Monday, October 15, 2007

Battle of the non profit eCRM vendors

The last two days have been very interesting for the non-profit eCRM space. On Friday, Kintera announced the release of their open platform. Today, Convio announced the release of their open platform. Now let's look at what was "released":

- Sphere and Constituent Management SOAP API's

- Constituent Management API's
- Database Connectors
- Extensions

For me, one of the hidden gems of the Convio announcement is the integration with Facebook. (In my previous blog post, I thought Kintera would be the first to the market but I guess Convio beat them to it.) Also somewhat hidden in the release of Convio's open initiative, is the database connector to That is really interesting (see my blog post a few weeks back...I guess they were working on it).

In the end, I think that competition between the leading eCRM vendors will only help non-profits achieve success with whichever platform they choose. Both Convio and Kintera have strengths and both have weaknesses. Can they work on their weaknesses while increasing their strengths. I think the key to success is to really study the market (using both SWOT and STEEP methods) and learn from the customers and then executing perfectly to their, the customers vision.

I think the key to winning this duel is to learn from Sun Tzu in the Art of War: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. [6:1]

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