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To host or not to host? That is the question.

I’m often asked by my clients, as they seek a new AMS, should they be looking at hosted options? Or more to the point, should they bother looking at premise-based solutions anymore?

My answer is: For the vast majority of associations, a hosted solution will work fine and is actually preferable to premise-based. (Please keep in mind there are definite exceptions to this, but they are exceptional. In my 2015 Benchmarking Survey I asked about hosting; fully 2/3 of associations have their AMS outside of their premise.)

For most associations, maintaining hardware (and software) for a premise-based AMS solution is a set of headaches they just don’t need. Most associations under 25 staff don’t even have full-time dedicated IT resources, so premise-based solutions are particularly difficult to manage.

And the reality is that most hosted AMS solutions are now so stable that there is little risk involved. So should your AMS be hosted? Yes, it probably should be.

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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
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