Things to Consider When Choosing Between Upgrading to iMIS EMS or a Different AMS

By Keith Stoute on November 29th, 2023

iMIS EMS is the latest and greatest offering of the flagship iMIS product from Advanced Solutions International. As a complete cloud offering, iMIS EMS has evolved significantly from the earlier versions. The migration (evolution) from iMIS 2017 or earlier versions to EMS can be a significant project, which can lead some organisations to look at options outside of iMIS. While it always makes sense to reevaluate the technology being used, it’s imperative that organisations do a full cost/benefit analysis of upgrading vs. switching systems.

The most common error we have seen clients take is to agree to a demonstration of an alternate system and then compare it to the older version of iMIS they are currently using. It’s crucial that when comparing technologies the organisation arrange to also evaluate the newest version of iMIS. When this is done we find customers see that the capabilities of iMIS EMS match or exceed those of competitors.

The next most crucial factor to consider is the investment required to migrate to EMS vs. moving to an entirely new system. While change is exciting, once you’ve concluded that the technology of iMIS EMS matches the alternatives it really behooves you to consider if the price of switching is worth the considerable outlays in terms of money, staff time and organisational energy. The costs of moving to a new system will always greatly exceed that of an upgrade.

But what about the opportunity to reimagine how you run your organisation in your AMS? Take the savings you reap by staying on iMIS and convert that to enhancing, streamlining and reinventing how you use iMIS! Not only will you save time and money, staff will yield the benefits of improved processes, user interface and automation (amongst many other additions) as if they ARE getting a new system.

Your AMS system is at the core of your operations. It’s touched by the majority of your staff and almost all your members. It’s crucial to running your day to day functions, communications and generating the revenue your organisation needs to sustain itself. Replacing it is akin to open heart surgery – you don’t want to undertake this lightly.

What we’ve seen with organisations that choose to leave older versions of iMIS is major project cost overruns, staff attrition and organisation malaise. Why? Because implementing an AMS takes a tremendous amount of attention and energy across most departments, which means that the staff’s ability to do their actual job is negatively impacted. The organisation can easily waste an entire year (or longer in some cases) with no new initiatives simply to replace a system that has no technical deficiencies, but one that needs an upgrade and possibly some business process enhancements. We’ve also seen organisations invest considerable time and money, only to abandon the failed implementation of the replacement system and come back to upgrade iMIS.

The upgrade from older, heavily customized versions of iMIS to iMIS EMS isn’t a small exercise in many cases, but once it is complete, iMIS EMS will be automatically upgraded on a regular basis at no additional cost, and will never, ever become outdated again. As we’ve shown, the benefit compared to switching systems is considerable. And we haven’t even delved into the significant costs, risks and effort associated with migrating all your member and financial data and processes from iMIS to an entirely different system and database, recreating all your reports and training all your staff on the new systems. While the demonstration from the vendor made it look like it could do all the things you need, you won’t be sure until you’re heavily invested in the new system.

We’d be more than happy to share our experiences with you or put you in touch with customers that have already made the move to iMIS EMS. For more information please reach out to us at [email protected].