Excuse any typing, grammar on this post – done on the fly.
Orchestrated, as all keynotes are – but with a drum band from a college – noisy and inspiring. Beatles remix, come together, a few audio glitches – and then a restart. Someone from the events planning team will be asking for a credit. They’ve used the Beatles before in their opening keynote. Similarities – one of the best selling music bands – best selling fundraising software. What will it all mean for our fundraising.
CEO and president opened to the stage. “BBCON is my favourite event – the 2nd one I’ve attended.” More than 2,500 attendees. A few generalized statistics on what the organizations have done. Mention of MicroEdge conference running in parallel and a welcome to those clients. “Technology for good, mission for good.”
Keynotes similar to others in that the discussion is more about mission, commitment, talking about the company in glowing generic terms as opposed to specific. “Now for a series of 10 minute keynote speakers.”
Suzi Soza – 1st keynote speaker – social enterprise and non-profits. Then, Mike Nellis – accountability to donors. Robin Thurston from Under Armour – Inspiring from a data acquisition, management, real-time and user interface. Simon Lockyear from Everyday Hero.
Blackbaud asks us to think about what it’s like to be an organization of the future – as the company brings it together to move to the future. Roadmap transparency. All products have clear roadmaps. Innovation at increased velocity. Cloud, mobile, online, prescribed analytics all new innovations. 1,500 clients adopting NXT solutions since release. “We hear from happy clients each day.” “Dramatic improvements in quality.” “Almost flawless deployment of NXT.”
Announcement – new product Blackbaud Outcomes. Will provide more frictionless grant processing and tracking options. Will help make the funder understand what the non-profits are doing. Manage grant applications in one place across projects from MicroEdge and Blackbaud. Pathway for a data standard across non-profits. Ability to compare data and results across focus areas.
Another innovation. Donation form with social sharing icons to launch gift information on Facebook, Twitter and via email. “Givalanche.” This can then be deployed to mobile via the link, which also has the sharing of the gift. Viral approach to the social sharing of gifts. Also shares total giving, counts of donors and other campaign information to help encourage other donors to give – ongoing notifications. More applause on this one. Plus – more data insights on these gifts. Helps leverage social influences of individual donors. NXT customers will get in 2 weeks. No additional costs, included with NXT at all subscription levels.
Improved user experience. Engineering teams are creating a modern, common interface that will be used across all products. The platform will also be provided to partners so all products have the same look and experience. Mobile offerings are being added to all products.
Improvements in support and knowledge management. Investment in chat, more applause here. Investments in new knowledge base. More applause. Investment in robust online community. More than 750 videos and numerous online blogs.
Improvements in integrated products. NXT designed as one integrated solution.
Open flexible architecture. Will be announcing new set of capabilities to be able to integrate Blackbaud solutions into your own enterprises and with partners. These will be moved into an open cloud environments.
Blackbaud partner network mention.
So, some significant announcements at the keynote but not as many as I personally would have preferred. However, given the mix of products that Blackbaud sells, and the diversity of the audience, it probably doesn’t make sense to focus on product changes, additions and other aspects that only manage to engage a part of the audience. To Blackbaud’s credit, they’ve broken these out into separate sessions to be able to engage customers more granularly in roadmap announcements.
Looking forward to the rest of the conference to hear more. Sourcing, implementation and the rest of the day-to-day work back at the office will provide the “proof of the pudding” as we move from announcements to reality over the next year.