FaithLife Restructure Affects Verbum Staff?

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Dec 27 2015 12:12 PM

I saw a note from Deacon Kevin that there has been some restructuring at FaithLife and he and others on the Verbum team are looking for new jobs.  Sad news.  Sad

Does anyone have additional insight?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 12:49 PM

Where did you see the note? I know that Deacon Kevin is now with Bagley Ministries "As a Roman Catholic Deacon I herald the word. Bagley Ministry is an outgrowth of my desire to share my knowledge and education, bringing folks to a greater relationship with Christ. Presentations include Christocentric Customer Service for ecclesial ministers; Liturgical rubrics; homiletic training; and deacons role in the pastoral staff. Deacon retreats are a specialty."

See http://www.bagleyministry.org/

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 1:13 PM

His Facebook page.  Says he is moving to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in the next month.  It seems that this is impacting a number of Verbum staff.

I'm a little worried.  Tongue Tied

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 1:23 PM

Steve:
It seems that this is impacting a number of Verbum staff.

When I was in Bellingham for the Open House, the space allotted to Verbum had expanded but there had been a turnover in staff. I'd take a wait and see approach to what happens to the employees who've been with Faithlife for a while. I would be concerned if they are not reassigned to new positions. However, I have never been a fan of the Verbum/Logos division because the user base does not split that way. If there must be a division a liturgical/non-liturgical would better fit the software usage. So I'll wait and see what any formal announcement implies and where certain employees end up.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 2:48 PM

Thanks for the reply, MJ.  Understood.  I'll "wait and see" as well.

I feel that Catholic products have really gotten some traction at FaithLife over the past several years and it is disconcerting to have had the "department heads" leave the company, Andrew and now Deacon Kevin.

As a customer, stability weighs equally with growth ... i.e. "Who is my advocate within?"

Still worried ...

Posts 4138
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 3:32 PM

After Rusty Davidson left, I switched to Mark Wheeler for my sales person... but he sent me an email last week saying that due to the restructuring of Verbum, it seemed a good time to pursue other interests.

So whatever is going on, affects the sales staff too.

L2 lvl4 (...) WORDsearch, L9

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 4:08 PM

MJ. Smith:

However, I have never been a fan of the Verbum/Logos division because the user base does not split that way. If there must be a division a liturgical/non-liturgical would better fit the software usage. 

MJ. Smith has been saying that for some time now.  And that would be the better way.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 4:12 PM

Steve:
As a customer, stability weighs equally with growth ... i.e. "Who is my advocate within?"

Without any inside knowledge, I'd say Louis St. Hilaire and Gabe Martini can do a good job of protecting our interests.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 5548
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 8:01 PM

Steve:
Does anyone have additional insight?

Deacon Kevin Bagley stopped posting Advent reflections after the second week of Advent.

Other than that, no.

EDIT: According to LinkedIn, FL's "Catholic Educational Resources Product Manager" left this month too. I wonder how Lumen is doing.

Posts 2
Nom de Plume | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 12:08 PM

The entire staff has been laid off and the sales team was given an opportunity to transfer to Logos sales. Many have decided to leave due to the continual degradation of work atmospehere at the company (though I suppose that's subjective).

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 12:15 PM

How do you come to know this, may I ask?

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Nom de Plume | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 12:26 PM

I was affected by the "restructure."

Posts 1563
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 12:33 PM

Can someone clarify what this implies for Verbum as a product? Will it disappear/be folded in to "regular" (Protestant?) Logos?

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 317
Bruce Roth | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 12:43 PM

Ben:

Can someone clarify what this implies for Verbum as a product? Will it disappear/be folded in to "regular" (Protestant?) Logos?

I agree.  It would be helpful to have some official word from Faithlife before rumors take on a life of their own. 

I received an email from someone in Verbum sales, Brody, a few moments ago reminding me of the Jubilee Sale.

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 12:50 PM

Steve:
Does anyone have additional insight?

Like every business, we are continually adjusting how we operate in order to stay healthy and to stay in business. We have to track revenue, expenses, individual and team performance, capital investment, cash flow, etc. and find a balance that works.

Verbum is doing fine as a product, and we plan to continue to support and develop it, but in the last year we dramatically increased our investment around it without seeing any significant change in sales, or return on that investment. So we are changing things.

