25 Must Ask Questions Before Buying Non-Profit Software
Taking a cue from our friends at ITQlick on their page for Tendenci – The Open Source AMS, we thought we would go ahead and answer some questions for you regarding Tendenci - The Only Open Source AMS:
Tendenci - The Open Source AMS
1. Do I own ALL of my data?
2. Is it Open Source?
Tendenci is the leading Open Source Software. Most software is purchased (or licensed) and while you can modify it to your preferences, you can’t rewrite the basic functionality of the product. Many developers want the freedom to modify a product to their individual tastes, getting into the actual code. That is the freedom of Open Source.
3. Does the AMS software give us FULL access to the FULL DATABASE and ALL SOURCE CODE?
Yes! We are truly Open Source, with full access to YOUR database and source code. It's your website, isn't it?
4. Is there a thriving open-source community built around it on github, readthedocs, transifex?
Of course! And we couldn't do it without the Open Source Community!
5. Can I download ALL of my data (meaning the entire database for my site) at any time?
Yes! And the team at Tendenci is here to help you to do so. Because, again, it's your site.
6. Can I have a hosted SaaS implementation and also have it backup directly to your OWN S3 bucket (or similar)?
Yes! Tendenci can host your website and have it backup directly to your personal S3 bucket. In fact, we counsel our clients on this. There was a big push for redundancy of backups that moved through the NPO community about two years ago. Freedom of open source!
7. Can I scale the plan up or down as the Association/NGO grows or contracts over time?
Yes! You can scale the plan up or down at any time. This is at your discretion, based on the number of users or amount of traffic.
8. Is it multi-lingual and can I help translate it into a new language?
Thanks again to the Open Source Community, Tendenci - The Only Open Source AMS has been translated in more than 70+ languages! Help translate here!
9. Is it multi-site capable? Can my AMS accept multiple currencies as well as cryptocurrencies?
Tendenci is invested (financially and technically) in blockchain technology implementations for Association Management Systems from utilizing the blockchain to increase association board election participation, to recurring donations via cryptocurrency for non-profits, as well as engagement and gamification.
Read more about it here.
10. Do You Have to Be A NonProfit to Use Tendenci?
Not at all! Tendenci is open source and anyone can use it for their website, to do custom developments, create themes, and develop plugins. We welcome anyone who needs the features and functionality that we've packaged into Tendenci to sign-up and join the open source community of people working together for a common cause.
11. How Technical Do I Need to Be to Use Tendenci?
Our open source platform is easy to use and our team is always here to guide you and answer all of your questions. If you can use a basic word processor then you will be able to add and edit content on your Tendenci site. We have help-files to help guide the user through any questions, and you can also check out the developer directory and post any issues on GitHub.
12. What Can I Expect When I Sign Up?
The Tendenci Website Builder Process happens in three easy steps
You'll submit your credit card information and sign-up for the monthly managed hosting.
We're waiving the set-up fees and so you only pay for the monthly service fees for hosting your site online, providing security monitoring, regular updates and daily back-ups. Check out Website Builder Offer Pricing FAQs
You'll receive a confirmation via email with a receipt showing payment right away.
You'll then be contacted by your Tendenci customer representative. This is the person who will be your guide through the process of deploying your site and training you how to set-up and manage your online association website.
You'll also receive information on how to register and use our project management and support ticket system where you'll be able to use our online support forums, schedule your training, and email support requests.
Your Tendenci representative will send you the login information and URL for your Tendenci development website. This typically takes 1-2 business days.
This is a great time to schedule a training session for your team. You can also find upcoming training webinars and in-person events on the Tendenci calendar - tendenci.com/events
25 Must Ask Questions Before Buying Non-Profit Software
1. How can Tendenci improve the efficiency of our business?
The prime purpose behind investing in the software solution is to boost efficiency and growth. Ask the software vendor (Tendenci) how their business app would improve the efficiency of your enterprise.
2. How can we do better with Tendenci?
Tendenci has tremendous exposure to different companies. They offer the same type of software to different industries, so they are better aware of who is doing what with their technological product. This also helps them understand and foresee what’s really working. Allow them to share their observations so that you can get a better idea of their experience, expertise, and intelligence. This will also be an opportunity to identify the service providers who come up with the most insightful suggestions.
3. Is Tendenci scalable?
Perhaps your business is growing and will expand in the future, your Non-Profit requirements with it. So you would be interested to know if Tendenci is scalable and can grow with you. It’s no use investing in a solution that can't be scaled.
4. Is Tendenci customizible?
Each business has different needs. Yours is no different. When it comes to selecting a software solution, you are looking for a tool that can be easily customized and configured to cater to your specific business needs. So you'll want to understand if the Tendenci package you want to purchase is easy to customize.
