Tessitura

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Tessitura is unique in being a “not-for-profit’ system supplier, collectively owned by its network of users.  It matches its software against the Functionality Builder and achieves a high score.

Tessitura was originally developed by and for the The Metropolitan Opera, New York.  In order to commercialise what was originally bespoke software, the Metropolitan Opera maintains ownership of the intellectual property in the original software, but established a separate organization called the Tessitura Network (as a not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)3 status under US tax law) to manage the ongoing development and support of the system.  So the Tessitura Network licenses users, handles management, maintenance and development of the system, and fosters an active exchange of best practices and knowledge sharing.

The Tessitura Network therefore has made a virtue of being exclusively focussed on the needs of the cultural sector and not-for-profit organisations.  In many ways Tessitura offers a distinctly advantageous model to users, operating as a non-profit virtual company themselves, and with all system users becoming members of a co-ownership, not-for-profit, network, with voting rights for the representative Board.  It has been a ‘Best Buy’ in the UK for me since it came into the UK for the Wales Millennium Centre.

Tessitura can be highly competitive with the rest of the suppliers in terms of meeting functionality needs and the up-front license costs, though implementation and interfacing costs can be higher, as well as the annual running costs.  Tessitura’s lifetime all inclusive enterprise license, including all software modules and Internet Ticketing, is unique in the sector, though those other costs of implementation and annual running costs need noting when looking at the five year cost of ownership.

Tessitura serves some of the most sophisticated system users in the world and achieves complex interfacing.  With the Network members making many developments and customisations using the  available API’s (Application Programme Interface), it can achieve optimum customer-facing solutions.  The addition of T-Stats has comforted many who had found it sometimes challenging to get what they wanted out of the system.  As a powerful, sophisticated tool, it needs proper management of the database and system operation, not least because it is supplied on the basis of remote support for system maintenance and upgrades.

Through the Network and their huge annual conference, users get to vote on development priorities.  Users make much of the input into the conference, sharing what they are doing with the system, and there is no doubt this is a strong cultural community “networking”. The key point is that Tessitura is an enabling system, which, with appropriate customisation and interfacing, can meet the demanding users’ needs and in particular can be implemented to offer the ticket purchaser/constituent/customer powerful inter-active and CRM experiences.

It benefits from third party suppliers deep integration with the system such as email clients, and Baker-Richards has developed their Revenue Management Application for pricing which works directly with the system.  However, this system only runs in English and is supported in English.  This does not seem to have deterred the Royal Danish Playhouse.

For those who might want a solution where Tessitura takes the responsibility for hosting and system maintenance, there is now their RAMP solution, though there are additional costs.  Quite a few cities operate Tessitura as a consortium solution, including the Wales Millennium Centre, which has far flung users such as the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.  Working closely with its Network members, Tessitura is planning their next generation solution, to be completed by the end of 2014 as Version 12.5.

Sales contact in the UK is Patrick Morsman: pmorsman@tessituranetwork.com

Sales contact in the US is Brian Feldman: bfeldman@tessituranetwork.com

RT
October 2014