Recent changes at Omatic Software—what does the future hold?
As we recently wrote in “Omatic Software and Blackbaud’s the Raiser’s Edge,” many of Build’s clients using Blackbaud’s the Raiser’s Edge also use products from Omatic Software to help manage their data—particularly integrations.
At the conclusion of that post, we outlined changes in the Blackbaud product ecosystem and at Omatic. This made us curious: what does the future hold for Omatic? We sat down with founder Jeff Montgomery and new CEO Dan Kim to find out. Here’s what we learned.
How are changes at Blackbaud impacting Omatic?
Two things about how Blackbaud approaches its products are important to understand:
- Blackbaud’s new SKY API that is more open, accessible and free.
- Developing a common data model that will eventually make it easier for Blackbaud to integrate its own products.
Companies like Omatic have benefited from Blackbaud’s being a laggard in both modernizing its platform and also failure to adequately integrate its products. These changes not only impact Blackbaud, but impact the broader ecosystem of developers who emerged to fit unmet gaps in the Blackbaud ecosystem.
So What about Omatic?
The question is, “Will this reduce the need for Omatic products?”
Omatic’s believes that software companies are often good at product development but poor at product integration. If that holds true, there will always be a need for companies such as Omatic that focus on integrations and do it well.
And even if Blackbaud seamlessly integrates its own products, there will still be a need for integration between Blackbaud’s products and third-party systems.
What about Omatic and Salesforce?
The rise of Salesforce and some missteps from Blackbaud driven nonprofits towards Salesforce-based products as an alternative to Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge and Blackbaud CRM. But, switching to Salesforce hasn’t solved every problem, especially with respect to managing data. Complicating things, some nonprofits have both Salesforce and the Raiser’s Edge.
This introduces two questions:
1. What might Omatic offer customers that have both Salesforce and the Raiser’s Edge? Omatic recently released a connector. The company views the Raiser’s Edge as the industry leading fundraising platform and Salesforce as the industry-leading CRM platform. The new connection allows organizations to synchronize constituent records in both platforms, while using each platform for those things it does best.
2. Will Omatic develop a suite of tools for “Salesforce only” customers? We don’t know the answer, but it is certainly a possibility. Omatic is interested in not only being good at connecting Blackbaud tools, but Salesforce tools as well. Increasingly, will be asked to address integration challenges for Salesforce customers that don’t own a Blackbaud product. And as they have in the past, it will be possible for Omatic to turn a work product created for one customer into a packaged software solution for their entire customer base.
However, Omatic’s growth, at least for the near term, relies on doubling-down on its investments. Integrating Blackbaud products with each other and with third-party systems. Blackbaud has significant market share, and it is far from being the case that every Blackbaud customer is also an Omatic customer.
Changes at Omatic Software
Omatic Software received a significant investment from Big Tree Capital Partners in 2016. Along with that, came new leadership and expectations for growth.
Nonprofits are justifiably nervous when their favorite vendors go through ownership changes. What will happen to the products they have come to know and rely upon? Will customer service suffer?
Build found its conversation with new CEO Dan Kim and founder Jeff Montgomery encouraging. In speaking with them, we received a lot of insight about the market opportunities open to Omatic—in the Blackbaud universe and beyond.
A long-term plan for growth. Build found it encouraging that Big Tree is interested in the long-term opportunity at Omatic Software. Big Tree is clearly interested in implementing its own views for the financial management of the company, by definition Big Tree doesn’t do quick flips: slashing costs for the sake of making Omatic look more appealing to another buyer.
Increased focus on product development. In speaking with Dan, Jeff, and others inside the company, Omatic plans to focus more exclusively on product development. It wants to reduce the services it provides itself, and leveraging a broader group of partners. Clearly it will be difficult for any Omatic implementation partner to know Omatic’s products as well as they do themselves. But Build Consulting has worked with many clients on successful system implementations where the implementer was not the system developer. (For example, every time we’ve supported the implementation of a Microsoft product.)
A smooth leadership transition. We also enjoyed seeing the level of rapport between Dan and Jeff and their mutual excitement about the future. Dan is spearheading business strategy. He is ultimately tasked with leading the company towards the type of growth Big Tree envisioned when making its investment. Omatic founder Jeff Montgomery has moved back to what originally inspired him to start the business—working directly with clients, understanding their challenges, and translating that into product vision.
As we wrote in our previous blog post about Omatic Software, Build Consulting has extensive experience helping clients address Blackbaud data management challenges, particularly in the Raiser’s Edge. And we often recommend that nonprofits with the Raiser’s Edge consider how Omatic Software products can improve their data management.
Moreover, we’re excited that Omatic is growing and using its software development skills to approach new challenges. More high-quality integration solutions in the market makes it more likely we’ll be able to identify the right product to meet our clients’ needs.