When moving homes, you get rid of things you no longer need. When changing your AMS, you should also take time to determine what you really need to bring or else you could find yourself drowning in an unnecessary pile of (data) boxes.
In an attempt to provide a seamless member experience and aggregate all member data in one place, associations have been working with technology partners to perform system integrations through single sign-on, pushing all of their transaction data back into the AMS. As anyone who has done this is keenly aware, there are more than a few challenges along the way:
- Coordinating requirements discussions between the association, the AMS and the vendor of choice is challenging
- The time it takes to perform the actual integration is often long and driven by competing priorities within all 3 organizations
- The initial integration cost is often expensive
- It is not uncommon for upgrades to both or either system to break the integration
- There is often ongoing annual integration support costs for EACH integration
Your AMS Wasn’t Designed For That
Besides the above mentioned points, the fact is: AMS solutions are simply not designed for this. There are many integrations, processes and customizations that, in hindsight, should probably never really have been done. Of course, many AMS providers want to be responsive to their clients’ requests. It doesn’t hurt that they get paid for the work and their customers become stickier.
Difficult as it may be, frustrated associations are changing their AMS.
If you fall into this category, please resist the temptation to recreate all of the system and data integrations with your new AMS. Yes, you’ll have a newer, shinier AMS, but you’ll also still have many of the same problems. You don’t have to pack up all those old boxes and bring them to your new house.
A Better Approach
The association technology community has reached consensus that data analytics platforms should be a required part of the technology ecosystem. If they haven’t done so already, associations are figuring out when to make the investment and prioritize the analytics initiative. There are a few compelling reasons to implement an analytics platform before, or in parallel, but not after, a new AMS implementation.
- There are significant cost savings on the AMS migration by not bringing over all of the historic data your association worked to put in there from your other systems. The data you need for analysis will be available in the best of breed systems, therefore in the data analytics platform.
- Data analytics projects get your data in a better condition and cleaner for the new AMS.
- You won’t be spending time, resources and implementation dollars building things (e.g. integrations, implementations) in your new AMS that you don’t need (remember those challenges mentioned above!)
- As you likely know from experience or from a proposal, the costs for migrations, implementations and integrations – one-time and ongoing — are significant (more than offsetting the cost of the analytics platform).
Best of Both Worlds
So, get the best of both worlds – a new analytics platform and a new AMS – and do so for less than you were planning for your new AMS. Oh, and leave those old boxes at home.
If you’re considering a new AMS, we’d love to chat with you about how to work in data analytics. Schedule a demo with one of our experts to learn more.