What Does the Association Management Software of the Future Look Like?


In September, I attended AMS Fest, an event for associations that are looking to replace their existing association management software (AMS).

There were great speakers including thought leaders Reggie Henry (CIO of ASAE) and David DeLorenzo each who gave some very interesting observations on the future of association management systems.

Key Takeaways:


  • The Behemoth AMS Is Dead
    The overarching AMS that does virtually everything is dead.  The AMS is just one part of an association’s technology stack.  David referenced the AMS as  “one part of a large technology solar system”.
    Associations must be empowered to select best of breed applications that best handle their needs.  A good corollary is accounting software – the AMS acts as a sub ledger and leaves the heavier general ledger tasks to purpose built accounting packages like Intacct or NetSuite that best meet the organization’s needs.

    The association management system does not need to be the LMS (learning management system), the CMS (content management system) and the general ledger.  The AMS should stick to being excellent at AMS features and the organization should be able to choose a best of breed solution that works best for them.

  • Integration is Paramount
    In the AMS of the future, the ability to integrate with CMS, LMS and other systems is critical.  Open, documented, scalable APIs are needed as are other methods like webhooks and app stores.  (Related:  Is Your Association Software’s API Up to Spec?)
  • Cloud is Required
    Reggie stated that the the Future AMS must be cloud based.  This may seem obvious but we still see a number of systems that are not truly cloud based or  they may be hosted but they are not true cloud applications.  (Related:  How To Tell If Your AMS Really Cloud Based?)
  • Mobility is Key
    The future AMS must be available from any device at anytime.  This applies both to the association’s staff ability to access the AMS data as well as the member’s ability to access the AMS’s member portal on any device.
  • Leaders Want Innovation 
    Association leaders are facing a host of challenges in their race to relevance and an innovative AMS is a key piece in delivering member value.

An innovative AMS is a key piece in delivering member value

How Does Nimble AMS Stack Up To The Future AMS?

While listening to these dynamic speakers I felt a sense of validation in regards to what Nimble AMS is  doing with Nimble AMS:

  • Nimble AMS is built on Salesforce the world’s leading cloud platform.
  • Integration with Nimble AMS is easy through our Integration Framework, the Salesforce APIs and the Salesforce Appexchange App Store.
  • Mobility is baked in via the Salesforce App Cloud and Nimble AMS’s Community Hub.
  • And lastly Forbes magazine rated Salesforce the most innovative company in the world in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 (they finished 2nd to Tesla this year).  Innovation is part and parcel of Salesforce and Nimble AMS.

Bright Future


At Nimble AMS we see a very bright future for Associations and we are excited to be part of that.

To Quote the Lyrics of Timbuk 3:
     Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades

About Nimble AMS:

Nimble AMS has been helping associations and nonprofits become nimble through technology since 1992. Our flagship product, Nimble AMS, is an enterprise class association management system (AMS) built on the Salesforce App Cloud, the world’s leading and most innovative customer relationship management (CRM) system. Contact us today.

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