When selecting top or best Online Community Vendor Platforms, I use some of these requirements below. I think this tool should be useful when you start looking at online community vendors.
Read my blog here on Online Community Vendor Platform Selection. I go into detail on why I chose the Online Community Vendor for my companies as a B2B Software vendor.
Note: If you scroll all the way down, I have added some of the elite Online Community Vendors to this page.
Listen to this podcast around how I selected a Vendor here. I share an inside look at how I chose a online community platform vendor, best practices for evaluating platform vendors, and an in-depth look at the process of standing up a brand new community program.
Here are some crucial things to look at when selection an online community platform.
Online Community Vendor selection criteria:
Hosted and provided as "software-as-a-service" (where hosted? Amazon?)
System Integration and Single Sign-On (SSO)
Community Content Management
Customer Profile Administration
Customer Profile Self-Management
Keep in mind the below as well from an internal Legal and Security Audit standpoint.
What do I need to think about for an internal vendor Security for Vendor?
1. The vendor name and the product(s) you are interested in- what Company or Customer information will be accessible, managed, processed in the proposed product(s)
2. Is any of that information personally identifiable or sensitive?
3. Will the proposed product(s) integrate with any Company systems
- e.g., the Salesforce instance or business systems
4. What is the deployment/access model: will company leverage / connect to their cloud hosted platform, or would their product be dropped (like a client install) inside Company's cloud environment or another Company instance like Salesforce?
5. If you know the licensing model at this point (e.g., payment frequency and who inside Company owns that…)
Once an NDA is in place with them, they will need you to request the vendors most recent SOC 2 Type II report and also any reports or findings resulting from a 3rd party penetration / vulnerability test they may subscribe to.
Online Community Vendor Selection - The Legal Stuff
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