What’s new with Luminate Online email? 
Over the last year Blackbaud has made concerted efforts to upgrade and enhance the Luminate Online (LO) email infrastructure. This includes both administrative-user-facing and back end technology upgrades.  Behind the scenes, we’ve completed server expansions, database upgrades, and overall email processing enhancements. Customers will find the following updates within their administrative tools: new email dashboards, email status notifications, updated delivery statistics, and improved reporting. 

Why were these changes made? 
We know that the end of each year is critical for giving, and successful email campaigns in November and December are where the rubber meets the road. We've received a lot of feedback from clients on  how we could improve user experience and performance of LO, and this year we invested heavily in delivering results. We have stabilized, optimized, and upgraded the overall email platform to fully empower our clients for end of year success.
In 2014, Luminate Online users sent more than 176 million emails in the last week of December alone. This year, we are preparing to support even higher email throughput, up to 30(M) per hour, and have ensured that our capabilities have grown along to accommodate your organization's needs. 
The recent upgrades to the Luminate Online Email infrastructure will result in faster processing speeds, optimized audience generation, and improved reliability for all sites. 

What should I expect to experience during the upgrade process? 
All of the improvements for the Luminate Online email system have been happening behind the scenes over the last several months. The changes will be a seamless transition to the new and improved systems. Outside of the communicated scheduled maintenance windows, upgrades will not require any downtime or migration.

How will these changes impact my end of year campaign planning? 
In terms of campaign planning within the administrator interface, clients should still utilize existing best practices for email sends, and there will be no functional change to campaign creation or set up. Once the new email system has been enabled for your site the transition will be seamless, and will result in optimized email builds and improved processing. Be on the lookout for new email Terms of Use document coming later this month. 

What steps do I need to take? 
No action is required of our customers. All clients will have the new email processing improvements enabled with no additional cost or effort required. 

Are there any risks associated to moving to the new email system? 
While there are risks associated with any system change of this size and complexity, our engineering teams have conducted thorough and intensive testing. At the same time we have implemented roll back capabilities to ensure that any change can be easily reverted.  Through this testing and new rollback capabilities, we have mitigated any known risks to ensure the best possible experience and performance results.
We’ve prepared extensively for peak days through the aforementioned testing, but our commitment to your success doesn’t end there.  Resourcing during peak times has been carefully considered, and will include having the Blackbaud leadership team be onsite throughout the holiday season to ensure your Giving Tuesday and end of year campaigns run smoothly.

When will my site have these changes? 
The good news is that a majority of the changes are live with the 15.9 release of Luminate Online, and there are clients who are already taking advantage of the upgraded email infrastructure. Over the next 1 to 2 months we will continue rolling out the changes, ensuring that all clients will be able to take advantage of the upgrades during end of year and #GivingTuesday fundraising. We are currently planning for all upgrades and enhancements to be complete for all clients by late November of this year (2015).