Your First Step
What to do when you’re considering cutting your losses and selecting a new AMS? The first step should be to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your current solution based on the requirements you have today. Has your AMS been able to bridge the gap between previous and current requirements? If not, there’s a decision to be made in terms of your next solution.
There are essentially three approaches to association management solutions: 1) Product, 2) Build v Buy, 3) Platform-based solutions. 1) and 2) are very similar; they’re both a set of tools from one company that comes in a single package, let’s call them a suite, which means each application is designed by the same company.
The components in the suite are designed to work together but can never provide the interconnectivity to software applications outside their closed environments. Suites start out with good intentions: lower risk, cost, and the time associated with enabling major functions of an association’s technology. And they’ve developed and commercialized to be everything to everyone; a veritable one-stop shop for multiple, complex, and important components. Inevitably, associations realize that the suites they’ve chosen will never evolve to reach a level of adaptivity that can be extended and scaled. Associations are now at a crossroads: they must start the RFP process all over again, or worse, live with an application suite that is increasingly inflexible.
How to Break Out of the Vicious RFP Circle and Love Your AMS
On the surface, platform-based solutions may appear similar to suites. They both offer a wide range of features out of the box to provide greater access to your biggest asset: your data. But if you drill down just a bit, you’ll see the difference lies in the inherent openness of the platform. The open nature of a platform will give you the ability to add functionality and capabilities you don’t even know you need yet. Platforms broaden your association’s ecosystem by evolving as your business changes.
There are so many good reasons to select a platform-based solution, but one of the primary purposes is to lay the foundation of a technology framework that can be easily extended to add new members, new products, new events – the sky’s the limit – without risk or disruption to the business. Think about the e-commerce framework Amazon built to sell books. Over time and without any disruption to their business, they’ve been able to scale and expand their operations to the degree that you can now find everything from soup to nuts on their site. How many times has Amazon been “down”?
The Altai Systems’ AMS is built within the Dynamics 365 platform (the Altai Business Platform), so each module, from Membership to Events, to Finance to eCommerce & Credentialing, and everything in between, taps into all of the cutting technology Microsoft spends billions of dollars developing every year. Would you like to know whether someone with 100+ followers tweets about your association? That’s easy! Create a workflow!
As your association grows and requirements arise that have been previously unconsidered, the suite that worked for you once is very likely not working now. And what is it costing you to upgrade and update, to support and maintain, to customize? How long are you waiting for an enhancement because you have a requirement the solution can’t meet?
If the goal of your association is stability within a diverse and ever-changing technology and competitive landscape, then either an AMS suite or platform will help you achieve that goal. But if the AMS you’re running today isn’t helping you achieve your strategic vision you need the Altai Business Platform. You’ll restore confidence in your data and free up your staff to create new, exciting revenue streams.
Imagine if the very solution critical to running your association were within reach! Imagine that your association platform solution was so comprehensive, easy to run, and future-proofed that you’d never have to change again. The Altai Business Platform is the last AMS your association will ever need.