TechOne gets IRD sign-off to host NZ data in Australia

The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department has given TechnologyOne the green light to offer its New Zealand customers enterprise software-as-a-service via its TechnologyOne cloud, which is hosted in Australia.

TechnologyOne is among a handful of organisations that have been granted permission by the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to store data for its New Zealand customers in Australia on the TechnologyOne cloud as a third party provider.

Under the Tax Administration Act, TechnologyOne is able to store taxpayers' electronic records outside of New Zealand. This means its existing and future customers are exempt from data sovereignty rules requiring financial records and business record to be stored in New Zealand.

TechnologyOne executive chairman Adrian Di Marco said the IRD's approval means there are zero barriers to delivering its enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) to its New Zealand customers.

"Local cloud hosting providers cannot afford to make the significant investment required to keep pace with the continually evolving cloud. Most of these companies are hand crafting a 'customer specific' solution, which cannot deliver the economies of scale, the long term strategic benefits, or future proof the way forward, as we are able to do" he said.

"When we fix it a problem, make an enhancement or add a new feature for one customer, hundreds and thousands of customers benefit — we do it once and everyone gets the benefit. This leads to economies of scale and long term strategic benefits not achievable by hosting providers."

As part of the approval, TechnologyOne is required to operate under three conditions: Information and records stored offshore remain accessible by the commissioner and do not impede on her compliance activities; information and records will be available upon request in an electronic and usable format and at no cost to Inland revenue; and in the event a service agreement ends between a third party provider and its client, the third party provider will return all the data to the client.

According to TechnologyOne, it will store its customers' data in two data centres in active-active configuration, so each transaction is updating two mirrored databases simultaenously in real time to reduce the risk of systems outages. 

The TechnologyOne cloud was officially launched at the company's Evolve user conference in February 2014 where the company announced it was committing AU$80 million to its cloud offering.

"Companies such as Google, Facebook and Salesforce have become leaders in the cloud, because they develop and run their own software, and continually invest to improve it. It's called software-as-a-service," he said.

"In the same way, we build, run, and optimise our software to run our software as a service on the TechnologyOne cloud. We have always developed, sold and maintained all our software — now, we are accountable for running it on the cloud too.

"This enables our customers to focus on their business — not the technology."

Other organisations that have been granted the same permission by IRD includes Xero and MYOB.