Blackbaud (NASDAQ:BLKB), the leading provider of software and services for the global philanthropic community, today announced that six next generation solutions are now powered by Blackbaud SKY™, the company’s modern, integrated and open cloud. New solutions and nearly 1000 functionality updates have been made available to customers since the company announced Blackbaud SKY just months ago at its annual conference.
“Our goal was to design an unprecedented open cloud that delivers an ongoing stream of innovation and other benefits to customers, including better time-to-value, increased returns, greater choice and flexibility, and a compelling user experience,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud. “We’re pleased that within months of announcing our new cloud, both customers and partners are seeing value from the deep investments we’ve made to deliver Blackbaud SKY.”
Blackbaud SKY brings together an unparalleled set of capabilities that power an ecosystem of good™. Designed exclusively for the global philanthropic community, Blackbaud’s new cloud combines infrastructure, processes and pre-integrated services (like payments, analytics, email, online donations and more) to deliver total solutions that help customers achieve their highest potential—all with industry-leading security, scale and performance. Blackbaud SKY also includes SKY UX™ for a consistent, always-modern user experience, and SKY API™, which offers industry-standard open REST APIs that allow customers, application developers and partners to customize or extend functionality.
Six Solutions, Nearly 1,000 Updates, Thousands of Customers Powered by Blackbaud SKY
The majority of Blackbaud’s customers already use at least one of its cloud solutions or services. Due to Blackbaud’s rapid innovation framework, within just six months of its debut, more than one-third of Blackbaud’s customers are already benefiting from Blackbaud SKY’s industry-leading capabilities.
Today, Blackbaud SKY is the foundation for many of the company’s next generation solutions. Both Blackbaud’s NXT Solution Line, which includes smart cloud fundraising and relationship management with Raiser’s Edge NXT™ and best-in-class, trustworthy cloud accounting with Financial Edge NXT™, and Blackbaud Outcomes™, a transformational cloud solution which quantifies the measurable impact of social investments for both funders and nonprofits, are two examples of this. Among other capabilities, Blackbaud’s cloud is getting high marks for pre-integrated services—such as the built-in analytics that analyze information and prescribe next steps to help nonprofits boost fundraising and supporter engagement.
• “We really needed the power, flexibility, and expanded features of Raiser’s Edge NXT. It’s going to make it easier on my team,” said Amy Good, senior director of development, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. “We never realized how many ‘gems’ were hiding in our donor database until we looked at the potential of Raiser’s Edge NXT’s wealth ratings and wealth analytics.”
Givalanche™, a recently launched cloud service that supports viral social fundraising while allowing donors to track the total value of fundraising through their networks, is just another example of the many new services Blackbaud engineers are designing to be pre-integrated within Blackbaud solutions as part of Blackbaud SKY.
Thousands of customers are benefiting from Blackbaud’s new common, modern user experience with SKY UX, which offers customizable, role-based views; with access to Blackbaud’s Knowledgebase and other resources directly from within the solution. AngelPoints™, Blackbaud’s integrated cloud solution for employee giving and volunteering, and eTapestry® , which offers simple fundraising management for small and growing nonprofits, are two recent next generation solutions that transitioned to SKY UX. Also, many Blackbaud partners are already taking advantage of SKY UX—by leveraging a rich open source library of components that is publicly available through GitHub—in their own development efforts, allowing customers to have the same modern and compelling user experience across their entire solution portfolio.
• “The new AngelPoints dashboard will allow us to present dynamic content further engaging our employees in our corporate volunteer efforts. The flexibility of the dashboard along with its updated design improves our employees’ user experience, making it easier for them to find events and sign-up,” said Gary Levante, community engagement officer at Berkshire Bank. “There is no doubt that this new enhancement will help us deepen engagement while driving participation in our service activities. We simply could not have achieved the success or impact we’ve had with our volunteer efforts without a strong technology platform in place like AngelPoints.”
Blackbaud’s industry standard, open REST APIs are already in an early technology preview with partners, and are receiving strong preliminary feedback in the areas of ease-of-use and product immersion.
• “Blackbaud’s initial set of modern APIs allowed us to develop an integration with Raiser’s Edge NXT in a matter of days,” said Wadih Pazos, senior vice president of Products, PaperSave. “The APIs were self-descriptive, and the documentation and code samples helped us understand exactly how to use each endpoint…We are hooked!”
Blackbaud customers are also applauding the rapid innovation, which puts frequent updates at their fingertips and ensures they are always experiencing the best capabilities available.
• “The change-overs for upgrades in eTapestry are seamless, and the walkthrough of all the changes is really helpful in outlining the new benefits and features that we are able to take advantage of,” said Mark Zurawinski, fundraising coordinator for Red Door Family Shelter. “I’m confident that Blackbaud has all the bases covered when it comes to any kind of upgrade. Similar to the Facebook experience, we don’t have to worry what version we’re on or lose uptime to get enhancements—Blackbaud handles it for us.”
“Blackbaud SKY is light years ahead of its competitors thanks to its open, modern and secure service-oriented architecture—it has enabled a level of scalability, availability and continuous updates the philanthropic sector has not yet seen from a software and service provider,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, Blackbaud’s chief technology officer. “We can now light up new capabilities for customers at breakneck speed without disruption, which puts the latest innovation in their hands the instant it’s ready. The innovation to date with our new cloud is just the tip of the iceberg—we are on a path to make Blackbaud SKY the foundation for 100 percent of our next generation solutions. As a matter of fact, development for the next generation of our Luminate Online™ solution is already in our early adopter program and on track for general availability in 2017.”
Customers are not the only group highlighting the impact of Blackbaud’s new cloud delivery model. An independent commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Blackbaud found that an investment in (Blackbaud SKY-powered) Raiser’s Edge NXT can provide nonprofit customers with positive ROI, cost savings and other benefits. Specifically, the study showed that one nonprofit customer achieved a 181% ROI, a four-month payback period, and other incremental benefits.
Blackbaud SKY is powering innovation at cloud pace and gaining attention from industry leaders like Microsoft. “Today’s announcement is evidence that Blackbaud not only successfully transitioned to the cloud, but has emerged as a leader in cloud delivery for the philanthropic space,” said Larry Orecklin, vice president and chief evangelist, Developer Experience, Microsoft Corp. “We are pleased to have Blackbaud among the top ranks of the Microsoft Azure ISV ecosystem.”
Westmoreland added, “Blackbaud SKY gives us a remarkable foundation to architect a new, consistent, and open generation of cloud solutions that seamlessly integrate via a common user experience and open REST API’s, while allowing third party developers to do the same. Blackbaud’s cloud is powering the future of philanthropy.”
For more information about Blackbaud’s modern cloud solutions, visit www.Blackbaud.com.