Subscribe to my newsletter EDM News
Another great idea from an AMS vendor

I like to give props to association management software (AMS) vendors when they do something really smart. Here’s another great idea from an AMS vendor.

I recently had the opportunity to see an extended demo of DAXKO Connect, DAXKO’s association management software product. During the demo, DAKXO highlighted their “DAXKO ideas” portal (which you can see here.) The DAXKO ideas portal is for DAXKO clients to submit ideas and suggestions for improving the DAXKO products. As I understand it, these suggestions can then be voted on by other DAXKO clients, and DAXKO uses this input to help develop their product.

I think this is a great idea, and one that other AMS vendors should adopt. As I’ve written before, one of the primary benefits of an off-the-shelf AMS product is that product improvement ideas come from many different sources (see point #2 in this article). Many AMS vendors use their users groups or user committees as sources of development, which is great. The DAXKO idea portal is yet another channel for collecting these ideas.

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.

About author:

9 Comments on "Another great idea from an AMS vendor"

Shannon Otto - 8 January 2010 Reply

You're right, Wes - this is a great idea. Kudos to DAXKO. MemberClicks has had our Ideas site up for awhile now, and in our next product release, we're including 26 of them! It's been so helpful for our development and product experience team. http://memberclicks.com/ideas/

Wes Trochlil - 8 January 2010 Reply

That's excellent, Shannon! Now I want to know who had theirs up first; memberclicks, DAXKO, or someone else?

Shannon Otto - 8 January 2010 Reply

I just spoke with our director of product experience Kevin Patrick to get the exact date (I only started at MemberClicks 6 months ago), and he said it the site went up at the end of 2008. MemberClicks employees also vote on ideas, as well. Fun stuff.

April Benetollo - 11 January 2010 Reply

Listening to customer ideas is core to the way we operate at DAXKO. The ability to submit ideas was integrated into our software with its release in 2002. Last year we rebranded this function with its own portal, DAXKO Ideas, so that customers with using more than one software application from DAXKO could submit ideas in one place. What's even more interesting to us is the level of customer collaboration that happens when they see that being involved gets results.

Christine Cross - 11 January 2010 Reply

Internet4associations has been enhancing their product for years based on customer input, and recently streamlined this process with the release of a Software Suggestion Box in early November, 2009. Similar to our peers in the industry, suggestions submitted by our customers can be voted on by all our customers. Our process now includes resources allocated to these customer suggestions, and we deploy customer ideas with every monthly release.

Wes Trochlil - 11 January 2010 Reply

Excellent, Christine and April. I'm not a huge fan of "crowdsourcing" (I think it's overrated; the crowd doesn't always know what it wants or needs), but these are great examples of it.

Ray van Hilst - 14 January 2010 Reply

I think the benefit that all of our platforms offer is the chance to make them better based on customer feedback so each new client benefits from the experiences of all the existing ones. I just added a post on the Avectra blog (http://blog.avectra.com) about incorporating customer feedback, but the short version is that at least 1/3 of the new features in each product release (we do 3 a year) are customer requests or suggestions. We've had the "new feature request" as part of our system since the launch of netFORUM Team and Pro in addition to our ongoing efforts for adding new features to netFORUM Enterprise.

Michael - 15 January 2010 Reply

A few aspects to consider for ANY/ALL idea portals: 1 - Make suggestion area easy to access & updated. (i.e. Post date of most recent sugggestion). Without knowing if/when a new suggestion has been posted puts a burden on the client to check regularly to see if /when new items have been posted. 2 - Make clients aware of the criteria (i.e. a certain # of votes) for when an idea gets green lighted to development. 3 - Be fair with your pre-screening of posted suggestions. (Albert Enstein: "if at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it") 4 - Be very clear on what you are asking users to vote on -- (i.e. "good idea", "good idea AND can use right away", "good idea AND will use someday", "good idea BUT won't use") -- to help determine development urgency. 5 - Be open & post ideas that are rejected. [Disclosure: I'm an i4a client]

Wes Trochlil - 25 January 2010 Reply

Good points, Ray and Michael. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Archives

Sign-up for EDM News

 

 

Testimonials

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“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.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
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

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
%d bloggers like this: