Social good software leader Blackbaud bets big on Microsoft Azure as the two companies plan to go deeper on integrations, innovation and sector leadership to scale global good
BALTIMORE, Oct. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of bbcon 2017, Blackbaud (Nasdaq: BLKB), the world's leading cloud software company powering social good, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), plan to expand their partnership in support of their mutual goals to digitally transform the nonprofit sector.
The nonprofit sector represents the third largest workforce behind retail and manufacturing in the United States with approximately 3 million organizations globally. Blackbaud, the largest vertical cloud software provider in the space, announced its intention to fully power its social good-optimized cloud, Blackbaud SKY™, with Microsoft Azure. The two companies highlighted a three-point commitment to collaboration for the good of the global nonprofit community. This announcement comes just days after Microsoft launched its new Tech for Social Impact Group, which is dedicated to accelerating technology adoption and digital transformation with the nonprofit industry to deliver greater impact on the world's most critical social issues.
"This newly expanded partnership between Microsoft and Blackbaud will allow both companies to better meet the unique technology challenges nonprofits face," said Justin Spelhaug, General Manager of Microsoft Tech for Social Impact. "By combining Microsoft's cloud platforms and expertise with Blackbaud's leading industry solutions, we will create new opportunities for digital transformation to empower nonprofits to make an even bigger impact on the world."
"The nonprofit community plays a vital role in the health of the entire social economy, and we've been working for more than three decades to help these inspiring organizations achieve big, bold mission outcomes," said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud. "For nearly that long we've also been a Microsoft partner, and we're incredibly enthusiastic about forging new ground together as we tackle some of the most pressing issues nonprofits face. Both companies couldn't be more committed to this space, so the nonprofit community should expect great things from this expanded partnership."
The newly expanded partnership between Microsoft and Blackbaud will focus on three key areas:
1. Deeper integration between Microsoft and Blackbaud solutions, with Blackbaud's cloud platform for social good, Blackbaud SKY, powered by Microsoft Azure.
Blackbaud has been developing on the Microsoft stack for over three decades. As a leading Global ISV Partner, Blackbaud is already one of Microsoft's top Azure-based providers. Today, Blackbaud announced its intention to fully power Blackbaud SKY, its high-performance cloud exclusively designed for the social good community, in Microsoft's Azure environment.
"Blackbaud's expanded Azure commitment will be one of the most significant partner bets on Microsoft's hyperscale cloud, and the most significant to transform the social good space," Spelhaug added. "We often highlight the engineering work behind Blackbaud SKY™, because it demonstrates the power of Microsoft Azure and the kind of forward-looking innovation and leadership that the nonprofit sector greatly needs."
Details of the investment are not publicly available but the companies plan to share more about the partnership in coming months. Blackbaud also announced its plans to become a CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) partner for the Microsoft platform, simplifying the purchase, provisioning and management of Blackbaud and Microsoft cloud offerings. For nonprofits who want the security, power and flexibility of the cloud plus the services and support of a trusted solution provider that deeply understands their unique needs, Blackbaud will be able to deliver both Microsoft and Blackbaud solutions through a unified purchase experience.
2. A commitment to pursuing best-in-class nonprofit cloud solutions that bring together the best of both companies' innovation for a performance-enhanced experience for nonprofits—from funding, to mission operations, to program delivery.
Blackbaud and Microsoft plan to pursue innovative ways to fully harness the power, security and reliability of Microsoft's Azure-Powered solutions (ex. Office 365, Dynamics) and Blackbaud's industry-leading, outcome-focused solutions that cater specifically to the unique workflow and operating model needs of nonprofits—all with the goal of improving nonprofit performance across the entire mission lifecycle.
This includes exploring how both companies' respective cloud artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics innovations can be leveraged in new ways to drive even greater sector impact.
"There is massive opportunity to empower the nonprofit community through creative tech innovation," said Kevin McDearis, chief products officer at Blackbaud. "Every 1% improvement in fundraising effectiveness makes $2.8 billion available for frontline program work. This is just one example of the type of impact Blackbaud focuses on with our workflows and embedded intelligence, and we couldn't be more thrilled to team up with Microsoft to push into new areas of innovation that move the sector forward, faster."
3. Joint sector leadership initiatives that make innovation, research and best practices more accessible to nonprofits around the world.
Nonprofits are addressing some of the world's most complicated issues. As shared value companies, Microsoft and Blackbaud share a commitment to helping nonprofits meet those needs. Microsoft is globally known for its unmatched philanthropic reach and impact. And Blackbaud, which exclusively builds software for social good, invests more in R&D and best-practice-driven research for global good than any technology provider. Both companies were among just 56 companies named to the Fortune 2017 Change the World list.
Together, Microsoft and Blackbaud intend to partner on initiatives that make innovation more accessible for nonprofits large and small; while also exploring ways the companies' data assets, community outreach and sector leadership can be synergistically and responsibly applied to improve the effectiveness and impact of the entire nonprofit community.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world's leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.
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Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding expected benefits of products and product features. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov or upon request from Blackbaud's investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.
SOURCE Blackbaud, Inc.