5. Can I get access to community forums for current users of Tendenci?
Such a community forum is the best way to engage users. Getting access to Tendenci forums can help new or proposed users connect with product experts through peer-to-peer discussions.
6. What is the best way to measure the return in investment (ROI) that Tendenci promises to provide?
Tendenci should answer how their business software will improve your bottom line and ROI. Most service providers make tall claims, so you want to make sure you get your hands on the best solution.
7. Who will handle the implementation process of Tendenci?
Before choosing a business app, you want to understand that the implementation would be smooth, so you should be interested to find out about the person responsible for handling the implementation process. Do not hesitate to ask Tendenci about their qualifications.
8. What is Tendenci expertise in the implementation?
A good software vendor should be able to show you a positive track record with their implementation strategy.Try to find out if Tendenci method is structured. Your purpose should be to look for one that is structured and flexible to adapt to unexpected situations.
9. How smooth withh the data migration be with Tendenci?
The software vendor should give you a structured data conversion methodology that will enable smooth migration of your information to the new system.
10. Does Tendenci provide an IPI for intergrating 3rd party apps?
A growing business is always in need of expansion and integration with third-party apps is a part of the growth model. When it comes to choosing software, make sure the business app provides an application programming interface for easy integration.
11. How easy is it to import and export data to and from Tendenci?
Ask the software product vendor if the tool will allow you to export data to an external file or import data from external sources.
12. Are there any consulting hours available as part of Tendenci package/pricing?
Ask the software vendor (Tendenci) if the software package includes consulting hours. Do not hesitate to ask if there are any hidden charges involved.
13. What will it cost if Tendenci sends a technician on-site to solve a problem concerning our business?
You do not want to be caught unawares when a software vendor sends a technician to resolve an issue that may crop up due to varied reasons. You want to make sure the charges are reasonable. Better still, you should be aware of what needs to be paid to the technician sent by the vendor to fix a problem.
14. What are the minimum hardware requirements to install, implement , and run Tendenci on a server?
You do not want to fall in love with the front end unless you are 100% sure that the software is compatible with your existing system. Ask the software vendor is you need any specific hardware to install the software. Will the business application run on your existing workstations. How much space will the software take on the disk drive? Is there a need for RAM upgrade to successfully run the software for optimum performance?
15. Does Tendenci charge per location or per terminal?
You should enquire about the cost of having more than one terminal in your store. While some software vendors charge on the basis of the number of store locations, others charge per terminal.
16. Is there any startup or maintenance fee involved?
When you are looking for a software solution, make sure you know if the vendor charges any fee to get you started. You should also be interested to know if there are any software maintenance charges for you to pay.
17. Does Tendenci meet critical security and compliance requieremnts?
Your business is accountable to customers, regulators, employees, and partners. So you should look for one software vendor who has adopted a comprehensive, technically sound security and compliance program. Does the vendor map your needs for security controls?
18. How does Tendenci guarantee data backup?
Data loss can prove extremely risky for any business. So you should always ask the vendor about their backup policy. How often is data backed up and what is the cost for the same?
19. Do Tendenci provide free disaster recovery support in the event of a catastrophic hardware failure?
What is the software vendor's policy on disaster recovery? Are any charges involved for disaster recovery support if a catastrophic hardware failure affects your system?
20. Is Tendenci easy to use?
How easy is the software to work on? Is it user friendly for your end users? Does it involve any complexities that are difficult to understand for the team? Even a feature-rich solution is of no use if end users find it difficult to use.
21. How much training is required to get your team up to speed with Tendenci?
Tendenci should clearly mention whether the solution is complex or simple to use. If it is not an easy-to-use software solution, then do they provide training? What is the level of training your team requires to make the most of the solution?
22. How often is Tendenci updated?
You will be interested to know about the software updates. When is it updated? Does the service provider notify customers when the upgrades are scheduled? Does the software work when the upgrades are under way? How long does the process take?
23. Who will answer our calls if / when there is an issue with Tendenci performance?
You should be interested to enquire about how an issue is handled at the side of the software vendor. Do not hesitate to question about who will respond to your emergency calls. What is their experience in software industry?
24. How vast is the Tendenci client base?
If the software vendor is widely popular, chances are that they have a good product. So always check their client base to measure their product's competence in the market.
25. How does Tendenci performs testing and validation?
Testing is crucial to ensuring that the software runs as promised. So you should try to find out if the vendor offers any free trial runs or try before you buy the product. By testing the concept first, it gets easier to understand the software product's functionality and allay fears before signing a contract.