Facing an AMS upgrade? Time to rethink your options

Sigmund VanDamme

January 14, 2020

    When it’s time to upgrade your association management software (AMS), it just might be time for a change.

    Upgrading your AMS system can be costly and time-consuming. Now’s the ideal time to ask yourself if moving to a new, modern solution is ultimately the better route.

    There it is, looming in the near future: An upgrade to your association management software (AMS). And if you’re like many association professionals, you dread it.
    It’s understandable. Historically, organizations have struggled with costs and risks involved with upgrading their AMS, including:

    • Paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for each upgrade
    • Holding off upgrades due to costs, resulting in outdated software that not only makes the entire organization less productive, but also negatively impacts the member experience.
    • Dealing with broken integrations after upgrades, resulting in system downtime and requiring new, costly software customizations

      Not all upgrades are this bad, but they can be. That’s why upgrade time is the perfect time to take a step back and consider your options. It’s an opportunity to question if it makes sense to upgrade your existing system or move to a new AMS solution that better suits your association’s needs.

      Here are two critically important questions to ask yourself before moving ahead with your organization’s next AMS upgrade:
    • How much is our current AMS really costing us?
      Think about how much your AMS is costing you in dollars, time, and hassle before deciding if you want to upgrade it. For example, if you’re still maintaining servers and software to run your AMS, or if your IT team is struggling to integrate your AMS with other systems, the total cost of ownership in dollars and time might not be worth the value the software provides your organization.

      And don’t forget the cost of the AMS upgrades themselves. They can cost as much as $300,000 (and more) on top of the initial fees for implementing the system and the costs to run it.

      TECH TIP: Total cost of ownership is greatly reduced by moving to a cloud-based AMS system. A move to the cloud also will give your association the security, scalability, and mobility that more modern enterprise cloud computing offers.

      Will our current AMS support our long-term growth?
      Your organization likely has goals around providing a great member experience, which ultimately drives growth in member acquisition, engagement, and retention. Your AMS system needs to support those goals today and in the future.

      But this can be a challenge for associations. In fact, according to the 2019 Omnibus Survey by the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE), providing modern and user-friendly tools to members is the greatest technology challenge for nearly 30 percent of respondents.

      Consider these aspects of your current AMS:

      • Does our AMS allow us to respond to changing market conditions, such as the need to attract younger staff and members? People use the latest technology in their personal lives and expect the same modern experience in their workplace and from the organizations they belong to. Can our system meet those demands?
      • Is our AMS keeping up with the latest technological advances? For example, does it offer innovative capabilities like artificial intelligence (AI)? Does it allow members and staff to easily access information and interact with each other from their mobile devices?
      • Will our current AMS system allow us to efficiently and effectively manage interactions with our current and future members? For example, does it allow us to automate manual tasks to save time and provide better service? Does it include features like member engagement scoring and advanced reporting to give us insights that allow us to deliver a better member experience?

        TECH TIP: Built on the Salesforce CRM platform, Nimble AMS gives associations the ability to meet future expectations and readily embrace innovative solutions, such as AI, process automation, mobile access, and dashboards and advanced reporting – all with fast, free, painless upgrades.

      Take the next step
      As you face an upgrade to your AMS, be sure you have in place the right technology for your organization. To remain relevant, your association needs modern technology that allows you to embrace innovation and deliver the experience your members have come to expect. The future of your organization depends on it.

    Move beyond traditional AMS systems to use modern technological innovation and access capabilities and features that once were available only to Fortune 500 companies.

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