Frequently Asked Questions - netFORUM Enterprise
Q: How will my organization benefit from netFORUM?
A: With netFORUM, all of your organization's information is kept in one comprehensive, centralized database - eliminating the headaches and costs of trying to use and synchronize multiple databases. Any changes made to a member record are automatically reflected throughout the system in real-time, so no double entry is necessary and your data is always up-to-date. And by allowing members to update their profiles, register for events, renew memberships and buy products online, netFORUM gives your members the online experience they expect while saving your staff time. The result? Less time spent managing information and processes, and more time spent serving your members.
Q: What is association management software?
A: Association management software, or AMS, is designed for the day-to-day management of your organization's membership and prospect data. It houses your member database and streamlines your operations for everything from tracking member information and launching e-Marketing campaigns to setting up e-Commerce and executing events.
As demands increase and expectations grow, a robust, innovative AMS solution is critical to keeping your organization current and competitive. Let Avectra show you how our netFORUM AMS will take care of your member processes, so you can focus on serving your members.
Q: What platforms do I need in order to run netFORUM?
A: netFORUM is 100% browser-based, requiring only that you have access to the Internet and the ability to run a browser such as Internet Explorer or Safari.
Q: What does netFORUM do?
A: netFORUM's technology integrates your membership data and business processes, so you can engage your members, increase non-dues revenue, make smarter business decisions and get more done with less. Offering a complete, integrated suite of more than 30 modules for everything from e-Marketing to e-Commerce, netFORUM helps you plan, coordinate and manage your most complex events; segment data to target communications for specific member and prospect audiences; track member and committee activity; create dynamic Web experiences for your customer community; and deliver greater value to your bottom line.
Q: Is my data completely secure?
A: Avectra delivers a reliable, security-rich and high-performance hosting environment for all netFORUM customers. Strict physical security combined with leading security technologies ensure that your data is safe and always available in the Avectra Super Network (ASN). In the highly unlikely event of the primary network's failure, not only does our state-of-the-art, SAS-70 data center hold a secondary network with exact copies of all data and systems, but a third, geographically-separate data facility provides yet another layer of backup. You can rest easy knowing that even if the unforeseen occurs, your information will be safe and your rebound swift.
Q: What kind of support does Avectra offer netFORUM Enterprise customers?
A: In addition to online training and webinars, Avectra's talented team of Client Services representatives are available to respond to your most common needs and resolve your most complex issues. netFORUM Enterprise customers can submit online support tickets (our preferred method of communication) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customer Support is also available by phone 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday.
Q: Does netFORUM receive regular upgrades?
A: Yes. Avectra regularly incorporates your new feature requests to provide at least one free product upgrade each year, plus additional "service packs" - at no cost to you. Our Product Upgrade team is committed to making sure your upgrades are completed smoothly within 18 months of the current product release, and we schedule our maintenance windows at night - so there's no disruption to your business.
Q: Does netFORUM accommodate organizations as well as individuals?
A: Yes. Organizations and individuals are two of the most important data elements in the system. Most data is linked to either an organization or an individual, or both. Organizations can be linked to individuals or other organizations, and both organizations and individuals can be members and purchase merchandise.
Q: What technical skills are needed to support netFORUM?
A: Avectra hosts netFORUM completely, so all you need to successfully run the system is a computer with an Internet connection. The system is intuitive and user-friendly, so one of your staff members can easily serve as the system administrator to set up and manage the system - no dedicated IT staff necessary.
Q: How do I get started with netFORUM Enterprise?
A: We'd love to show you how netFORUM Enterprise can help you engage your members, increase non-dues revenue, make smarter business decisions and get more done with less. Let us take you on a guided demo of the system, and a follow-up discussion of your organization's needs will give us the information we need to draft a netFORUM Enterprise proposal. To contact a sales representative, call us at 855-AVECTRA (855-283-2872) or send us an e-mail.
Q: What types of organizations use netFORUM?
A: netFORUM is used by member-based organizations of all kinds: professional societies, medical and engineering societies, trade and fraternal organizations, academic and educational associations, labor unions, chambers of commerce, special interest groups, sports organizations and for-profit member-based companies. The netFORUM product suite's comprehensive functionality, combined with its industry-leading flexibility, makes it an ideal fit for any member-based organization - regardless of size or budget.
Q: What different modules come with netFORUM Enterprise?
