I’ve written in the past about the need for more AMS vendors to be transparent about how things are going with their company and product. Here’s another nice example of that from Dmitriy Buterin at Wild Apricot. (I interviewed Dmitriy a couple years back. You can hear that here.)
In this blog post Dmitriy highlights both the good and the bad from 2014. I especially liked his honesty when talking about their launch of their largest release, version 5:
“However, there were challenges for both Wild Apricot and our customers. We had underestimated the volume of support tickets from the upgrade. This combined with some staffing challenges, meant that our response time for customer requests suffered for a number of weeks.”
That’s the kind of transparency more vendors should practice. My experience with my clients is that they get angriest not when the software doesn’t work, but when the vendor goes “silent” on big issues. It’s what I call the “black hole” of IT support. The client reports the problem, the vendor acknowledges the problem (maybe), and then the client never hears back from the vendor again, often even when the problem is fixed!
More transparency, please!
“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