Cloud Services

Sales Tax Headaches Solved with xocbox and Taxjar

2020 saw an increase in the number of retailers expanding their online sales channels and the trend is set to continue and in 2021. If your business is starting or expanding its online sales channels then one of the things you are sure to encounter is sales tax.

Collecting and reporting sales tax revenue has also become more complex, as the rules have changed for many states which now require tax to be collected if you reach a certain level of sales, or have “nexus” in that state. The confusing part is that not all states have the same rules, so making sure you are in compliance with each set of rules can get tricky very quickly.

This is where xocbox takes the pain out of your monthly sales tax filing and reporting. Xocbox now integrates with Taxjar to provide automated sales tax calculations, reporting and filing.

We use Taxjar’s API to ensure that filings are automatically submitted to the states where you are registered so you never miss a filing date, the correct tax rate is charged at checkout, and you can establish whether you have nexus in all states or just one or two.

If you have been wondering how to cope with all the new laws and changes surrounding sales tax, contact us today to see how we can help.

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Bitcoin, Microsoft and Starbucks

A new cryptocurrency platform called Bakkt is being launched which intends to use Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated global ecosystem for digital assets, and Starbucks will be the flagship retailer working with Microsoft to help launch this platform.

According to Maria smith, VP of Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks.

The Bakkt ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing, together with merchant and consumer applications.

Intercontinental Exchange, an operator of global exchanges, clearing houses, data, and listings services, plans to form the new company to create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.

However, Starbucks will not be accepting bitcoins for coffee at their stores, as was first reported and was quick to point out that it is working to develop a system that makes it easier to convert cryptocurrencies to cash – not accepting bitcoin for coffee!

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Salesforce buys Mulesoft for $6.5 billion Inc, the cloud-based CRM company is continuing its recent acquisitions with the announcement that they will purchase Mulesoft for approximately $6.5 billion. The sale is expected to close at the end of July 2018.

The acquisition of Mulesoft will allow Salesforce to target specific sectors such as health care, financial services and government agencies and expand their Platform-as-a-Service portfolio of products and allow their customers to change and innovate faster, deliver better customer experiences, and increase their own operational efficiency.

Mulesoft’s current customers include such names as Coca-Cola, Barclays and Unilver, providing them with a platform for building application networks that connect enterprise applications, data and devices, both cloud and on-premise.

These platforms enable companies to build applications that suit their specific needs, and pull together data and applications from different sources. The addition of Mulesoft’s technology will allow Salesforce to create an integrated cloud service that combines the best of traditional in-house corporate computing with data and apps from the public internet.

Mulesoft technology makes it much easier for a company that wants to combine various apps, for example, Google Maps, and digital payment capabilities such as those from Braintree, with older software programs and data by pulling everything together, whereas without this technology a company would need to write custom code which may, or may not, even be possible for them.

Salesforce’s goal to double its annual revenue by 2022 to $22 billion will be helped by this purchase, as Mulesoft has been rapidly expanding by connecting applications, data sources and devices using in-house servers or public cloud providers for clients such as McDonalds Corp.

The purchase of Mulesoft will be Saleforce’s largest acquisition ever, and follows its recent acquisition of CloudCraze, the provider of B2B e-commerce technology built on Salesforce’s platform. It also acquired Demandware in 2016, to offers a retail industry focused Commerce Cloud e-commerce platform. With MuleSoft, it will be able to provide customized integrations of multiple applications to better compete in the business software market.

As both Salesforce and Mulesoft continue their combined technology development, they aim to accelerate customers’ digital development, enabling them to utilize data, cloud apps and devices for a better connected customer experience.

Learn about xocbox integrated enterprise architecture technology.

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Amazon Competes for Government Contracts

When you mention Amazon to many people they immediately think of Amazon shopping and Prime delivery, but not as many are aware of the huge inroads that Amazon has made over the past years into cloud computing.

It has been reported that the Pentagon has opened a competition for a multi-billion-dollar cloud services contract, which many of the big players such as Microsoft, IBM and Oracle fear will favor Inc.

Many of the companies looking to compete for government contracts had been pushing for the use of multiple cloud providers, however, the Pentagon announced on March 7 that it was planning to go forward with a single company.

US Department of Defense Chief Management Officer, Jay Gibson, has confirmed that this will be a multi-billion-dollar contract due to the Defense Department’s current technology needs.

The Pentagon confirmed that it intends to strengthen its use of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and internet of things and for this reason is switching to cloud services.

As Amazon has already won two huge Defense Department contracts for cloud services, others in the industry believe it is in a good position to win this contract. Whilst the Pentagon’s contracting office stated that they had no preference in contractors, offering the contract to a single vendor, not only causes those who do not win the contract to be locked out of the market for 10 years, it also creates problems for existing government contract vendors, such as Oracle.

Oracle currently has long-term contracts with several government agencies that use its database to store information on their own systems, and switching to cloud computing, would seriously affect Oracle’s traditional source of revenue.

In February of this year a contract was awarded to REAN Cloud LLC, an Amazon partner for a reported value of $950 million, and although this contract was later challenged by Oracle and then reduced to $65 million, it still worries some that Amazon is now the leader in cloud services.

There is no question that the Pentagon’s planned transition to the cloud will threaten on-site database providers such as Oracle and IBM, and while other vendors plan to emphasize their strengths to win this contract, it will be interesting to see which company is ultimately awarded the contract.

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