A: netFORUM Enterprise comes with more than 30 features for complete association management functionality: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Membership Management, Dues, Committee Management, Events Management, e-Marketing, Accounting Module (A/R and Cash Receipts), Inventory Module (Product Management), Subscriptions Module, Reporting (Standard Reports & Queries), Reporting (Custom Reports & Queries), Profile Management Module, Member Directory Module, Online Shopping Cart Module, Online Event Registration Module, User Access Management Module, My Transactions Module, Developer's netFORUM Toolkit, Regression Testing, Online Chapter Management Module, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Module, Discussion Group Module, Job Board Module, e-Marketing Scheduling Engine, Chapter Management, Speaker Management, Content Management System, Exhibit Management Module, Advertising Module, Awards Management Module, Certification Module, Accreditation Module, Fundraising Module, Abstract Management Module, CEU - Continuing Education Module, Time and Project Tracking, Sales Force Automation and Grant Management.
Q: I am a membership manager. How can I benefit from using netFORUM?
A: netFORUM Enterprise aggregates data from throughout your system to create a 360-degree view of current members and prospects in your database. Data-rich individual and organization profiles couple with robust list management and e-Marketing capabilities to ensure that your targeted personal messages reach the right individuals at the right time. Plus, you can use netFORUM Enterprise's CRM (customer relationship management) feature to carry out traditional membership database functionality such as dues billing and renewals, e-Commerce order processing and fulfillment and event registration.
Q: I am an events manager. How can I benefit from using netFORUM?
A: netFORUM Enterprise provides complete event management and registration functionality. It simplifies the planning, coordination and management of meetings and events of any type or size, from the smallest committee meeting to an annual conference with unlimited sessions. netFORUM Enterprise takes care of all event-related tasks, from establishing multiple pricing structures based on membership type and registration date to registering attendees and processing payments online.
Q: Can we modify netFORUM Enterprise to meet our unique needs?
A: Yes. At the heart of netFORUM Enterprise is the netFORUM Toolkit, empowering your IT staff or consultants to quickly and easily customize the look and feel of your system, add wizards, menus and business logic, integrate to third-party applications and develop entirely new modules - all without significant vendor or developer involvement. Plus, the Avectra Partner Program makes the most popular member-industry software tools from other top vendors available on an optional plug-in basis. Together, the range of choices offered by netFORUM Enterprise provides you with the ultimate flexibility for customization.
Q: How do I import my existing data into netFORUM?
A: No matter what system currently holds your data, we'll make sure your data is converted seamlessly into netFORUM Enterprise. Our Data Conversion team works very closely with you to map your data into netFORUM tables, and our technical experts can also help with data cleansing, de-duping and address verification if needed.
Q: Can I create custom reports?
A: Yes. In addition to the nearly 300 reports that come standard with netFORUM Enterprise, we can also modify or create reports to help your organization get exactly what it needs. netFORUM Enterprise's user-friendly query function makes it simple for your staff to obtain any information and then manipulate it through single-click exporting to Microsoft Excel™, Microsoft Word™, or XML, ASCII or PDF formats.
Q: What do the terms iWeb, eWeb and xWeb mean?
A: netFORUM was built to provide one system to support both the internal staff operations of your association as well as your member-facing website. To do this, netFORUM has two primary views for your data: iWeb and eWeb.
The iWeb (internal Web) is the collection of all the features your staff needs for daily operations, such as CRM, membership management and event management. The eWeb (external Web) is the functionality that runs on your website to support member and prospect needs, such as e-Commerce and member self-service - enabling members to join and renew, update profile information, register for events and more online. The xWeb is the library of XML interfaces in netFORUM that allow you to integrate with other systems for additional best-in-breed functionality.
Q: What kind of training is available for netFORUM Enterprise?
A: Avectra's Professional Services team provides a full range of classroom training for all netFORUM Enterprise features. We regularly conduct live group training at our offices in McLean, Va., and Chicago, Ill. - or we'll travel to you for more personalized training. And with Avectra's complete array of technical group training, online help, the Avectra Wiki, recorded webinars and live classes, you're sure to get the help you need, when and how you need it.
Q: Does Avectra offer technical training for netFORUM Enterprise development tools?
A: Yes. We offer specialized training for all netFORUM Enterprise development tools: the netFORUM Toolkit, the netFORUM Upgrade Tool, the netFORUM Content Management System (CMS) and netFORUM XML Web Services. We conduct technical training in a lab style with real-world examples, so your staff can get the adequate experience it needs to bring back and empower your association.
