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“Sorry, Sir. No cash. Card only”

I overheard this recently on a flight from Edinburgh to London as the trolley passed through the cabin.

I found this absolutely fascinating.

Air travel fascinates me, I love pretty much every second of it. I love the perspective that flying gives us. I love the people watching, I love the forever changing land and skyscapes. I also love the fact that I’m either travelling to meet with friends, new or old, or returning home to family. I’m either going on an adventure or returning from one.

And I’m in the middle of an incredibly exciting adventure. An adventure that is about to reach new heights (pun intended!) when I set off from London to Melbourne, bound for Xerocon South.

This will be my fourth Xerocon and the first outside of London.

First experience of using my phone as a substitute for my wallet.

6 months ago, in March 2017,  I flew out to Oz at the start of my Waypoint journey. I was reminded again how far the travel industry has come. The experience of going on a long haul flight has changed beyond all recognition. Why? Because the industry has completely embraced technology.  

Think about it? From self-service check in at airports, boarding passes on phones or watches, mobile payment everywhere, ordering food/drinks from an app on your phone or a supplied iPad, having the latest gadgets for sale; plus you’ll always spot people wearing or using the latest tech. And on the latest jets, they’re quieter, the seats are more comfortable, and the entertainment systems are something else. Then you stop over at one of the new airports and it’s another level again! That trip in March was my first experience of using my phone as a substitute for my wallet. And, I loved it!

The ‘card only’ policy makes sense. It’s easier to manage. It’s quicker. It saves retailers money. It’s easier to track. How many times have cabin crew pleaded with you for exact change?

Sorry cash only, we don’t take cards

It still amazes me how many businesses don’t take cards. Especially in the UK.

How much money must they be missing out on?  Let alone the time taken to cash up, sort out floats, the risk of robbery, and much more besides. So many businesses are trapped in an old way of doing things. The travel industry isn’t perfect, but my experience of flying is enhanced by technology.

And that’s what I love about what I get to do. I get to challenge the normal way of doing business. I get the opportunity to show people a different way – a BETTER way of inventory or job management or both. I get to experience different ways of doing business and to teach people about the successes and benefits of challenging the norm.

And, that’s ultimately why I’m going to Xerocon South. The opportunity to go is really a natural progression. Why wouldn’t I want to be surrounded by the people that are leading the change? I’m going to learn from the best. The Southern Hemisphere is ahead in so many aspects of cloud technology and Xero adoption. Of the 1 million subscribers that Xero has in more than 180 countries, just over half of them are in Australia. The decision to join Waypoint was PRECISELY because they were ahead of where the UK currently is. I know that by going to Xerocon I can learn from the smart people in the room. I can hear the success stories and the failures, and pack them in my suitcase to bring back to Blighty.

6 months have really flown by!

Looking forward to meeting the author in person!

The wonderful byproduct is that I get to catch up with the Waypoint team in Australia. We can reflect and celebrate, in person, the first UK projects, and, what a perfect opportunity to meet Kiel and Emma, who joined us since I was last in Melbourne. When I told one of my friends I was travelling to Australia his response was – ‘what again?!’ 6 months has really flown by!

So, why is someone who has the ultimate flexibility to work from anywhere chosen to go on a plane and travel halfway across the World? It’s probably not necessary, right? Wrong!

Here’s the thing; before joining Waypoint, my business wasn’t purely tied to Xero, and I worked across a broad range of cloud technology. The narrower focus on Xero has helped me see what’s possible. It’s got me even more excited for the future. And, while most of what I do can be done remotely, meeting people and learning happens best in person. So, spending the money and the time is absolutely worth it. I want to learn as much as I can so that I’m best placed to help our clients, in the UK and beyond, make the most of the opportunities that Xero has to offer. My job is to help them fly (pun, again, completely intended!).

X marks the spot

This is my first Xerocon South and it won’t be my last. Xero has made profound changes to the lives of its customers and partners around the world. It’s also made a profound difference to me. I thought I knew a lot about Xero 6 months ago, but I was wrong.

I want to learn as much as I can about the impact that Xero has had on people and their businesses, and I want to understand more about where Xero is going next. Understanding the treasure map so to speak.  So I can help our clients make the most of the opportunities available to them.

If you’re going to be at Xerocon South, I’ll be there for the whole week, so it would be great to meet for a coffee, a bite to eat or a beer. We are also excited to announce we’re co-hosting a pre-Xerocon event on Monday evening. Tweet me @Ocius_Jonathan to arrange a meetup or register here for the event.

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan’s been helping organisations make the most of their technology for over 20 years. He heads up our UK operations and is bringing our Aussie knowhow to the UK. And, when he’s not doing that - you’ll find him soaring through the skies of East Sussex, as he’s a passionate paraglider.

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