All of my clients know that I'm a huge proponent of users groups. I like 'em so much, I actually co-founded one in the past, and I frequently encourage my clients to do the same with their association management system vendors.
So I was very encouraged to learn about the SharePoint Users Group (www.thesug.org), a new users group for, oddly enough, SharePoint users.
SharePoint is rapidly becoming the tool of choice for many associations. It can be used as a content management system as well as a community/collaboration tool. I use it as part of my volunteer work with ASAE, and I think it holds tremendous promise. Several of my clients are also considering or have already adopted it.
What I like about the SUG is that in very short order they've set up a site (driven by SharePoint, natch) that allows users to sign up (for free) and instantly join the conversation. There are blogs, guides, and even an area with programming code.
There is tremendous value in users groups. If your organization uses SharePoint, the SUG might be something to investigate.
Full disclosure: EDM is an independent third-party consulting firm. This means we have no financial relationship with any of the vendors mentioned in this blog. We provide unbiased opinions on what we see.
“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”
“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan
“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”
Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance