Community Brands and Aptify: Your Questions Answered
The news that Aptify, Abila, and YourMembership were combining to form Community Brands caused a ripple in the association and nonprofit industry last week. Now that much of the dust has settled, we’re left with a mixture of excitement and anticipation.
This is a new adventure for our organization and our clients. And while we believe it’s something to celebrate, we also understand the uncertainty that this change brings. You have questions about the future and we’re here to answer them. But bear with us—there are some details we simply don’t know yet, and that’s ok. As this new relationship develops, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received so far:
What is the difference between this acquisition and a traditional merger?
This is not a merger, it is business model innovation. Community Brands is bringing together the best products that cater to member-based organizations so we can be a one-stop shop for the brands that matter most to our clients and prospects. All three brands (Aptify, Abila, and YourMembership) will be run separately. Whereas a traditional merger is intended to bring companies together and combine departments and workforces, the intention behind Community Brands is not to merge, but rather to integrate where it makes sense.
Aptify will retain everything that makes it unique and special to its clients and staff, such as its technology and culture. This is about evolving and innovating, not about getting rid of products.
Aptify and Community Brands share similar values and core purpose statements—that’s what made this partnership attractive to Aptify and sets this relationship apart from traditional PE infusion.
What does this mean for my organization in the short term?
In the short term, don’t expect to see much change at all. We’re strongly moving forward with the same initiatives, roadmap, personnel, and core purpose we had before. What you should expect to see is more investment in R&D. Like anybody, we’ve had a running wishlist of what we’d like to do if we could—and now we can. This means we can invest in more products and functionality than before. And now, as part of the Community Brands family, we’ll be able to offer our clients even more seamless product integrations.
What does this mean for my long-term investment?
Aptify and Community Brands are committed to protecting the investment you’ve made in Aptify. There will be no forced migrations. The Aptify product will be maintained and customers’ investments will be protected. We want this purchase to bring innovation and enhanced products and services, not diminished products and services that will impact your investment.
Over time, we expect the pace of innovation to increase, which will allow you to get even more from the investment you’ve made in Aptify.
Will my current project with Aptify be impacted?
No. Aptify and Community Brands are committed to protecting the investment you have made in the Aptify platform. Therefore, we do not anticipate an impact on your current project(s) due to the Community Brands acquisition. All agreements will be honored.
What will be the impact on the Aptify product roadmap?
Community Brands is deeply invested in and stands behind the Aptify product. Aptify’s product roadmap for 2017 remains intact, and our team is steadily and diligently working to bring it to life. The product is not merging with another and there will be no forced migrations to another platform. The impact to the product roadmap in the long term will be positive, as investment into R&D will increase, meaning we’ll have more product innovation than ever before.
Do you plan to merge products with Abila?
No. There are no plans to merge the Aptify and Abila platforms. Each company will have its own product roadmap and there will be no forced migrations.
Will my Aptify contacts change? Will I be communicating and working with different people?
Aptify and Community Brands are committed to protecting your investment in Aptify, and that includes the relationships and contacts you’ve built with us. Part of what makes our company great is the people, and we remain deeply invested in the culture we’ve built over the past two decades. With the Community Brands acquisition, you may see some new faces join us over time, but overall don’t anticipate your team changing any more than at the usual pace of life.
What will happen to the Aptify Users Community and the Aptify Users Conference?
Aptify will continue to operate as its own brand and product, with its own people and services, and so the Aptify Users Community and the 2017 initiatives that have been planned are moving forward. If anything, increased investment should have a positive change to the Users Community, now that we have the potential to create even stronger bonds within our community base. We are also full steam ahead on the Aptify Users Conference, as planned.
What is Amith Nagarajan’s role in this new entity?
Amith will serve as a strategic advisor to JP Guilbault, CEO of Community Brands and Aptify, and will focus on what he’s passionate about: technology, culture, and being a tireless advocate for the association industry.
Mark Patterson remains as Aptify’s Chief Operating Officer and will report to JP Guilbault.
Are Aptify and Abila still competing?
Yes, Aptify and Abila will continue to compete in the AMS market. The products will remain separate and each company will continue to market, sell, and promote their unique value proposition as they always have. Customers should choose whatever product is best for their organization during the evaluation process.
If I still have questions, who should I ask?
As always, you can speak with any of your Aptify contacts and, if they can’t answer your questions, they can direct you to the correct person. You can also feel free to contact me directly. My door is always open.
About Mark Patterson
As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, my role at Aptify is simple—to develop, promote, and support a culture where every member of our global team is aligned with our Core Purpose of helping our clients fulfill their missions. I feel privileged to work with associations and non-profits that strive to improve the quality and enjoyment of life for the rest of us, and I believe I have a responsibility to do everything we can to help them prosper. I’ve been in the enterprise software industry for most of my career and have spent much of it building and leading teams responsible for developing, implementing, and supporting solutions for our clients. I really enjoy engaging regularly with my clients, and they know they can call me at any time. I’ve been fortunate to work for technology companies that emphasize innovation as a key differentiator, and I play a key role in developing product strategy at Aptify. I graduated from the University of Maryland and live in a quiet town outside of Washington, D.C., with my wife, who’s also a proud Terp and manages membership at a small association. In our spare time, we enjoy traveling, reading, learning about wine, and spending time with our three sons who are in various stages of college and early careers.