Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLKB), the leading provider of software and services for the global philanthropic community, today unveiled its innovative open cloud, Blackbaud SKY, to nonprofits, charitable giving organizations, schools and corporate CSR clients at its 16th annual bbcon conference.
“Blackbaud SKY brings together an unparalleled set of capabilities that power an ecosystem of good,” said Kevin McDearis, executive vice president of Research, Delivery and Operations at Blackbaud. “It combines infrastructure, processes and pre-integrated services to deliver total solutions—all within the most secure, scalable and highest-performing cloud available.”
Blackbaud showcased many innovative services that are offered as part of Blackbaud SKY, like payments, Nonprofit Intelligence, data enrichment, email, crowdfundraising and more, which are now being pre-packaged with flagship products to deliver comprehensive, anywhere-accessible solutions to clients. “We’ve embraced a vision to provide pre-integrated, total solutions that no longer require clients to be their own integrator,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, chief technology officer at Blackbaud. “And we’re making it easy for those solutions to be accessed anytime from any device.”
The first cloud solution set built within Blackbaud SKY is the company’s highly-demanded NXT Solution Line. Nearly 1500 clients have purchased to date, and since general availability this summer, these innovative cloud solutions have experienced nearly perfect availability and record-breaking quality. Microsoft executive Neal Suggs joined Blackbaud on stage to discuss a new partnership between the two companies to power the NXT Solution Line with Microsoft Azure. “We know data security is mission critical for our clients, so powering our NXT Solution Line with Microsoft Azure, is just one example of the many ways we’re investing to give them full peace of mind,” Westmoreland continued.
Blackbaud also announced it is opening its new cloud to offer more choice. With Blackbaud SKY API™, clients, partners and other application developers will have access to industry-standard open, REST APIs and a comprehensive set of resources which allow them to customize, integrate or extend functionality. Over time, Blackbaud intends to empower the developer community with full SDKs (Software Development Kits) to make the process even easier. Blackbaud’s SKY API for the NXT Solution Line will be in EAP phase in 2016 with others to follow.
In addition, with Blackbaud SKY UX, the company’s clients will benefit from a consistent, always-modern user experience that will be available across all Blackbaud cloud solutions. “Today we’re completely transforming the user experience with a consistent look and feel, navigation, login and integration – getting clients productive from the first click,” said Westmoreland. Blackbaud Partners will also have the ability to build their solutions with SKY UX, which will also be available as open source. The company presented many new innovations that are already live today with this common user experience, including Blackbaud outcomes, the NXT Solution Line and Givalanche, with more currently in development. “In 2016, our work on the Luminate platform will focus primarily on creating a next generation, SKY user experience that leverages best-in-class solutions, commoditized services, and the overall vision that is Blackbaud SKY,” added McDearis.
Blackbaud highlighted that solutions powered by Blackbaud SKY are bringing rapid, ongoing enhancements to clients. One example of this is the NXT Solution Line, which benefited from more than 300 seamless, automated releases within the past three months.