Zoho Discussions alternatives

Zoho Discussions
Create external and internal communities where problems are solved, topics are discussed and ideas are exchanged. Customer support forums where solutions come from support reps and customers alike; Ideas forums where customers can make their voices heard; Employee forums for having important conversations in a better environment.
Zoho Discussions alternatives are:
Google Groups
Here are the latest news about Zoho Discussions:

2012 Zoho to close a number of services


Unbelievable: SaaS-provider Zoho, that has always wanted to get into the Guinness Book of Records by the number of created services, is now pruning its garden. In the end of the year 6 Zoho products will be closed: 1. Zoho Challenge - tool for testing job candidates. 2. Zoho CommentBox - social customer support app (our review). Apparently, the company has finally noticed that they have another similar service. 3. Zoho Planner - Online organizer. Probably, Zoho Planner wants to entice users to pay for Zoho Projects. 4. Zoho Plugin for Office - add-on that allows to co-edit Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents. 5. Zoho Share - document publishing service (ala SlideShare). 6. Zoho Viewer - online file viewer. The official reason of the closure - the desire to focus on the more successful services. And it sounds very reasonable, because even Google can't support such a large number of services.



2012 Zoho Commentbox - almost new customer support community app


We still remember the time when Zoho launched one new SaaS app per month. But, of course, it could not last forever. Having reached almost 30 apps, Zoho recently is only updating them from time to time. But the desire to create something new hasn't gone. That's why Zoho developers decided to take an old service, add some features, rename it and release as a new one. They added Twitter, Email and CRM integration to Zoho Discussions, renamed it to Zoho Commentbox and voila - the new app is ready! Even the prices and descriptions haven't changed. Moreover, the old service - Zoho Discussions - still exists (so Zoho has more apps). Recall, Zoho Discussions (or Zoho Commentbox) allows to create an online customer community for support and ideas collection. Previously, these communities were created on phpbb or vBulletin forum engines, and now on such specialized services. The most famous representative of this class - is Get Satisfaction.

By the way, Zoho offers data import from phpbb and vBulletin forums to Zoho Commentbox. It supports multiple interface languages and is free for 1 forum without sub-forums.



2009 Zoho Discussions - perfect solution for support forum

Zoho Discussions
Zoho unveiled its anniversary (twentieth) service. It is Zoho Discussions - a solution for company forum. Zoho recommends to use this tool as a customer support forum, but you can also setup access rules and use it as an intranet forum for internal collaboration. Unlike the popular forum engines (phpbb, vbulletin), Zoho Discussion provides less features, but the functions that are important for customer support are quite powerful. Besides the solution setup (on your own domain) and administration is much more easier than in case with common forum CMS. The best way to see Zoho Discussions in action is to visit Zoho support forum, that uses the same platform.

Here are the main Zoho Discussions features:
- built in chat (integrated Zoho Chat)
- beautiful user profiles
- bookmarks and watch-lists
- private messages
- design configuration
- user rating
- widgets support
- spam protection
- powerful moderation tools
- vote for comments
- WYSIWYG editor
- file attachments
- sticky posts
- suitable search
- RSS channel for each forum

Some features are worth special mention. User can create 5 topic types: discussion, question, idea, problem and announcement. Each forum can be easily filtered to view only specific topic type. It's very suitable for example for support specialist, who wants to solve the latest customer problem, or for developer, who wants to analyze all customer ideas.

Zoho Discussions
In "question" and "problem" topics users can select the "best answer". This post will be labeled to make the answer search more suitable.

Zoho Discussions
Zoho Discussions allows to create 2 forums with 1 moderator for free. If you want to increase the number of forums, moderators, if you want to use your own domain, if you need more disk space, you'll need to pay from 25$ a month.