Going Mobile: TurboTax App for EZ Tax Filing is Latest Example of Intuit’s Broader Smartphone Initiative

2/1/11Follow @bvbigelow

Shortly after Brad Smith took over in January, 2008, as president and CEO of Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU), he embarked on a “listening tour” to identify the Mountain View, CA, company’s biggest opportunities and challenges. In developing what he called the “case for change,” Smith combined what he heard with some broader trends, such as shifting demographics and changing technology platforms, to develop a new strategy for the 28-year-old software company.

Smith laid out his case in a company-wide presentation on April 2, 2008, setting a new course for Intuit and its global workforce of 7,700. He declared that “connected services,” which Intuit defines as software-as-a-service or online services connected to desktop software, would be a core competency going forward—with development for mobile platforms a priority.

“At that time, nearly half of our revenue was coming from connected services,” Intuit spokeswoman Colleen Gatlin told me. “We had zero mobile apps.”

Barry Saik

Today, Intuit has more than 15 mobile offerings targeting its core market of small businesses and consumers. While connected services is at the hub of many platform channels, the initiative has Intuit developers asking, “Why not think first about mobile?” says Barry Saik, vice president of product management at Intuit’s San Diego-based TurboTax division

“The great thing about mobile is that you have to do the connected services and software-as-a-service to support it,” Saik says. “It’s essential that you develop a connected services strategy first, so you can leverage your core platforms rapidly.”

I met recently with Saik and Gatlin after TurboTax announced the nationwide launch of SnapTax, the first mobile application that enables … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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