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Abila NetForum Enterprise - Small Staff Association Point of View

Customer Service
3
Ease of Use
3
Reliability
2
Customization
3
Membership Size: 
1,001-5,000
Industry Type: 
Healthcare
Organization Type: 
Individual Membership
Primary Job Function: 
Chief Staff Officer (#1)
Number of Years Using the AMS: 
1-3 years

Our number one issue with Abila's NetForum Enterprise is that baseline only checks one datapoint, email, to create an account.  In this day and age, our members and customers are all using more than one email. This is onerous for a small staff association as we need to have a regular process in place to continually de-dupe our records.  In addition, Abila's business model is that they regularly release "hot fixes" to remedy bugs found in the system.  It is then up to the association to:

  • Copy data from Live over to Test
  • Deploy the Hotfix to Test
  • Test all regular processes in the Test Environment
  • Troublshoot if necessary
  • Deploy the Hotfix to Live
  • Test all regular processes in the Live Enviornment
  • Troubleshoot if necssary
  • Start all over again within a month or two when the next Hot Fix is released

The System is not diffuclt to use for day to day association management tasks, but the amount of time it takes to maintain the system does not work well for a small staff organization. That said, we only use approximately 1/2 of the modules available with the Enterprise system.  It is most likely overkill for our needs.  As of writing this review, we have determined the need to conduct an assessment of our business practices to see if NetForum Enteprise is truly the right system for us, or do we need to go to RFP for a new system.  We will be working with an as-yet unamed consultant to help us through the process.

When we upgraded a few years ago we took everything back to baseline.  After an evauation on the health of our data, we determined we are going to have to customize the account creation workflow as well a eWeb in order to make it easy for our members and customer to self manage their data.

Before making a decision to go with NetForum Enterprise, I would highly encourage any organization to fully understand their business processes, and be very clear on the amount of time required by staff to maintain the system.