Zoho Discussions Arrives... In a Very Big Way

Zoho might just be the most interesting software/technology company around today - and it's only getting better. In addition to its already deep suite of productivity, collaboration and business applications, Zoho just launched Zoho Discussions. 

Introduced to the market today, Zoho Discussions is software for enabling businesses and organizations to create internal and external communities - you might know that as forums. We're taking a closer look at the platform today for an upcoming issue but highlights of Zoho Discussions include:

- 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.

The Zoho Discussions forum software (SaaS) is available in a free version, but paid plans starting at $25 per month (for an unlimited number of users) are also available. 

"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."