Omatic Software and Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge
Build has extensive experience helping clients address Blackbaud data management challenges, particularly in the Raiser’s Edge. We often recommend that nonprofits with the Raiser’s Edge consider how Omatic Software products can improve their data management.
This blog post will help you learn what Omatic Software provides, how to work with Omatic most effectively, and what the future holds for the company.
What is Omatic Software?
In 2003, a software developer named Jeff Montgomery left Blackbaud to start his own business. He didn’t know exactly what he was going to create, but he had a passion for working with nonprofit organizations to address their data management challenges. And he was really, really good at it.
It began as an “over the garage” venture. Jeff built one-off software integrations for Blackbaud product customers. Today, it’s Omatic Software—a 40+ person company with several well-known products, over 1,700 customers (with excellent customer retention), and prospects for continued growth.
Omatic helps nonprofits with Blackbaud products identify solvable data integration challenges. Then, Omatic is often able to supply the solution—whether that be an off-the-shelf or a custom-developed product.
In particular, Omatic Software has long been a part of the data manager’s toolbox for the Raiser’s Edge. In fact, some data managers claim it would be impossible to use the Raiser’s Edge effectively without one or more Omatic products.
What Omatic Provides
Omatic has solutions to meet a variety of needs. In this post, we’ll highlight three real-life use cases from Build clients.
Use Case 1: Messy data from poor data de-duplication practices
Challenge: The client had extensive duplicate records in the Raisers’ Edge. They couldn’t see a clear path to complete de-duplication without a risk of creating additional data problems.
Solution: We used the “MergeOmatic” product to significantly reduce duplicates. Particularly in a complex data environment, that’s not as easy as snapping your fingers. It involves planning and careful execution.
Use Case 2: Poor data flow between Luminate Online and The Raiser’s Edge
Challenge: Data didn’t flow smoothly between Luminate Online Marketing and the Raiser’s Edge. This resulted in a constant battle to reconcile constituent and gift data between the two systems.
Solution: We used “ImportOmatic” (perhaps Omatic’s most well-known tool) to manage the two-way flow of information between Luminate Online and the Raiser’s Edge.
Use Case 3: Poor data flow between the fundraising system and the financial system
Challenge: Gift data didn’t flow smoothly between The Raiser’s Edge and Microsoft Dynamics SL (Solomon). Gift batches were exported from the Raiser’s Edge, manipulated manually in Excel to match the financial system import format, and then imported into the financial system.
Solution: We used the “PostOmatic” product to export gift summary data from the Raiser’s Edge. PostOmatic creates the necessary format for direct import into the financial system—no manual manipulation required.
As mentioned above, these are just three use cases that highlight three separate Omatic products. There are many other client use cases that can be addressed by Omatic.
Working with Omatic: Set Yourself Up for Success
Now we know the kinds of things Omatic can help with. But after selecting the right tool, you need to set it up and start using it. Omatic provides training and implementation services to help get you started.
What should your organization expect to bring to the table? What will help you partner most successfully with Omatic during an implementation?
Omatic WILL introduce business decisions to make… but it WON’T make business decisions for you.
Omatic’s implementation will raise business decisions to make. Omatic will provide technical input and can help inform your choices by sharing what they have seen at other nonprofits. But you need to make the important business decisions that will make data integration and data quality possible. These aren’t decisions Omatic can make for you.
Omatic WILL indicate where organizational change needs to take place for effective data operations… but it WON’T manage your organizational change process.
Most technology implementations require some form of change management. Healthy organizational cultures often beget high-quality data. Omatic isn’t in the business of change management. During the implementation they will facilitate discussions about the implications of data management decisions. Implementing broad cultural changes is not something they do.
Omatic WILL make your Blackbaud product-based data operations work better… but it WON’T (can’t) make Blackbaud’s (or any other vendor’s) systems behave differently or change their data models.
Despite their history transforming and transmitting data between information systems, Omatic can’t make those systems do things they aren’t designed to do. They don’t change or extend their fundamental data models. This means that attempting to achieve “full integration” between two systems (such as the Raiser’s Edge and Luminate Online Marketing) isn’t achievable. You will inevitably run up against some challenges and perhaps some downright impossibilities. This is especially true for organizations that use their system fully.
The Future of Omatic Software
The Raiser’s Edge is evolving rapidly, with a new user interface and a new API. Blackbaud has plans to continue developing both, while also moving the Blackbaud ecosystem to sharing a common data model. In addition to those developments, Omatic Software recently came under new leadership.
What do these changes mean for the future of Omatic? We sat down with founder Jeff Montgomery and new CEO Dan Kim to find out.
Keep Reading: Recent changes at Omatic Software—what does the future hold?