Upside AMS

Custom software that acts like a SaaS

  • Upside AMS is a platform for custom software development
  • We work with you to implement to your exact requirements
  • One monthly fee for hosting, training, support, and upgrades
  • You own the intellectual property

Problem: Organizations have to decide between a hosted AMS that doesn’t quite meet their needs, or the risks and costs of custom software.

Solution: A platform for associations that combines the benefits of SaaS without the risks of custom software.

What is Upside AMS?

Upside AMS is our software that blends the benefits of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the benefits of custom software in order to get the advantages of both. It’s a proven base that is ready to be customized for your specific needs. Here are the highlights:

  • Upside AMS is developed to your exact requirements, on top of open-source software.
  • You own the source code and database to your Upside AMS implementation.
  • You get hosting, support, updates, and training at a fixed cost via Support and Improve.
  • You have no other subscription fees, licenses, restrictions, or hidden costs.

Here’s another way to understand how Upside AMS works. Imagine the infrastructure required for any city street: roads, sidewalks, power lines, water lines–that’s all the Upside platform. Each building on the street is unique, built to the needs of whoever is using it, but still relying on that common city infrastructure. A building on that street is your unique implementation of a Upside AMS!

Why choose Upside AMS?

We developed Upside AMS for organizations that need custom software to run their association, but are hesitant about the risks that come with custom software projects. Everyone has had a custom project not go well because the risks were not managed well. We want to minimize the risks of custom software so that it is a great option for associations.

Some of these risks that Upside AMS solves are:

No budget or schedule overruns during development. Upside AMS comes with common modules that are customized to your needs, and with our extensive experience working with associations, we are able to accurately estimate and schedule this work.

Predictable long term cost. Our Support and Improve contract gives you a predictable, all-in cost for hosting, support, updates, and training. There are no additional costs, licenses, or fees.

Consistent security updates. Custom software can be expensive to update. But because Upside AMS runs on top of a common shared infrastructure, we are able to apply updates to that infrastructure (and your implementation) for a fraction of the cost you would have with other custom software.

No vendor lock-in. You own all intellectual property related to your Upside AMS implementation. Our Master Services Agreement allows you to terminate our contract at any time, for any reason, with no penalty. If you terminate (no one ever has) we transfer everything to your control as quickly as possible. And because Upside AMS is built on top of open source software, you’ll always be able to get support from another vendor.

What are alternatives to Upside AMS?

There are three broad categories of alternatives to Upside AMS:

Alternative 1: Software as a Service (SaaS) AMS

When you think of an AMS, it’s probably a SaaS. There are a hundred different options out there, but they share a few common elements: you pay a monthly fee based on usage and it’s easy to sign up and configure on your own.

A SaaS AMS is fantastic for small organizations with simple needs. If almost anyone can join your organization by paying the registration fee and you offer basic services in your member portal like webinar registration, then a SaaS AMS is a good fit.

Alternative 2: Custom developed AMS

For organizations that can’t use a SaaS AMS they are likely running something that has been custom developed. It could be developed using any number of tools or languages, and almost always by a software agency that does not specialize in association management software.

These inefficiencies lead to high costs, inconsistent implementations, and a “wipe their hands and walk away when it’s done” transactional approach. No wonder organizations are hesitant to use custom, the risks are difficult to justify. Better to limp along with a bad SaaS solution instead.

Alternative 3: Customized CRM Platforms

These are the closest alternatives to Upside AMS. But these products are intended for sales and marketing teams–not for running an association. You can make them work, but it’s a lot like pounding a square peg through a round hole.

Products like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics can also be considered an alternative. These are customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that generally require customization in order to be effective, and there is Association Management Software that you can purchase to run on top of these platforms.

 SaaS AMSCustom SoftwareCRM PlatformsUpside AMS
Who owns the source code? They do Depends on the contract They do You do
Who owns the database? They do Depends on the contract They do You do
Are you “locked in” to the vendor? Yes Depends on the contract Yes No
When are software and server security updates applied? When they decide When they sell you updates When they decide Continuously
How does every workflow in the AMS work? How they decide What you decide Mostly what they decide What you decide
What kind of integrations can you have? What they decide What you decide What you decide What you decide
What kind of automatic events and processes can you build? What they decide What you decide Mostly what they decide What you decide
What level of complexity can be supported? Low to Medium Complex Complex Complex
What is the implementation cost? Low High Medium Medium
What is the implementation speed? Fast Slow Medium Medium

How do we implement Upside AMS?

First, we should chat to find out if you’re even a good fit. Maybe there’s a better solution for your organization out there, and if there is, we’ll direct you that way.

If Upside AMS is a fit for you, implementation starts with Discover and Plan. This is our process for determining requirements, budget, and schedule. When that’s done, we move into implementation through Develop and Launch.

How is Upside AMS supported post-launch?

We sign a Support and Improve agreement: one flat monthly cost that gets you all of the security patches, operating system updates, and backups for your implementation of Upside AMS. It also includes all the day to day work required, like email support, fixing errors, and remote training.

Dana Janssen

Dana Janssen

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