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The Rise of Commercial Platforms
When smartphones started becoming more and more popular, a well-known ad campaign coined the phrase, “There’s an app for that.” While it’s a catchy phrase, it also signified a turning point in software development: the commercial platform. Fruit Ninjas, Angry Birds, and that Facebook app on your iPad were all built to leverage Apple’s iOS commercial platform. Leading technology companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft* have all shifted to commercial platforms.
Think about it like this:
When Rovio built Angry Birds for iPhones, they didn’t have to program the pinch controllers for touch screen, or create a math engine for scoring, or figure out how to make the game flip when you turn the phone to landscape view. That was all part of the platform. Rovio was able to focus on game play and user experience, letting iOS handle some of the underlying features.
When Instagram made their extremely popular photo sharing app, they didn’t build camera controllers and hardware with buttons and batteries and wall chargers. That was all part of the platform. Instead, Instagram spent their time on user experience and features specific to how people wanted to use their software.
What does that have to do with your nonprofit? Everything.
The largest fundraising software companies almost always use proprietary platforms. And to make things worse, they have several different proprietary platforms. So their own products don’t even work well together. In previous decades, when a software company wanted to produce a new product or upgrade their existing ones, they built a propritary platform. The problem is that one company with limited resources had to not only keep up with industry best practices but also try to advance the platform at the same time. The technology became quickly outdated and unable to keep pace with changes on the front lines. And to their credit, years ago, that was the only way. But like so many things which used to be good ideas, the time for proprietary platforms has come and gone. The time for commercial platforms is here, and most fundraising software companies are struggling to catch up.
And that has everything to do with why your nonprofit is having so much trouble changing with the times. Continual improvement requires a commercial platform for performance, flexibility, and innovation. The ability for your software company to respond quickly to market shifts is simply not possible on their proprietary platforms.
StratusLIVE for Fundraisers Is Next-Generation Software
A commercial platform is a big part of what we mean when we say “StratusLIVE for Fundraisers is next generation software.” StratusLIVE for Fundraisers is built as a product-based solution on the commercial Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.
The results have strong implications related to organizational flexibility, agility, reduced risk, and the certainty of future innovation (vs. dead-end proprietary solutions). It’s definitely not technology for technology sake; it’s to enable improved performance and outcomes on a platform where the future viability and vitality is certain.
Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
Here are a few of the many advantages:
- Gartner and Forrester Leading CRM
Gartner Magic Quandrant Leader in Multiple Categories
Forrester Wave CRM Leader in Multiple Categories
- Global Development Ecosystem
10,000 Business Solutions
- Widespread Adoption
- Massive Research and Development Budget
Microsoft invests almost $9 billion R&D annually across all Microsoft products. Many improvements, such as native integration to Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, and Yammer, are regularly added to StratusLIVE for Fundraisers’ functionality. These functional enhancements are natively included in StratusLIVE for Fundraisers with regular updates.
- Long-term Vendor Stability
With the largest installed information systems user base in the world, there is no lower technology-investment risk than Microsoft.
- Commitment to security concerns and rapid platform security response
As an open commercial platform, MS Dynamics CRM has tens of thousands of employees and users with motivation to respond to security threats.
* Names, logos, and trademarks of Apple, Google, and Microsoft or any other companies mentioned belong entirely to those companies.