Q: Does Avectra offer technical training on the netFORUM data model and reporting services?
A: Yes. Avectra teaches your staff how to build a report beginning with understanding the data model, learning how to write queries to feed the report, and ultimately how to lay out a finished product in reporting services. We conduct report training in a lab style, so your staff users can work through real-world examples and become as comfortable as possible with netFORUM report writing.
Q: What types of modifications can users make with the netFORUM Toolkit?
A: The netFORUM Toolkit enables your staff to make extensive changes to the baseline netFORUM system - all while remaining on the upgrade path. Trained users can add and change fields, add new menus and processes -even build entirely new modules - and trust that any changes will be compatible with the baseline system.
Q: Can I use netFORUM Enterprise to manage my website?
A: Yes. Some Avectra clients use the netFORUM Content Management System (CMS) tool to manage their entire website. Once netFORUM is implemented, our Professional Services team works closely with you to convert the content of your existing website into the netFORUM CMS tool.
Q: Can I integrate netFORUM with my existing website?
A: Yes, this is very common. Many Avectra customers already have invested significantly in their current corporate website and choose not to convert their entire site into netFORUM - but they still want to use the power of netFORUM's eWeb (e-Commerce, member self-service capabilities). In this case, the Professional Services team assists your staff to seamlessly link the two systems together. The two systems can be lightly integrated, where only certain menu items have URL links to netFORUM, or extensively integrated, where your existing website makes XML calls to netFORUM to pull up information, such as upcoming meetings or member transaction history.
Q: Can we add our own fields or rename existing fields without having to pay you to do the work for us?
A: Yes. All clients who purchase the netFORUM Toolkit have the ability to easily modify and change the system to meet your unique needs.
Q: How long does it take to implement netFORUM Enterprise?
A: It varies. We've had clients go live in as little as 30 days. These clients are typically those who implement netFORUM Enterprise with minimal changes and convert limited amounts of data. At the other extreme, we've had clients who have spent an entire year in implementation. These clients often want to convert all of their data - including financial history, add extensive customization to the system, write many custom reports and integrate their system to many other applications. The average implementation time is 3 to 6 months once the scope of your project has been identified.
Q: How is the price of netFORUM determined?
A: netFORUM licenses are sold on a named-user basis - meaning each staff member who needs to use the system will need a license. Additionally, we offer professional services (project management, data conversion, training and custom development) to organizations during implementation and after they go live with the system, and the cost is based on the number of licenses purchased and amount of work completed.
We're also proud to offer the most comprehensive, reliable hosting services available to help relieve you of the burden of hosting, data security, networking and more. We offer both dedicated hosting for larger organizations, as well as shared hosting for smaller organizations. Shared hosting costs approximately 20% of the standard dedicated hosting rate.
Contact us to discuss specific pricing for your organization.
Q: How does netFORUM Enterprise differ from its competitors?
A: netFORUM is the only 100% Web-based system that offers association management, e-Commerce, e-Marketing and content management capabilities in one comprehensive, integrated system. netFORUM Enterprise also has an innovative development toolkit that enables Avectra or your staff to substantially extend netFORUM without leaving the baseline upgrade path, plus full XML integration capabilities to integrate with other best-in-breed applications. All of this means that your investment in netFORUM will be one that grows along with your organization. No matter what your ever-changing business needs may be, we'll be sure to meet them.
Q: Does netFORUM Enterprise support XML Web services?
A: Yes. netFORUM Enterprise uses the power of XML Web services to enable third-party programs to interface with netFORUM. This enables your organization to expose pieces of business functionality for use by an external entity, such as a strategic business partner, or internally by other users or groups within your organization. Using the xWeb toolset, the external program can request a XML schema from netFORUM, insert new records, update existing ones and query netFORUM for a list of records from the system - all within a controlled, secure environment.
Q: How do I purchase netFORUM?
A: Simply contact Avectra's Sales team to explore netFORUM and work toward developing a tailored proposal that meets your unique needs. For more information, please call (800) 858-8272 or sign up for an online demonstration.
Q: Can an organization apply its own upgrades?
A: Yes. If your organization locally deploys netFORUM, you have the option to conduct your own upgrades. Generally, we'll conduct the first upgrade in conjunction with you to teach correct procedures and ensure that it's performed successfully, and then we'll provide access to future upgrades within the support site.