Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ChMS - IconCMO

If you haven't already, you MUST read the summary of what we are looking for. This is critical to understand my comments. The vendors being reviewed work hard to provide a good product to serve the church, and they should be commended for that. Our needs are very specific, and just because a product isn't right for us does not mean that it isn't perfect for your church. By the same token, just because we didn't like a product does not mean it doesn't meet needs or provide genuine value to its clients. The blurb and "target market" are taken from the capterra list I referenced in my first post. Finally, my thoughts are my own and not an official position of my employer. Thank you.

Icon Systems - IconCMO & Revelations
Church Management System. Features: Households and Members, Special Events, Groups and Talents, and more.
Target Market: Small - Large
Quick Summary - Worth Consideration

Level 2 Analysis:

How big? - Unwilling to divulge
How many customers? - Unwilling to divulge
How long in business? - 1992
Are they profitable? - “rarely run in the red”
Technical Details - Unwilling to divulge

Volunteer Management - Nope.
Web Integration - Minimal.
Attendance - Seems really fast
Assimilation - Nope.

Level 2 Summary - IconCMO seems to do the basics well, but doesn’t really push anything forward in the world of church management. The highly touted web features really amount to the ability for people in the congregation to update their profile. Hardly solid web integration. IconCMO does not appear to offer good assimilation tools or volunteer management, essential items IMHO. Their reluctance to answer my questions about their size implies to me that this is a small product without a large customer base. No further research is necessary at this time.


tester said...

Additional Information that should be mentioned. The company name is Icon Systems Inc. They have three products. So depending on which one you are viewing the options will be different. The three products are:

1. Revelations

2. IconCMO

3. IconCMO+

Revelations is the traditional Microsoft Windows based system that offers the standard options that churches use. Very reliable and flexible.

IconCMO is a completely web based system. Everything is on the web. This is a completely separate product from Revelations. Customers will not purchase both products. Since the entire product is on the web this should be classified as "Complete Web Integration". The design of IconCMO is what separates it from other web based products. It is a RIA (Rich Internet Application). What does RIA mean? It behaves like a windows based product but runs entirely through a browser. IconCMO goes beyond the traditional features of a ChMS product. It can do mass emailing without having to go through your own email server or your ISP(Internet Service Provider). So there is no limitation on the number of emails that you can send. As mentioned above it does contain a Parishioner module but it also contains a fund based not-for-profit accounting system that has been validated by an accounting firm to follow all FASB guidelines. Added to all this is the ability to create as many users as you wish and each user can have different access privileges and all the transactions they enter can be monitored by the church. Great for tracking the progress of volunteers.

IconCMO+ is an extension of IconCMO for the district or "Top" office. For example: If the national office had 100 district offices below them that the churches report to then the district offices could do roll-up reporting on all their churches to view the health of their district while the national could roll-up the information of all the churches or compress the information via each district. Since all the information is stored in one location at the Icon Systems Server location all information in the roll-up reporting is always the latest and most up to date information. This goes way beyond the abilities of the traditional church software.

After 16 years in business, Icon Systems has a customer base over 4,000 and is a strong leader in technology.

Bill Gifford - Icon Systems

renewingmind said...


Thanks for the comment. I should clarify two things:

(1) Web integration is a bad term on my part. What I mean is how well does it leverage the web in improving the church management task. Ways products do this are:

(A) Allowing people to update their own records in the database for address, phone number and email changes.

(B) Allowing small group leaders to record attendance at their small group meetings.

(C) Creating ways for people to register for events and accept payment, and tying that information together with the database.

(D) Creating ways for groups to interact and share data, files, photos etc.

(E) There are many more.

So when I say "web integration" I can see where that would be confusing.

(2) I am not looking for an accounting system, so I did not include that as a plus or minus. In the case of IconCMO that is a plus that I'm glad you mentioned, but it was not part of our search.

Thanks again,


Anonymous said...


IconCMO has a Parishioner's module that allows each family to log in and either view or view/edit their information as well as view on online directory.

Small group leaders can be given access to modify the attendance records without be given access to the rest of the product.

IconCMO has also partnered with several other companies to help utilize your information. These partners include:

Vanco Services, BombBomb, Upper Room Technologies, Volunteer Spot, Constant Contact and other applications that can be integrated directly into the churches web site.