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It’s all in the cloud now
7 November 2013, by , in Executive, No comments

I recently had a client ask me to help them find a new association management software system. They were very interested in premise-based solutions (i.e., a database they could install and run on their own servers). As I reviewed their functional needs and budget, and started comparing that to the list of off-the-shelf AMS vendors in the market today, it struck me that there are very few AMS vendors left that offer a premise-based solution. Almost all of the AMS vendors (with some exceptions) are now offering only web-based “cloud” options (meaning rather than buying the software, you rent it).

Only a few short years ago, most of off-the-shelf solutions were premise-based only. Then as the internet became more ubiquitous, and more importantly, internet speeds increased dramatically, the move to cloud-based solutions overtook the premise-based offerings. Now as I review the list of 40+ AMS vendors, I note that more than half are web-based and “rental” only.

On the whole, I think this is a good thing for the association market. The vast majority of associations should not be managing their database in-house. That’s not a skill set that’s necessary for most associations to have on-staff full-time. So if you’re going to be in the market for a new AMS soon, you can expect to rent rather than buy.

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“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
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