Last week, a few of Engage’s finest (Jason Stone, vice president, marketing and sales; Kevin O’Brien, co-founder and vice president, operations; and Kayle McLean, project manager) made their way to Washington, D.C., for Fusion 2014, Protech Associates’ annual customer conference. As a company, we were thrilled to return to the conference for a second consecutive year, this time as a Fusion Premier sponsor. During the two-day conference, our team members took advantage of the opportunity to meet with several association executives and staff members at our exhibition area.
In our meetings, we found that association professionals of all levels wanted to learn more about the benefits of using a DNN content management system (CMS) with Protech’s association management software (AMS). Through our discussions, we explained that both systems work on the .NET framework, so they “play nicely” together. Because both the DNN CMS and Protech’s AMS are Microsoft-based systems, it is easy to integrate the two to create an impressive, interactive and user-friendly website. A DNN-based CMS also provides significant benefits to executives and staff members that aren’t experienced coders as it allows anyone with the proper credentials to update the website’s content through a simple user interface—just log in, find the content that needs updating, and make the changes.
During meetings with association staff at the conference, we also learned that for vendors, it is important to demonstrate experience with similar organizations. With Engage’s strong background working with associations, we were easily able to share examples of the websites we have designed and developed for other associations, and how well those websites work with Protech’s AMS. As we discovered during our first projects with Protech, learning the “ins” and “outs” of the company’s AMS can take 40-60 hours. Even in that time, it is challenging to adjust to the functionality of Protech’s solutions. Because Engage has built multiple websites for associations that integrated Protech’s software, we are ahead of this learning curve. Working with an experienced vendor can reduce the initial costs of web development for an association because the vendor will spend its billing hours creating the website design, integrating back-end systems, and implementing the CMS instead of taking the time to familiarize itself with the specifics of Protech’s AMS.
We know first-hand that associations are also seeking out vendors they can trust from the moment they sign a contract until well after the completion of their website. At Fusion, we told associations that we won’t just be their vendor, but a partner that will do whatever it takes to deliver a high-end, fully functional website that both their association staff and their members will love. When a vendor truly partners with an association to do the heavy lifting, it allows the organization to focus on what’s important – enhancing the member experience.