Power and Simplicity are Changing NPO Software

Today, we made a joint announcement with Jasper Soft about our game-changing database, data-schema agnostic reporting wizard The Guru. The immediate reaction has been phenomenal. Of the blogs and other media coverage this announcement generated, one in particular caught my eye:

The combination of Orange Leap and The Guru makes digital management of nonprofits dead simple, which is very important in a field often run largely by volunteers with little to no IT experience. Indeed, it points to a concept Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile raised on OStatic recently — that open source will fuel what he calls the consumerization of information.

This really gets to the heart of the profound change occurring around technology. Nonprofits have for far too long endured software that required significant ongoing training, cost and time to use. The “consumerization of information” referenced above comes down to one simple concept: ease of use.

Usability has long been neglected by NPO software vendors and the incredible power and cost savings that results from simply combining robust, full-featured software with an intuitive, ‘your-grandmother-can-do-it” user interface is revolutionary.

“Dead simple” is the aim of all of our products. We all know how powerful technology can be when power is combined with simplicity ala the iPhone. When my mother–nearing her 70th birthday and always challenged by VCRs, DVD players or even the car radio–is using an iPhone to email, send pictures and navigate with a GPS , I more fully understand the vital importance of simplicity and usability in design. Empowering all users is at the heart of what any software—and every software vendor—should focus on. Unfortunately, too many vendors have so much revenue tied up in training and professional services that they are unable and unwilling to simplify. Doing so would drastically reduce their revenue per client.

So, take a look at The Guru. And embrace a world where power and simplicity overwhelm inflated costs and time-consuming complexity.

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