The dust is settling after last week’s announcement that Abila and Aptify had been acquired by Community Brands, a new umbrella company that will also comprise YourMembership. A deal of this magnitude had been rumored back in March. JP Guilbault, CEO of YourMembership, assumes the role of CEO of Community Brands and will also take over as CEO of Abila and Aptify.
I’ll post an analysis of the deal in the coming days.
Many IT Directors and CTOs are wondering what to expect and what to do now. Based on my experience with other acquisitions, here are the steps that any Abila or Aptify client should take immediately (YourMembership clients are less likely to experience any disruption due to the consolidation):
- Pull out your contract and note the cancellation terms. Put appointments in your calendar to remind yourself of your next opportunity to cancel your contract. Based on my experience with YourMembership, I think Abila and Aptify customers will be pleased with the kind of service you receive from Community Brands. But if you’re not happy with the way things are going, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to cancel and be stuck in an unpleasant contract for yet another year or two. Also memorize or make a note of your Service Level Agreement, especially as the SLA relates to customer service and response time.
- Make plans to attend your AMS’s upcoming user conference. Abila’s conference is this week in Nashville. YourMembership’s is later this month in Orlando. Aptify’s is October 15-18 in Las Vegas. If you can’t make your own user conference, you may want to consider attending one of the other Community Brands conferences. These conferences will give you the opportunity to hear directly from JP Guilbault and other Community Brands personnel about plans for the products. JP is also a very approachable person, and in my experience is happy to talk one on one with any customer.
- Start networking with other personnel at your AMS and at the other Community Brands companies. There will be restructurings, reassignments, resignations, and reductions in force as a result of this consolidation. Keep your lines of communication with your AMS open by having multiple points of contact. You’ll be happier if one or more of your contacts happen to leave the company.
- Do not hesitate to complain loudly and to the most senior personnel if your SLAs are not being met. Community Brands has promised a smooth transition. Your staff and members should not be inconvenienced by this business transaction.
In full disclosure, I’m a former Avectra employee (before the acquisition by Abila), and YourMembership is a former client.