Why Pay $$s to Xero When You Can Have Ubikwiti for Zero $$s?
From what I can see their offer isn’t entirely correct – they’re pushing a single business, single user Ubikwiti account and comparing it to a standard Xero account which isn’t in fact single user. I don’t like dodgy marketing, we’re all better off building the pie before we try and steal slices off each other. I was even less enamoured with the Ubikwiti approach when I received this email from Duane Jackson, super nice guy and founder of KashFlow;
Ubikwiti first came to my attention because one of their blog articles pinged back to mine. Usually this would create a link from mine to theirs. I have no problem with that. If a competitor has been nice enough to link to my blog then the least I can do is link back.
When I checked the blog I realised it was just a copy of a number of other articles. They’d added nothing of value at all and it looked like a blatant attempt to get links back from other blogs.
The next time I heard of them was today. Xero are a competitor in the UK, one of the very few that have the ability to challenge our position. So I keep an eye on them and have a Google alert for their name. So I saw the press release they put out
My first reaction, as evidenced by my Twitter feed, was a string of expletives that included "wankers" and the massively underused "knobs".
My attitude is that whilst Xero are a competitor to KashFlow, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. We are both creating the market for online accounting software. So to try to start cannibalising each others customer base at this point would be a ridiculous thing to do.
That aside I thought I’d take a bit of a look at who Ubikwiti is.
I had a bit of a look around the Ubikwiti site. They’ve got a blog (which to be honest looks like it’s either copied verbatim from someone else’s writing or otherwise is completely ghost written – it has Zero feeling of “engagement”), they’ve got a Wiki (pretty empty right now). There is some detail about what they do; US hosted on amazon.com, Malaysian based, currently hiring etc etc.
I’ll review more later but it seems Ubikwiti is a PaaS/SaaS offering that’s trying to build a small business version of salesforce’s force.com and the salesforce appexchange by building a marketplace, offering some basic building blocks, and allowing other companies to create their own apps to use on the platform. At an initial glance I really like the concept of what they appear to be wanting to do – but concept and actuality are two very different things…
So let’s login and have a play…
I signed myself up for an account and with much anticipation clicked on the “login” button…
So that’s an initial fail… So, trying again I managed to login OK.
Check out the username with the ring around it. No I don’t have a second personality (one is plenty) for some reason Ubikwiti failed out and returned me to their generic demo instance. That’s a double fail.
So I finally managed to sign in and thought I’d have a play with what Ubikwiti tout as;
DIY-GUI – An easy-to-use screen or report customization tool, with its simple point-and-click, drag-and-drop capabilities makes WYSIWYG customization easy, quick and on-the-fly. For example, a non-tech businessperson can modify business rules on-the-fly, such as disallowing negative values or turning off mandatory settings in invoices.
Only I got this reply;
Bear in mind all this fail was before 7am. I think it might be time to go for a coffee, there’s only so much fail a person can handle in one sitting!