2014-09-22 12:11:00 UTC

Social customer community platform for B2B company?

We are looking to build a customer community for our company. We are a software company and doing B2B business.

I would appreciate your experiences from community platform suppliers.  At the moment we are looking Jive, Drupal, Lithium, Zimbra and smaller company GetSatisfaction. Do you have experience of these? Value, implementation, support, etc. You can also recommend any other supplier which hopefully have support in Europe. 

Question is quite wide but any response is appreciated. Especially if you have experience with communities in B2B world.


88 Answers

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Not sure if you have studied Salesforce's community, sharing it with you first.


2014-09-25 10:39:17 UTC
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http://influitive.com/ is one that i've seen recently that has some pretty good features and integrations with salesforce, also targeted at B2B businesses.

2014-09-25 10:30:46 UTC
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Thanks for all for the answers. We are looking quite a wide range of features needed from platform. This is why we have been looking suppliers mentioned earlier. These suppliers can (some better than others) offer what we need.

Basically my question was about how these companies are to work with. Have these fulfilled your expectations? Have they been there for you? Have you got any problems with implementation? This kind of info is very hard to get. And when you talk to these suppliers you are talking to sales guys. So you all know what that means.

Special thanks to Sanjeev for the review!


2014-09-25 04:16:17 UTC
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Hi Teemu
As you too mentioned, it's hard to answer the question with so little info. The key would be to first detail out the kind of interactions you expect with your B2B users and thus list out the features you'd expect in your Social Software. Take these speck as the benchmark to evaluate the shortlisted software.
That said, If you're looking for basic interactions through let say discussion threads, polls etc you could do well with Drupal But if you are looking for advance collaboration features you might want to evaluate Jive ( its a bit old but it might help to read my review on Jive http://www.sanjeevg.com/2010/06/jive-sbs-40-review.html ).

Sanjeev Gupta

2014-09-24 16:47:00 UTC
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You can hire a social media consultant who will run a hand on campaign regarding your targeted b2b group.
Even better to hire a fb - twitter & social media expert or advertizer about it.

2014-09-24 12:59:58 UTC
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We have used SocialEngine ( http://www.socialengine.com/) in one of our projects.
Its built in Zend/PHP/Smarty, so if you're looking for too much customization, you must have a good programmer in-house.
I don't know much about the other options, just commenting on the one I know.

2014-09-24 10:51:21 UTC
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Hi again Teemu, my thoughts before considering the technology! Are you looking for pre-built roadmap that locks community platform to one vendor or solution that uses open standards and thinks about problems of tomorrow and not yesterday.

2014-09-24 10:49:08 UTC
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It really depends on the requirement you have. Most of the options you have offer a customer portal only, without really integrating into "services" aspects...

Another critical issue I think when you are considering smaller scale companies, it will be the vision they have. Are they waiting to be acquired by a Giant? Any acquisition is a nightmare to customers, because it delay any kinds of innovation and improvement.

Back to the applications you have mentioned, Jive should be the one with more possibilities, but if you are willing to go further forward, Salesforce should be a platform offering you the most options.

2014-09-24 10:35:59 UTC
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