We will continue to adjust to find what level of investment we can make that will be supported by customers (present and future). It is our intention to continue with Verbum, even if it's with a different strategy than we had been using. (Again, this is quite normal in any business, it's just sometimes more visible externally when people that customers know by name leave the organization.)

Posts 80
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 1:07 PM

Faithlife tried to expand into other markets aggressively. But the expansion strategy seems to have been poorly executed.  The way it behaved, revenue seems to be more important to them than providing serving its customers with the best products with the best pricing. In order to finance its expansion, the cost of its products kept increasing. It seemed to have lost its vision. Rather than focusing in growing the customer base by providing the most cost effective solution among different competitors, it has increasingly resorted to squeezing more revenue out of each customer. This gave an opportunity for its competitors to erode their customer base.

Because the attendance of mainline and non-evangelical denominations (e.g. Anglican) have been declining, effort devoted into expanding into these markets is unlikely to yield the revenue expected. 

It would make more sense to solidify their customer base by making their price more competitive. They also need to provide a low cost solution to the young evangelicals: that's where the growth is.

What is the core value of Faithlife? Is it profit? or is it to provide the best service/product?

 

Posts 35
Brody Stewart | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 1:26 PM

To provide a bit more clarity: there are still a few folks representing the Verbum brand. I will continue with marketing, and Louis St. Hilaire will continue with product development.

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 1:29 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Steve:
Does anyone have additional insight?

Like every business, we are continually adjusting how we operate in order to stay healthy and to stay in business. We have to track revenue, expenses, individual and team performance, capital investment, cash flow, etc. and find a balance that works.

Verbum is doing fine as a product, and we plan to continue to support and develop it, but in the last year we dramatically increased our investment around it without seeing any significant change in sales, or return on that investment. So we are changing things.

We will continue to adjust to find what level of investment we can make that will be supported by customers (present and future). It is our intention to continue with Verbum, even if it's with a different strategy than we had been using. (Again, this is quite normal in any business, it's just sometimes more visible externally when people that customers know by name leave the organization.)

Thanks for the info.... I had hoped you might get a larger share there but so many people I have run into just do not want to invest heavily into Bible software. You gave it a good shot offering the catechism study bundle. I am always shocked by how many people think there is no use going beyond the basic things you can find online for free.

-Dan

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 2:04 PM

Thanks for the response, Bob.  It's not every day, or any day for that matter, that the CEO of company <insert company name here> responds directly to customer questions and comments.  I truly appreciate that about you and FaithLife.

So ... I understand the need to flex based on a complex set of performance data .. got it.  I know that coming to a decision on the shape of that change can be stressful and challenging  when trying to envisage the impact. 

In general I'm sorry our purchases apparently didn't pay the bills.  Not sure how Verbum is "doing fine as a product" in that light. 

That said, I've spoken to many <anyone who will listen> about Verbum and have been able to have some call in and purchase a Verbum base package.  By the way, thank you for the referral credit ... very nice. Smile

If you are able, I would like to hear more about how you "continue support and development" for Verbum.

Some things I think about ... thinking out loud ...  When I want to grow a product line that is tightly coupled to specific content, I would want to ensure that I have very content aware resource(s) to help and guide decisions and make sure they are relevant and forward looking.  I'm also thinking I would want those resource(s) to be able to listen attentively to my customer base as well as sources of that content to guide that business development and growth.

Can you share what that looks like going forward?

Posts 70
Diego Lara | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 2:32 PM

I can't judge the reasoning behind the decisions faithlife makes when it comes to its pricing and business decisions. But like any other business they need to be able to make a profit so that they can continue to pay programmers to improve our logos software. Sometimes people forget that although they are a christian based business they are still a businesses that needs to pay salaries and taxes. 

If they are not profitable then Faithlife will just continue to be like other bible software programs that do not innovate and create new tools that improve the software. I rather pay a bit more and be sure that FaithLife is profitable and is able to pay better programmers so that 10 years from now Logos will still exist, be supported and provide new tools for bible studying. I do not want Logos to look and feel in 2025 how it does in 2015. As an example just look at the competitors programs that look the same for the past 10 years and have not really added much when it comes to improving their programs in that time period. 

Just my opinion. 

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