EMS Lite has been retired
We have spoken with a large number of churches lately that currently use Accruent EMS Lite to manage their events. The reason they are speaking with us is apparently because this version is being phased out and not supported by the company.
We want to emphasize how important it is to partner with a company that values churches as clients. A company that you can trust will not pull the rug out from underneath your organization.
Most clients we have spoken with using Accruent EMS Lite have used it for 15+ years because it has once fit the needs of their church and was affordable. However, it has not often been updated during the time these churches have been using it.
Things we hear about Accruent EMS Lite
Whenever churches approach us to initiate conversations about eSPACE, they typically share a few of the same struggles with EMS Lite. They typically include something about limited access to the system since it’s only on one computer, that it is “clunky” and not user friendly unless you have used it for a long time and that they know they need to switch as it will be obsolete one day soon.
What does it mean to have limited access to an Event Scheduler? This is the result of a downloadable program that is not based in the cloud. Meaning it can only be accessed by one person at a time on one computer.
As a result, churches cannot access the calendar at home or on their phone. What do you think this would make them rely on? If you guessed lots of printed documents, you’d be correct.
A huge paradigm shift users of EMS Lite are realizing is that we live in a digital world where anyone can pull any report or see anything at any time from anywhere. There is no need to print a report just to keep up with what is going on for the week.
With solutions like eSPACE, you can also integrate with Google / Outlook to get the master calendar (or the events you need to see) directly on your personal calendar. For the public, you can also integrate the public events on your website so the congregation can see everything going on without a piece of paper by the door.
If you are used to printing reports and still like to do it that way, not a problem. Programs like eSPACE have the same reports EMS Lite can run that can also be printed…but there is an alternative and automated method if you are open to it from a more digital perspective.
Clunky / Not User Friendly
If you are like most churches, your event scheduling program will include a lot of different people’s involvement. Because of this, it is very crucial for your system to be easy for anyone to use. Let this be a new hire or an 85 year old who has been on staff for 25 years.
Not only will it be less intimidating for your staff to have a more user friendly system, but it will also increase productivity. Imagine if you can spend ½ the time doing something in a new system just because it is easier to navigate.
How much time would something like that save your team? What would you do with that saved time? Perhaps use the time and energy to focus more on your ministry?
In the software world, the last thing you want to hear is that your software solution stops growing…even worse, it is not being supported any longer. We have learned that if your software is not growing, it is dying.
What happens when the software no longer supports its objectives and the company is forced to shut it down? What would happen to your calendar if EMS Lite stopped working one day? Would you lose all of your records of events?
How would that impact your organization?
Change Can Be Tough
Changing your Event Scheduling software at a church (or any organization for that manner) can be quite a headache. This typically affects multiple people from the reports being run, how they schedule events, and the learning curve of change.
As leaders of the church, I think it is important to consider the following quote:
“Should we make decisions based on the 20 years we have done things? Or should we make decisions based on what will be best for our organization in 20 years?”
While change is never easy, we might need to consider spending a few weeks now to transition in order to set our church up for success in the long run.
If you can imagine the ideal scheduling solution at your church, what would that look like?
There Is A Better Way…
Despite EMS Lite not being supported anymore, I believe there are a few other downfalls of the program that may have significant room for improvement. Here is some research we conducted on the program below. EMS Lite…
- Only works with Windows XP, 7 or 8
- Does not work on a Mac?
- Does not have a mobile version
- Is/was a download that only worked on a single desktop (see item 1 above) and not in the cloud
- Has no customer support
- Has no new development being performed and has not been updated for 5+ years
- Their next tier up, to avoid all the issues stated, above was close to triple the cost of the antiquated version
My guess is that your church would not make a positive buying decision if those were the features available to you. In fact, your IT people would laugh uncontrollably if you asked them to consider that as an option.
So…if you would not make that purchase today, why are you still using such a system today.
This phasing away of EMS Lite should actually be seen as an opportunity for many churches. There are programs out there such as eSPACE that are:
- Totally based in the cloud
- Is a progressive web app with a mobile app accessible by any device anywhere
- Not limited to just one computer and allows unlimited user access
- Has incredible phone and ticketed support options
- Constantly growing and developing new features based on their customer’s requests
- Reasonably priced starting at only $600/year.
A Little About eSPACE
Other than checking all of the boxes above, our eSPACE Event Scheduling solution can handle much more. You may even find it could solve problems you didn’t know you have such as:
- A seamless HVAC integration. This means that anytime you have an approved event on your calendar, it can automatically tell your HVAC to turn on/off. If the event is canceled last minute or there is a last minute room change, the HVAC would adjust itself automatically as well. No more running around changing thermostats…Set and forget.
- Other IoT integrations. Just like the above, eSPACE also has the ability to integrate with access control, digital signage, lights and coming soon…Predictive Maintenance sensors to alert you of emergencies.
- Many other integrations. Let it be Zoom for virtual events, the calendar on your website for public events, Google, Outlook, or even 17 different church management software applications, eSPACE has you covered with prebuilt API integrations.
- Ability to track assets and maintenance. eSPACE goes a step further than events if you want it to. You can also use eSPACE to address the facility management and maintenance of your facility, track preventative maintenance, associate costs, etc. You can also use the system to track your assets/inventory further including historical maintenance, when the warranties expire, etc.
- Analytics to best plan for the future. Maybe you need to know the best time to schedule events in your facility? How many events did you have last year and what categories were they? Which ministries used your facility the most? How many people attended those events? All of these questions can be answered with deeper analytics (shown in photos below)
Comparing eSPACE to EMS Lite
Bottom Line - There are alternatives to Accruent EMS Lite
The solution is available. You do not need to live with antiquated and outdated systems. If you are possibly interested in a free demo of eSPACE, you are welcome to contact us by going here.
However you wish to proceed, we wish you the best of luck with this transition. Onward!