For more than 38 years, SofterWare has specialized in delivering applications that help people help others. The company believes deeply that “technology is only as valuable as the change it creates,” and so it develops specialized software to support the work of nonprofit organizations and childcare and camp programs.
When the shift to mobile kicked-in several years ago, SofterWare knew it would need to adapt to its increasingly mobile customer base. Back then, building a functional mobile app was a challenge in itself — and the company said just another watered-down or difficult-to-use mobile version of an online service wasn’t going to cut it.
SofterWare decided to create companion apps for its online products — cherry-picking the functionality that was most useful for mobile versus replicating the full online capabilities. The company also wanted the ability to easily update across both Android and iOS platforms with new app features in order to truly make the difference for on-the-go customers.
For those reasons, the blossoming SofterWare mobile team turned to Axway Appcelerator (starting with the initial 1.0 version of AMPLIFY Titanium SDK) to develop a series of cross-platform companion apps for its flagship software platforms.
Perfecting mobile for DonorPerfect
DonorPerfect is SofterWare’s comprehensive donor management software that helps organizations find, manage and strengthen donor relationships. While the web-based service is host to a robust feature set that helps nonprofits accomplish that goal from the office, SofterWare’s mobile team sought to do more than just produce a carbon-copy version of the online service. They wanted to focus on mobile use cases that would benefit users out in the real world during face-to-face interactions with donors and potential donors. The result: DonorPerfect Mobile.
Empowering nonprofits to empower donors
DonorPerfect users often host charitable events where they collect payments and donations. Those customers were using third-party products, such as PayPal or Square, to make that happen. However, those services did not support an integration with DonorPerfect, which meant SofterWare’s users had to create spreadsheets to import or manually enter hundreds or even thousands of transactions into their platform to keep track of them. SofterWare recognized the mobile use case and introduced its own payment processing feature in DonorPerfect Mobile.
“We knew that we had to create this feature for our customers,” says Robert Trueman, program manager of mobile products at SofterWare. “It’s a game-changer for them because users now have the power to handle donation payments on the spot.”
The new payment integration drastically improved the DonorPerfect experience by allowing users to directly process donations, keep a record of their transactions, or even cancel a payment on-the-spot, if needed. “Credit card processing is extremely complicated and has substantial security around it,” Trueman says. “But the way Appcelerator handles external modules made it incredibly easy to integrate our payments feature without having to start from scratch.”
Staying one step ahead of customers
More than a quarter of SofterWare’s DonorPerfect customers are now utilizing the mobile app for payments processing. And by the end of the year, Trueman hopes that nearly every organization on the platform will be using the feature. The company also introduced a “find donors near me” feature in order to help nonprofit leaders efficiently organize more face-to-face meetings with potential donors.
DonorPerfect isn’t SofterWare’s only service to get the mobile treatment. Over the years, Softerware’s mobile solutions grew from “pet projects” to a dedicated, in-house Innovations Program supported by executives. With the expanded team, the company also began developing cross-platform companion apps for its other properties using Titanium Alloy. This includes their childcare management platform, EZCare. Trueman says the popular EZSmiles parent engagement app was born out of the company’s desire to stay one step ahead of its customers’ needs.
“We are using mobile as a way to invent use cases for our customers to get more value,” said Trueman. “EZCare users didn’t specifically ask for an engagement app, but they loved the idea behind EZSmiles.”
With EZSmiles, teachers or counselors can send pictures, announcements, schedule changes, daily logs, and other reminders about children to parents. Similar to DonorPerfect Mobile, SofterWare integrated a payments feature that allows parents to pay for their childcare directly through the app using their smartphone or tablet. And when SofterWare learned their clients had a number of Spanish-speaking parents, they created a Spanish version of the app. Using Titanium, they were able to add multi-language support to EZSmiles in just a few weeks.
Now that SofterWare has revolutionized its customers’ experiences with mobile payments and more, it plans to build out additional features and functions to satisfy other unique mobile use cases.
Want to learn more about SofterWare’s portfolio of web-based software products and companion apps. Check out their website here.