Top Sage North America partner Net@Work has expanded its nonprofit accounting software business through the purchase of Blytheco’s Abila practice.
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Net@Work takes on an additional 100 clients using the nonprofit accounting software that were served by Blytheco, as well as Mary Esslinger – a key member of the Blytheco nonprofit practice who will help transition over nonprofit clients to Net@Work.
Blytheco had been serving nonprofit customers for the past several years, offering Sage Nonprofit Solutions (now Abila) but had recently been looking for the right buyer to better serve those customers as the firm wanted to focus more on its midmarket ERP and CRM practices.
“We had the [nonprofit] practice for the past five or six years and built up a decent client base, but to be honest we hadn’t done as much with that sector of our business of late and wanted to focus more on our X3, NetSuite and other ERP and CRM business,” said Blytheco chief executive Stephen Blythe. “I’ve known [Net@Work co-presidents] Alex and Eddie [Solomon] for many years and they’ve been growing their nonprofit practice, it seemed like a great fit. It’s a good business sector and needs very specific attention that they can give it.”
Blytheco had also gone through some recent product consolidation when it sold its Sage 300 ERP practice to Topsfield, Mass.-based VAR BrainSell Technologies back in May. As part of the sale, BrainSell took over the Sage 300 practice and its current 35-customer base, with Blytheco still engaged in some marketing and BrainSell conducting sales and implementations.
In April, Net@Work formally launched its nonprofit practice with the acquisition of Huckstep & Associates, one of the top Abila partners and provider of accounting, HR and software implementation services to nonprofits, governmental organizations, associations, membership organizations and higher education institutions. Abila’s products include fund accounting, donor and grant management, fundraising and relationship management. Huckstep leads Net@Work’s nonprofit practice, focusing on professional services and support, while Esslinger will assist in acclimating existing customers – many of which she brought on to Blytheco.
“We have a good strategic relationship with Blytheco, wherever we can help each other out to make our businesses better we do. We knew they didn’t have a strategic focus on nonprofit clients and they wanted to make sure they had good support for them in the future,” said Net@Work co-president Alex Solomon. “In the last few months we have created what I feel is a fairly sizable nonprofit [sector] practice, we just have to put more talent in place to keep it going. There’s lots of nonprofit accounts out there and with all of our locations we can go after that, we have plenty of coverage for them from a sales and marketing perspective.”
Solomon also noted that Net@Work has a growing SharePoint business, which fit well into the nonprofit practice since there is increased demand from nonprofit organizations for SharePoint integrations to their systems.