I have been in the fortunate position to have been testing a new application for The Raiser’s Edge. GoRaise Mobile is a mobile interface to The Raiser’s Edge by Electric Plum. I have had a lot of contact with Shaun Sullivan, Electric Plum’s CEO in the past when he was CTO of Blackbaud. Those of you who have heard him speak at Blackbaud conferences will know that he is passionate about technology and is a real inspiration. Electric Plum’s, soon to be released product really shines and it is clear that this is a gap in the market ready to be filled.
GoRaise Mobile is a web application. It is not a native application but, in my opinion, that makes it so much better. I am an Android fan and get so frustrated when the latest products come out for the iPhone with an Android product nowhere to be seen (despite Android overtaking iOS in market share of phone operating systems). By choosing an HTML5 solution Electric Plum have been able to harness the power of the latest generation of web technologies without restricting the solution to one particular platform. This means that, in theory, any relatively modern phone can use this solution.
It has clearly been intended as a mobile solution from the outset. The large buttons make it fat finger friendly and it links through to the phone functionality. When I click on a constituent’s phone number it calls them, when I click on an email it prompts me to send an email to them and when I click on an address it brings up a map of where they are located. The whole experience is just seamlessly easy.
In the beta version I was testing I was unable to add actions but there is a button for adding an RE action. This does not overwhelm you with all the fields on the action record but rather a few carefully chosen. Some users may have a problem with this if they have important information stored or that needs to be stored in other areas of the record but for the majority of users this should be sufficient.
I was a bit concerned when Shaun announced the requirement for NetCommunity. There are many organisations that do not have NetCommunity and I felt at the time that this would be a severe shortcoming. However this requirement has now be removed opening up the possibility for many more users.
Having seen a prototype of Blackbaud’s own mobile offering for The Raiser’s Edge, it will be very interesting to see how this competition plays out in the months to come. I have not had the opportunity to play extensively with Blackbaud’s product but it will be hard to beat Electric Plum’s GoRaise Mobile.