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New software users adopt Cloud more readily than legacy users: Intuit

Long term users tend to go for hybrid software solutions while new adopters go directly to the Cloud.

That is what Intuit financial management solutions senior VP and general manager, Dan Wernikoff, has seen with the take-up of the vendor's own QuickBooks product.

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"We have found that there are some customers that have no interest in shifting their accounting platform and you can imagine why," he said.

"If you have been using QuickBooks desktop for 10 or 15 years, you're comfortable with it and it does the job, so there is no reason to shift over but you want some added benefit of having a mobile application."

To address this segment of the market in its home turf of the US, Intuit developed a desktop application that allows customers to synch company files to the Cloud and access their QuickBooks data remotely.

However, what Intuit has seen with new users is that they are starting off with the web only version of QuickBooks.

Wernikoff said this is due to them seeing more value in using a natively designed web application, such as remote access, the synching mechanism, and better integration with third party apps.

"What we're seeing is that our new customers, at least in the US, are overwhelmingly starting with web only," he said.

Pure play

Intuit has been gradually expanding out of the US market globally, including Australia, where it is marketing its Cloud based solutions.

When it came to introducing the vendor's product globally, Wernikoff said there was the one benefit of not having a large user base of existing desktop customers to deal with.

This meant that there was no complexity related to the transition to the Cloud as Intuit experienced with its customers in the US.

This meant that the vendor could be "more aggressive in pure SaaS and mobile" instead of diverting attention to the hybrid desktop solution.

"While I agree with the high level concept of making a desktop product more valuable by connecting it, it still doesn't give the full benefit of having a pure web application," Wernikoff said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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