Forty years of working with associations, trade unions, and fund-raising organizations and designing software to deal with their accounting, membership, meetings, exhibitions, fund-raising, and order entry needs for both back-office and web presence has given me an unusual perspective on the business and technical needs of non-profits. I have participated in more requirements and design sessions than I can count.
Large associations simply want what they want. Smaller organizations want what the big players have. Vendors want you to do it their way. Some associations start out wanting to do it the way a software vendor already does it — but the devil is in the details and it is always an interesting negotiation. The key is teasing out the issues and requirements that vendors typically don’t understand and clients are so used to that they don’t think to question.
What I enjoy most is the process of translating technical details to non-technical people and then translating the non-technical business requirements to technical folks responsible for implementation.
Retirement from my position as Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer of Personify Corp., one of the largest Association Management Software companies, has now opened the opportunity to work outside the confines of a single vendor. Given that Personify Corp. has recently been sold to a new company and many of the main players have changed, I can be of particular help to those who are either considering their software or installing their software.
If you are working through the vendor selection process, let me help you. Let me translate what the vendor is saying into what you need to hear. If you are installing Personify, then this is your opportunity to have the primary designer of that software on your project team to get the most out of your implementation.
Call me and let’s discuss next steps.
Recently, I have provided technical and business consulting to the Hawaii Connector, a state Health Insurance Exchange, first for vendor selection and then as the SME in HIX Financial Management. It is amazing to see what large vendors propose as solutions for the Affordable Care Act and how they proceed to implement them! I wish I could say it is all smooth sailing but then again, that’s where I can help.
If you are a state planning your own health insurance exchange, I can help you. In fact, I want to help you. In fact, you need me to help you. I know some of the vendors. I know some of the strange conglomeration of software they have put together and called a “solution” for exchanges. I know some software that you really need to avoid in spite of how wonderful it sounds in a proposal. Call me if you want experience on your side.
I hope you enjoy my musings and will give me your active feedback on the topics I raise. Happy reading!