Add-ons add up

14th October, 2015

Over the last couple of years, literally dozens of add-ons have been created to extend the functionality of MYOB software. Add-ons have become so popular, they now have their own dedicated Add-On Centre on the MYOB website.

We recently managed to catch up with Keran McKenzie, the driving force behind the success of the Add-On Centre, in an airport lounge where he was waiting ever so patiently for his delayed flight to Perth. Given he had time to kill, we asked Keran to talk us through add-ons, the MYOB API and his love for developers.

“I wish I could come up with an elegant description of what an add-on is, says Keran, “but in essence they are independent solutions that solve specific pain points for a business.”

“To enable them to extract the data they need to work,” explains Keran, “add-ons utilise our API or, to give it its full name, Application Programming Interface.”

For the non-technical folks reading this, an API works a lot like the common household plug. For example, let’s say you’ve just moved in to a new home and the electricity company has connected your power. Now you want to “add-on” a television. So you have a sleek, shiny 48-inch TV installed, but until you plug it in to the wall socket it won’t work.

The plug, no matter where you live in this country, is a standard size and shape, allowing you to get power from any wall socket. An API works the same way, in that it allows anyone with the correct code to plug in and get the data needed to make their add-on run.

Given add-ons are created by third parties, not MYOB, we asked Keran to tell us a bit about how he works with independent developers.

“Many companies,” said Keran, “make the mistake of focusing purely on technology. For me, it’s all about the people. I’m constantly amazed at the community we’ve built around the MYOB API.

“Developers trust in us and we trust in them. I’ve watched start-ups grow and grow, and also seen my fair share of struggles within the community. We laugh with them, cry with them, because they are a big part of our future.”

Last year alone, the developer community working with the MYOB API brought an astonishing 85 products to market. That’s 85 new products that help to make business life a little easier for MYOB clients.

Three popular time-saving add-ons

Tanda If your business has more than ten staff that clock in and out, Tanda will save you time. It’s a no brainer.

Service M8 or Tradify Great tools for tradies. If you run one vehicle or a couple, either of these will allow you to throw away your paper diary.

Timely If your business involves client appointments, this add-on will transform the way you schedule. Seriously.

To get more out of your MYOB software, add on an add-on.

This article was originally published in the first edition of MYOB’s broadsheet, Insights, also available on iPad.