Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Convio Aikido Program (aka Convio CRM)

As a member of the Aikido Charter Program, I wanted explore the power/benefits of the Convio CRM (aka Convi Aikido Program) before I discussed it on my blog.

First what is Aikido, one might ask? Well, it is Convio's custom non-profit template built on top of the Force.com (aka Salesforce.com's platform-as-a-service environment). They took the many years of non-profit eCRM knowledge and built a modern, scalable, cost-effective tool for non-profits.

Why is this a good thing? Many reasons: 1) It allows Convio to stay focused on the CRM needs of non-profits and not have to deal with the noise of the large scale infrastructure management (The Force.com platform does that for them.) and it allows the non-profits to stay focused on delivering programmatic value instead of managing a local CRM infrastructure. 2) Because they are not having to deal with the infrastructure management, it allows the smaller non-profits (which are most non-profits) to leverage the full benefit of a CRM without the costs. 3) The force.com platform allows for the rapid (and easy) customization of reports and account settings. 4) The force.com platform has a plethora of 3rd party apps (AppExchange) ranging from marketing (email, offline,events...), Google tools (apps and adwords), eCommerce integration, financial accounting packages, and several non-profit specific tools.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, I suggested a long time ago that Convio partner with Salesforce. Convio's strength is the eCRM front end content management system (CMS) and Force.com's strength is the backend technology. The Aikido CRM program marries the strengths of both Convio and Salesforce.com and creates services that are ideally suited for the non-profit space.

(I wonder if Salesforce should acquire Convio and leverage Convio's CMS across the business world? )

The good news is that there are progressive thinking non-profits out there that understand the power Aikido brings: Susan G. Komen for the Cure is one of them.

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