ChMS budget, timeline, and short list

I spent 75 minutes on the phone with Tony yesterday, which is great for me because I’m always smarter after I’ve talked with Tony than I was before. Perimeter is just ahead of us in the ChMS selection process. He has a deadline of this month to make a final decision. For us, our only looming deadline is to put in our budget request for 2007 this week. I met with our executive management on Monday. Based on that meeting, it seems very likely that our budget request for ChMS will be approved. If so, 2007 will be the year we make a change, but we still have a couple of months to decide what to do.

Here’s our short list:

MSCRM 3.0 plus add-ons from Microsoft CRM partners
Fellowship One
Shelby Arena
Build-our-own open source system in partnership with WEC

Interestingly, two of my finalists overlap with Tony’s three finalists.

Tony’s third finalist is Blackbaud. I’m intrigued by that and enjoyed the chance earlier this year to discuss it in detail with Shelley Hildebrand of Tony’s staff at Perimeter. Unfortunately, the cost of Blackbaud is up there near what it would cost to build our own, so that’s not a feasible option for us.

Also like Tony, I know there’s a chance our short list will get longer before it gets shorter. Did I mention this decision is risky and complicated?

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