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UNIT4 Grows Business in Nonprofit Sector

The North American branch of UNIT4, a provider of business software, has recently grown its business in the North American nonprofit sector. UNIT4 has signed contracts with large non-governmental organizations ACDI/VOCA, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and others. The company has also signed with the research facility TRIUMF in a contract worth over $1 million.The company is primarily known for its Agresso ERP software suite.

UNIT4 also has contracts with European nonprofits and NGOs including ZonMw and the Institute of the Ministry of Health in Benelux. The company is based in the Netherlands but has an international reach, with offices in Australia, Europe, and North America. Worldwide, the company has about 120 nonprofit sector customers.

Ton Dobbe, VP of Product Management at UNIT4, commented:

“All these organizations have one thing in common and that’s the desire to deliver the accountability and transparency of a public company and to be more competitive. Warren Buffet has alluded to this in how he chooses which organizations to donate to – those who operate as businesses earn his money because they’re operating on a business level. That’s what our software allows non-profits and NGOs to do.”
Matt Renaud, chief financial officer of ACDI/VOCA remarked on the software’s organizational fit:
“With nearly 100 programs in more than 40 countries worldwide, we looked for an agile tool that would be able to meet the needs of our operations overseas as well as at home. We sought functionally rich software that could grow with us to meet the evolving and dynamic needs of our organization into the future.”
Nigel Lockyer, director of TRIUMF noted the benefits of the software solution:
“As a research center almost every project we undertake is, by definition, something that hasn’t been done before; we needed an agile business tool that could let us easily cope with new situations. New partnerships can present unique tax and reporting requirements and we wanted to be able to manage these changes ourselves. The Agresso solution will not only modernize our business functions, it will allow us to be self-sufficient in the future.”
Joseph Abbondandolo, director of reward management and HRIS for the International Aids Vaccines Initiative, reported the HR benefits of the suite:
“Agresso has allowed IAVI to integrate multiple global human resource data sources, enhancing our organization’s effectiveness, efficiency and execution through streamlined processes and improved reporting capability. Before Agresso, determining our turnover rate and headcount took weeks – now it takes seconds using the software’s Excelerator report.”

Sector Affecter

UNIT4 bills its ERP suite Agresso Business World as perfectly suited for the often chaotic nature of the nonprofit organization. UNIT4 created the term BLINC (Businesses Living IN Change) to characterize the key audience for their product. BLINC refers to complex organizations that undergo frequent change, but still require accountability and transparency. The company says its software suite is known among nonprofits for allowing end users to respond quickly and cost-effectively to changing funding levels, new funding structures, regulatory reporting requirements changes, reorganization, and restructuring.

With a rising focus on CSR initiatives and businesses’ responsibility to society, the nonprofit sector is growing in importance. In UNIT4’s home of the Netherlands, CSR receives a good deal of government and private support. Nearly ? of small Dutch SME’s that were surveyed in a study were familiar with the concept of CSR. In 2004, the Dutch government created an independent network organization to advocate for CSR in small to medium businesses.

Is UNIT4’s growth in the nonprofit industry a smart move? Can the nonprofit sector help fuel the company’s growth? Is Agresso Business World the best solution for nonprofits? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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[Photo courtesy of ulcc.]