Since my current organization has used Kintera since January 2005, I eagerly signed up for yesterday’s Nten conference call with Scott Crowder, who joined the firm as Chief Technology Officer earlier this year. Although I’ve raised nearly $7 million in online fundraising revenues, working with Kintera has been a challenge, especially when trying to integrate with Raiser’s Edge, our offline fundraising software.
In addition to Scott’s arrival, Kintera also hired a new Chief Executive earlier this year, Richard LaBarbera, replacing the firm’s founder who had long held the position. Recently, Kintera announced a new initiative - Kintera Connectwhich promised a new approach to integrating with other systems, a complete reversal from Kintera’s past strategy. However, when few details of this program were available, I feared this was mostly talk with little substance.
By agreeing to do yesterday’s call, Scott made himself available for questions by the entire Nten community. Although Kintera Connect was a main topic, he also addressed many other issues including one that Kintera has always sought to bury – the company’s financial viability. After detailing many new technical initiatives currently in process, Scott described the firm’s goal of reaching profitability later this year and that they are “almost there now.”
Scott also described how Kintera no longer wants to do “everything for everybody,’ which has led to it having a product which tries to do too many things, not all which it does well. By opening up to tie in with other systems, Kintera seems to now realize that it must focus on its strengths: e.g. CRM, CMS, advocacy, and leave the rest to others.
Other announcements included:
- implementation of Akamai technology to enhance performance
- data center migration
- sharp increase in capacity to send mass emails
- enhanced CMS, replacing current system
Although I’ve often been a critic of Kintera in the past, this conference call shows that the new management at Kintera is determined to set things right. I’ll wait and see if the results equal the promise, but Scott’s willingness to talk openly is a promising sign. A recording of the conference call is available at Nten’s site.