When we started the Intuit Partner Platform, we had a pretty simple vision: To delight Small Businesses with an ecosystem of applications that solve lots of needs and work extremely well together. We set out to build a platform that would enable us to work with our partners to build more and better offerings for the small business community.
Although the vision hasn't changed, the path along our journey has certainly evolved. Three years ago, platforms-as-a-service were nascent. To help accelerate our partners getting to market, we created and offered an end-to-end platform. This helped a number of our partners get to market, but it wasn't a perfect offering. It was a stack that solved the needs of a small set developers, but couldn't scale in features to meet the needs of all our developers.
While we've continued to invest in our native platform, other platforms have moved at lightning speed. Many of these platforms focus on what I'll call the "lower" end of the stack. This is the stuff a developer needs to build and deploy a saas or mobile app (hardware, database, etc.). These platforms have evolved way past anything we could create and honestly provide a better development experience than we could.
In parallel however, we've focused on our core assets and differentiators, and evolved the "upper" end of the stack. This includes access to QuickBooks data and key "go-to-market" services that make app integrations possible and delight small businesses. As you can see with our Beta release of Intuit Anywhere, we're continuing to push the envelope on providing ubiquitous data integrations and tightly integrated apps to our customers. That's what we're good at, and it's where we will focus now and in the future.
That brings me to a couple of announcements we shared at IPP CloudJam: First, we will no longer offer our "native development" stack for developers to build on. We are going to focus our resources on the top of the stack and make data and services for our developers the top priority.
So what should our developers who are looking for a PaaS offering do?
While we have always been and will always be an open platform, and we will always embrace applications built on any platform, we think it's important to help guide our developers who are looking for a PaaS option to what we believe is the best option on the market. So I'm pleased to announce that we will continue the journey we started with Microsoft last year and double down on our investment to tightly integrate the Windows Azure platform with IPP. The feedback from current developers using Azure and live on Intuit App Center has been extremely positive and we believe with additional investment in our Windows Azure SDK for IPP, we can make developing an app on Azure, leveraging Quickbooks data and IPP's go-to-market services, and getting into the Intuit App Center Channel, DROP DEAD EASY.
We've been extremely impressed with the dedication and quality of Microsoft's platform, their willingness to work closely with our existing partners, and their dedication to making developers successful. Microsoft has built a huge business behind their partner community – they just "get" how important partners are and how to treat them – and with our "native" IPP development option now gone, we think this is the best platform for our developers.
Read up Liz Ngo, Microsoft's business development manager on why we're doubling down on this partnership.
Here is some more information on how developers can take advantage of our partnership, sign up for Front Runner for IPP.
Look for new releases of Window Azure SDK for IPP in the coming months and if you have requests, feedback, or interest in learning more about Azure, please let us know!
Director, Intuit Partner Platfomr