Keeping humanity in a childcare software offering
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Keeping humanity in a childcare software offering

by Jason Roberts

August 23, 2022

Our sector is one of community. One of warmth. One of connectedness. One of people.  


So why is it that some providers coming in to serve the sector often overlook these factors? Yes, the latest and greatest might all be well and good, but what is the real human impact of the product or solution? 


To further explore this notion, we sat down with Sean Murphy, CEO of Xap Technologies, to learn more about their journey since coming into the ECEC space, and what they’ve learned along the way. 


Harnessing the passion of educators 


“Educators as a whole are, by nature, caring people who are passionate about early childhood education,” Mr Murphy said.


“Most of the people we encounter don’t come into it because they’re going to get rich. They come into it because they have a passion for education and a genuine desire to help children. What we do, as a software provider, makes up such a small portion of their day, and it’s important not to lose sight of that.” 


Xap launched in 2016 in response to an opportunity to disrupt. The ECEC sector had long been dominated by one software provider and Xap’s founders figured there must be a better way to manage the administration of running early education centres and all the various complexities that come with that. 


“The early days of Xap were challenging as we navigated the variety of requirements for childcare providers and the government,” Mr Murphy continued. 


“One of the biggest learnings was that we had some amazing technology people, but they weren’t really experienced in childcare and childcare software. It was clear we needed to rectify this.” 


Experience speaks volumes 


Two years ago, this sparked a big investment by the founders of Xap in not only opening a Brisbane office, but also in recruiting experts in the sector.  


“It changed the business in terms of what we could deliver to our customers. The feedback that we got from our customers was that working with us switched from feeling transactional to feeling like they were part of a two way partnership.”


This pivot, he continued, has meant that Xap is now able to work closely with clients on solutions that really make a difference.


Xap’s talent acquisition came from both sides of the fence. A large strategic element of Xap’s success stems from the fact that it hires people who have worked as either childcare educators or admin staff in childcare centres, as well as people who have experience with childcare software. 


“The people element is super important. Right through our business, whether it’s a support person, a developer, or myself, you need to be passionate about our customers and want to make their lives easier,” Mr Murphy shared.  


“It is a people business – the educators we cater for love people. They’re caring and nurturing people. We need to do the same for them, or else we won’t be successful.” 


Surprising and delighting along the way 


Another key facet of Xap’s success has been its ability to change perceptions and give a little bit of a wow factor. The complexity around CCS, managing children, interacting with government, and doing direct debiting can be daunting for most.  


Xap’s evolution came in response to market demand to automate  processes that have been traditionally completed manually.  


“For our customers it was very much a case of ‘I don’t know what I don’t know’. Until they have a look at a product like ours, they just think this is the way it is. They think ‘I’ve done it like this for the last 15 years and I’ll be doing it like this for the next 15 years.”  


“But there comes a lightbulb moment when they see the power of Xap and realise they’ve been missing out on all these benefits to their business, and parents. That moment when they understand what else they could be doing instead of engaging in time consuming admin tasks is really rewarding to me.” 


The real challenge for software businesses is that, at face value, they can start to all look the same.  


“It’s really when people start to engage with us that they understand we’re in this for the right reasons, and we know what we’re talking about. Many of our staff have endured the same challenges our customers face, and it’s become such a reassuring process that we know how to help them get the best out of our product for them.” 


To explore more about what Xap Technologies can do for your childcare business, book a demo and see if it’s right for you.

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