Upic’s Modernization of United Way Platforms

December 6th, 2018 by David Burley

As we look back at a very successful 2018 for Upic, we wanted to share our vision of the future. The future is cloud-first platforms that are easily accessible, secure, and meet your needs. We are working hard to ensure cloud-native platforms supporting the direction of the United Way network are available for you when you are.

Upic will continue to support our existing platforms into the future, we are not abandoning legacy software platforms, but making available high-value mission-driven strategic alternatives.

Migration to Amazon Web Services

While Upic has always been the cloud to you, we migrated all of our hosting infrastructure to the cloud in 2018. This transition was officially complete on November 27 as we unplugged the power, destroyed data and recycled equipment.

This migration brought modern software, dedicated hosting options, multiple data center locations and many more improvements. AWS gives us the flexibility we need to continue our cloud-first strategy, and not be forced to invest in a multi-year commitment to what would become legacy infrastructure in the future.

Office 365

Another key component of our cloud-first strategy is Office 365. We’ve migrated all e-mail hosting to Office 365, and made available the powerful tools that are part of the Office 365 ecosystem to you. Improved communication tools, like Skype and Teams are now available.

In 2019 we will make file hosting in the Office 365 platform a supported option via Teams and OneDrive. This shift will simplify file access and improve file collaboration across your United Way and beyond. These capabilities are being piloted by Upic and a few of our United Way partners today.

With the capabilities provided by Office 365 for file storage and communication, reliance upon the remote desktop hosting environment will reduce. As legacy software platforms are replaced with cloud-first alternatives, opportunities for a more agile workplace and potential savings from reduced infrastructure requirements can be realized.

Salesforce Donor Engagement Platform

Legacy donor management systems have not been able to keep up with the needs of modern donors or United Ways. They have expensive licensing models that are getting more expensive every year, are costly to host and maintain, and aren’t helping you engage with your donors how they want to be engaged.

Many United Ways (and even Upic) have attempted band-aid approaches where RD works out of a CRM platform like Salesforce and Finance works out of the legacy donor management system. These integrated approaches are complicated and expensive in both time and dollars. Now you need expertise in the legacy system, the CRM and the integration tool.

Further, some legacy systems are building walls around their platform, keeping you from being able to do what you want with your data without spending even more money for components included in any modern platform. They are going to charge you more and limit what you can do, unless you pay them even more!

The time for a cost-effective, modern, agile solution is now. Upic is building a platform, based on the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), with modern technology provided by a company who believes you should be able to integrate and use your data without walls. With a unified system for payouts, donor management and more, the need for expensive complicated integrations will not be needed.

Salesforce is a great supporter of the efforts of nonprofits, like United Way, and is providing the first 10 licenses for free. With a donor management system on Salesforce, files and communication on Office 365, cloud-first is within your reach by early next year. We’ll be showing off what we’ve done with Salesforce NPSP at the Fundraising for Impact Summit in February, but if you can’t make it just reach out!

Acumatica Cloud Accounting

Upic and a handful of United Ways evaluated alternative accounting platforms over a year ago, selected Acumatica. Most have successfully transitioned to it this year. This modern ERP system can do everything you need and more, all at a great value.  If interested in a modern, web-browser accessible accounting package, we have a recommended, tested solution available today — contact us.

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