Zoho Discussions Released

Posted by at 9:29 am on September 22, 2009

Zoho today announced Zoho Discussions, the company’s product that allows businesses and organizations to create internal and external communities. With Zoho Discussions, organizations can improve their support experience through customer support forums, conduct customer research and get insights on preferences with product idea boards, and create intranet discussion forums for internal conversations.

“We want to provide our customers with the relevant applications they need to run their businesses,” said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist. “Zoho Discussions is another piece of that puzzle. It’s a key application that customers can easily include in their website to create a natural spot where customers gather to exchange ideas and experiences, support each other and provide feedback to the company. For example, Zoho Discussions has been powering our own Community site, forums.zoho.com, that we use to stay in close contact with customers, partners and our own teams. So, we’ve seen how effective this form of interaction can be.”

Zoho Discussions

While it is just being introduced to the marketplace today, Zoho Discussions has quietly been in service for some time. Zoho has been using it as the technology behind the company’s own Zoho Forums. In that capacity, Zoho Discussions has proven itself by handling hundreds of active discussion threads each day. Now, Zoho users can make discussion forums available to their customers, colleagues, partners and the public at large -“ all while maintaining their preferred branding.

Highlights of Zoho Discussion

  • Community Engagement. Businesses and organizations keep their users coming back through the use of familiar social networking features such as profiles, integrated chat, private messages among users, user labels and more.
  • Content Discoverability. Content stored in communities created with Zoho Discussions is easy to find through the integrated advanced search, custom organization, as well as RSS/Secure RSS subscription options and SEO.
  • Branding. Zoho Discussions allows businesses to remain in control of their brand and the user experience they provide to customers through custom URLs, branding options and elements, customizable look and feel, even including full rebranding (white labeling) options.
  • Topic Administration. Allows community moderators to manage the lifecycle of posts and discussions. For example, depending on the topics enabled, community users will be able to vote on an idea or select the most popular solution for a problem.
  • Rich User Experience. Zoho Discussions provides a rich experience for users with easy to use features such as a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, threaded conversations, drafts, previews and more.
  • Administration. Administration features allow companies to support more users with less community administrators: Fine grained access controls, auto spam, community-marked content, user management and more.

Pricing and Availability

Zoho Discussions is available immediately. In addition to the free version, Zoho Discussions offers paid plans starting at $25 per month (for an unlimited number of users) with increasing functionality and flexibility.

For more information on Zoho, please visit www.zoho.com.

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