Ask the Right Questions
When selecting a new AMS, there are a myriad of features, functionality and benefits that need to be taken into consideration. Detailed/tactical questions (i.e., how many clicks does it take to process a payment) often drown out the more important strategic questions.
We asked the NimbleUser team what customers should ask for before selection and these were their responses:
- What platform / ecosystem benefits are available? I.e., app store, user groups, 3rd party integrations, etc. Selecting the right platform is critical. It is the reason you probably own an iPhone versus a Microsoft phone. The Microsoft Phone is a fine phone but it does not have all of the platform benefits of the Apple ecosystem; for example there are far more apps available for the iPhone. The same platform differences are seen in the association management software. New Platform based AMS systems have huge benefits over the legacy systems.
- Is it really a true enterprise cloud application? There is a huge difference between a hosted application and a true enterprise cloud application (one that is a true multi-tenant application with unlimited scalability). To deliver speed, mobility, security and more at scale required an enterprise cloud (I.e., thousands of servers in multiple data centers around the world).
- Is every customer on the same version? To maximally leverage the network effect (a phenomenon whereby a good or service becomes more valuable when more people use it), all customers using the association software need be on the same version. In addition, the software developer is stifled in moving forward with innovation if the need to maintain / support a myriad of older versions.
- How often is the AMS upgraded? Once a year is no longer enough to keep pace. Innovation today is moving at light speed and to deliver a world class member experience your organization needs to be able to leverage the the latest technology.
- How much do upgrades cost (in both dollars and pain)? It’s 2015 – the answer should be zero dollars and no pain.
- Who is the company behind the software?
When you select association management software your organization is not simply buying a product, it is also buying a relationship with the vendor that supports the AMS.
According to industry consultant WesTrochlil buying an AMS is not like buying a car; it’s like getting married.
How long has the company been working with associations? Read their ratings on Review My AMS. Call and visit existing customers that are similar to your association to see how they use and interact with the software.
Nimble AMS Answers
1. What platform / ecosystem benefits are available?
Nimble AMS Is built on the Salesforce Platform and leverages all of the ecosystem benefits including:
- Unprecedented performance and scalability (yesterday Salesforce processed over 3 Billion transactions and did each of them on average of 211 milliseconds – see for yourself)
- The Salesforce AppExchange which has thousands of apps (2,799 to be exact) that have been downloaded millions of time (3,106,140 to be exact). These apps will extend what your organization can do with its association software. Apps existing in virtually every category imaginable from email marketing to volunteer management.
- Mobility. Nimble AMS data is accessible via the Salesforce1 native app. This allows staff to access critical data, dashboards and interactions at anytime on any device.
- Business process automation. Nimble AMS leverages the Salesforce workflow and approval engine to streamline and automate routine tasks. This saves association staff time that can now be used to deliver member value.
4. How often is the AMS upgraded?
Nimble AMS releases 3 major upgrades per year. In addition, Salesforce also releases 3 major upgrades per year.
5. How much do upgrades cost (in both dollars and pain)?
All Nimble AMS upgrades are included in the monthly license fee. The Salesforce platform is used to facilitate a quick (minutes) and painless upgrade.
6. Who is the company behind the software?
NimbleUser, the developer of Nimble AMS, has been delivering technology solutions to association for over 23 years. Our CEO, our Customer Success Manager, and our Director of Consulting services are just a few of the NimbleUser team who have spent years working at an association. We have walked in your shoes and our software is built by experienced association professionals.