intuit’s Eric Dunn shared his thoughts on Tradeshift and the rationale behind the partnership and “strategic” investment his firm made in the e-invoicing network/platform upstart. In short, Dunn summarized that Tradeshift addresses the space that exists between QuickBooks users to build connectivity with enterprise counterparts. He also suggested that Tradeshift has:
- A compatible vision to “eliminate paper-based transactions, simplifying business and bringing the world closer together.”
- Modern technical design – “Service oriented architecture, extensible platform approach, mobile centric UI, etc.”
- Customers/clear market traction – not just a strong vision or underlying product/platform
- An “impressive” team
Dunn reiterated that Intuit is “not a financial investor,” but is seeking to partner “with a company with a fast growing network” where it can dedicate resources to integrate the products/services. Currently, Intuit has assigned four resources to the joint development projects and “hopes to have product” in customer hands by year-end.
The vision for bringing the Tradeshift platform together with QuickBooks extends to supplier enablement/on-boarding. This includes when a QuickBooks user “sets up a supplier for the first time, the system knows they’re on the network” and does not require new information to be entered. The goal is to drive increased supplier participation and connectivity.
Another goal is to avoid “supplier fatigue,” such as when QuickBooks users do “double data entry” by using eProcurement supplier portals to enter invoices, but also do manual data entry into QuickBooks. “They do it because they have to, but they’re not happy,” Dunn observers, regarding this all-too-common phenomena.
The partnership, in part, aims to overcome this type of AR double-duty that small businesses face when working with large customers using eProcurement and e-invoicing tools by linking transactions through the Tradeshift platform. This will start first with invoices but will move into POs and other document types, Intuit suggests.
We’ll continue coverage of Tradeshift’s Analyst Day later this week.