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The Importance of Listening

July 7th, 2014 No comments

Every day, I speak with nonprofit organizations about their processes, their challenges, and their complaints as they navigate the complex world that is fund accounting. I hear them, but some days I worry that I’m not really listening. It’s a challenge that I think we all face at one time or another – conflicting priorities, repeated conversations, focusing on the negatives, all conspiring to allow people’s words to swirl around us without truly finding fertile ground.

When your job is to really listen to what the client or prospect is telling you, not just hear the words but actually listen to the underlying challenges and find solutions … well, you can’t tune out. And it’s something I’m passionate about – our clients are passionate about helping others according to their mission, while I’m passionate about helping them.

The most enjoyable time in my job is that point when I find a solution in my software that will save a client time or money, or both. When they make that connection between what Serenic Navigator Express or Essentials can do and what they’ve been trying to do in an accounting program designed for for-profit organizations or with Excel spreadsheets. Or when we design new accounting software features as we’ve been doing for the last several months.

Recently, we were working closely with several clients, talking about the tasks that were taking their time and the difficulties they were having. And from those conversations, we’ve added a memorized reporting feature that will help our clients every single day, one that will make the software even more useful to power users and casual users, alike. We designed it over a matter of days and with the power of a cloud solution, our clients were using it within a week.

Memorized reports

Other features include expanding the power of nonprofit reporting with columns that filter by both different dates and account ranges.

Filter by dates and account ranges

And I got to feel that feeling, when I know that I’ve not just heard my clients, but actually listened to what they need and translated that into business requirements and computer code.

Some days, my job is like magic.

3 Ways Nonprofits Can Leverage Big Data

May 7th, 2014 No comments

Following Brandon’s recent post about Microsoft’s Cloud storage facility, “Microsoft Azure,”now seems the perfect time to write a post about how nonprofits can harness the value of big data. Still a buzzword across most industries; what does big data mean for your nonprofit? In this post we’ll look at three ways in which nonprofits can leverage big data for positive outcomes.

Big Data image

Big Data

Cultural shift

A big challenge faced by many organizations is getting people on board with social change. Building a case and going in armed with the facts will help you face this challenge head on. Your colleagues may only just be coming around to digital marketing and social media. Find out which of your marketing efforts are giving the best results, what your key findings are and how they impact your mission, and you can build the case for big data adoption. Start at the top – once senior management is behind you, it will be easier to convince others across your organization.
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Categories: Big Data, Cloud Computing, Nonprofit Tags:

Microsoft Cloud – What Does It Look Like and How Does It Work?

April 30th, 2014 No comments

My wife and I went out to dinner this weekend and while catching up on our week she asked, “What is the cloud?”  That question and the numerous attempts to educate my teenage children on managing what they post to their Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter accounts, led me to write this article.  As someone who has had the benefit of working in the IT field and has visited many back office computer rooms, I figured I’d attempt to translate, “what is the cloud?” into something my family could understand while at the same time hopefully adding value to the Serenic Cloud story.

Azure 1I’m a big believer in pictures, so I have borrowed some from Microsoft.  The container in this picture is a piece of Microsoft Azure (renamed from Windows Azure in March of this year) that is the platform and foundation of the Microsoft Cloud.
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Bringing Serenic Solutions to the Microsoft Cloud

April 14th, 2014 No comments

It’s probably time that we started a series on how we are bringing our solutions into the Microsoft Cloud. What will follow over the coming months are several topics that cover the technical details, as well as our view, on how cloud computing allows us to “empower your mission”.

We have been working with Microsoft over the last two years to build the foundation needed to deploy our Serenic Navigator products into the Microsoft Cloud (Azure). That effort came to fruition with the launch of Serenic Navigator Express. This offering is geared to organizations that require standard nonprofit fund accounting feature/functions, want to get up and running quickly, are comfortable doing all or the majority of their implementation, and need to maintain a reasonable monthly subscription cost. Read more…

5 Trends for Nonprofits to Prepare for in 2014

January 15th, 2014 No comments

With 2013 behind us, we look at the emerging nonprofit sector trends for the year ahead. What should nonprofits be focusing on in 2014? We’ve listed five of the key trends below, all of which became apparent in 2013, and will be increased areas of importance this year. Read more…

Five Tips for Creating Actions from Innovation

November 25th, 2013 No comments

Innovation is a buzzword that will always be evergreen. Fundamental within the nonprofit sector, without action it will be wasted and lead nowhere. While sometimes it may seem elusive, there are some steps nonprofits can follow to exploit available opportunities for innovation and turn these opportunities into tangible actions. Read more…

Cloud Compliance for Nonprofits

July 15th, 2013 No comments

Cloud compliance laws can vary depending on what country you operate in, and even then there is still confusion regarding privacy issues. Due to the increase in cloud and SaaS (software as a service) use, it is important to ensure that nonprofit organizations comply with various laws concerning the storage and use of data. Read more…

Categories: Cloud Computing Tags:

Improve Agility with the Cloud

June 10th, 2013 No comments

International nonprofit organizations that have a large network of offices in remote communities would be able to attest to the appeal of the anywhere, anytime benefits of cloud computing.  However it’s not all about working remotely; there are other benefits of switching to the cloud too. Cloud solutions that allow flexibility, scalability, security and improved communication help to develop the agility of the nonprofit organization, particularly for those organizations looking to grow. Read more…

Power of the Cloud

March 28th, 2013 No comments

The price of 1 GB of storage over the past thirty years has dropped significantly. In 1981 1GB cost $300,000, in 1987 it was $50,000, three years later in 1990 it was $10,000, and in 1997 it was just $100. The cost of 1GB continued to drop rapidly in price during the noughties and now in 2013 1GB costs a mere $0.10. This makes storing data for companies incredibly cheap however there are still opportunities for companies to reduce expenses as well as their carbon footprint by sharing resources and facilities.

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Categories: Cloud Computing, Uncategorized Tags:

Deliver Efficient and Effective HR Management in the Cloud

July 24th, 2012 No comments

From hiring the right staff and analyzing pertinent information to tracking absences and salary administration, Serenic’s cloud-based HR solution  helps get the job done with minimal effort and maximum control.  It ultimately allows internal HR staff to focus on the strength and satisfaction of employees by streamlining data tracking and communication and ensuring accurate management reporting.

Key benefits include:

■ Enjoy full integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

■ Avoid staff shortages with applicant recruiting, tracking and analysis.

■ Ease the hiring process with position management.

■ Add user-defined fields to match your unique requirements.

■ Customize absence tracking to meet your needs.

■ Seamless integration with Serenic HCM Online Payroll.

Because the HR solultion is available under a subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) model, minimizing your initial investment and resulting in a lower approval threshold and risk profile and providing you with a consistent monthly operating expense and cash outlay.

For more information, download the Online Advanced Human Resources fact sheet from our website.