What I Learned Researching Enterprise Community Software Pricing
At Tribe, we have been successfully serving enterprise clients across the globe with a stable, highly scalable, and secure community solution for more than a year now. The pricing in the community software space is highly competitive and there are some solid enterprise-grade solutions vying for a piece of the market.
Although Tribe is already highly cost-effective, my goal here is to provide a gist of how different enterprise community software pricing works to help our customers and audiences. It covers my research on what different solutions offer, pricing specifics, and how Tribe compares. This list is in no specific order.
Read on to explore in greater details:
Salesforce Community Cloud
Salesforce is a pioneer in the SaaS space; however, the Community Cloud is a relatively newer offering. It is very customizable and leverages Salesforce’s Chatter to allow the members to share different types of content (text-based discussions, images, etc.) in a real-time feed format. The platform has tight integration with its own CRM and helpdesk/support solutions.
In a nutshell, the Community Cloud can be deployed to connect customers so they can find the right information and connect with other customers. It can also be converted to a social commerce solution by adding an action to make a purchase.
The major drawback of this platform is its inability to deliver social touchpoints across the customer journey. For example, if you wish to select the discussion component of the community and add the same inside the website, it won’t be possible.
Apart from that, a huge learning curve, extensive training requirements, and longer Time to Market are some of the other issues of the platform.
The pricing starts from $5/member and goes up to $35/member with the annual subscription and the pricing tiers are base on what you want to achieve with the community. So, for a customer community with 500 members designed for self-service, it’d cost 30k USD annually.
Also, factor in the additional apps you’d be installing from the marketplace with a separate subscription fee, the training cost, and the opportunity cost resulting from a longer implementation time. Salesforce is generally one of the most expensive solutions if we look at the enterprise community software pricing.
Khoros community solution is the result of a merger between Lithium and Steadfast. Khoros Communities are designed to cater to use cases around customer care, customer engagement, retention, and loyalty.
The primary benefit is centered around delivering customer self-service which can reduce the support cost by deflecting tickets and call center queries. Other benefits include a packaged solution to manage social media, SEO via user-generated content, crowdsourcing of ideas, and advocacy.
The pricing offered to the prospects via Khoros differs based on the requirement and there is no information available on the website. Based on our client interaction, and companies who received quotes from Khoros, the average quote is around $100k – $125k USD per year.
The pricing tiers are based on the number of members, additional modules, API usage, and implementation (covers customization, data migration, training, etc.). Given below is a screenshot from Feverbee, that shows how pricing was structured for Lithium (before the merger).
Note that this is an old post, might not exactly reflect the current pricing.
CMNTY is based on the bulletin board style forum which is the older style of organizing topics and content. This solution is definitely packed with loads features required for a community solution — right from gamification, contests and different post types to private messaging and group chats.
Additional extensions allow the admins to enable features such as download hub, analytics, to-do lists, user badges, top ideas, social login, etc. CMNTY is also offered in 18+ different languages.
The major drawbacks are lack of embeddable widgets and older design philosophy that doesn’t match how modern social media users consume content.
At this moment, CMNTY pricing is available only based on client requests. However, the older pricing was based on two categories – DIY and Premium service (professional service and better support).
The DIY pricing plan had two tiers and largely differed in terms of the number of members, storage, admin accounts, and SLA. The lowest subscription plan for a community with 500 members was 15k USD per year and the advanced DIY plan was set at 30k USD per year that capped the maximum number of members at 1000.
Check out the following for a better comparison:
isSided is a community solution that primarily caters to the telecom and B2B software industries. This can be deployed for different use cases ranging from self-service and user engagement to ideation and advocacy. Features include content categorization, self-service portal, discussions, user analytics, knowledge-base, etc.
Although the pricing is not available on the website (prospects need to request pricing), the Capterra listing shows that the pricing starts from 10.8k USD per year. This is also in line with the pricing shown on Feverbee, a consulting company dedicated to community building.
Note that the pricing changes based on the number of members (from 10.8k USD to 150k+ USD), additional modules (e.g. CRM, Onboarding), and implementation charges.
Higher Logic is a solution dedicated to enterprise and mid-level companies. It is an older community solution and the design reflects the older style of forum-based content organization.
Similar to other solutions mentioned above, Higher Logic caters to different use cases such as customer engagement, retention, and advocacy.
The community solution includes features such as content management, discussions, member directory, membership management, and idea sourcing.
It has a range of integration with the Association Management System (AMS) and CRM solutions. Some of the examples are Aptify, GoMembers, NimbleAMS, Salesforce, and SugarCRM.
I was able to get the pricing information from Feverbee since the official website doesn’t offer the pricing details. The pricing starts from 9k USD per year and goes up to 150k USD per year.
The paid modules are additional apps such as content manager, event manager, survey, etc. There is also an additional pricing component for implementation which covers the integration with CRM solutions.
Tribe already has a proven community platform in terms of scalability (millions of users), security, and stability to cater to enterprise clients. What makes Tribe different from other solutions is the ability to build a tailor-made online community, the option to create additional solutions on top of Tribe, direct third-party integration, embeddable widgets, comprehensive API, and vibrant app ecosystem.
Apart from these fundamental differences, Tribe is based on a design philosophy that embodies the popular social media-based content consumption patterns. This helps modern users connect with the platform in a familiar fashion and consume content in a frictionless manner.
And of course, the community platform is highly modular and comes with features such as AI-based activity feed, powerful moderation, extensive analytics, different post types, and more.
Tribe Premium is primarily a DIY plan and costs $4.8k USD which doesn’t have any restrictions in terms of page views and the number of members.
Tribe’s pricing differs from other enterprise software primarily based on value delivery. The subscription fee is charged only for the engaged and retained members. On the contrary, rest of solutions simply charge based on the number of members.
As you can see Tribe is about 55-70% more cost-effective than the competitors.
The enterprise plan is suitable for clients who need a custom design, a dedicated success manager, and custom apps. It can save up to 40-50% cost when compared with other similar solutions — the resources you save can be utilized to invest in the community and member development.
Your take on enterprise community software pricing?
Now that the research gives a fair understanding of how different enterprise community software pricing works, what are your thoughts? What would you consider fair pricing for an enterprise-grade solution taking into consideration all the compliance, security and regulation management?
Drop a message in the comment box based on your experiences and research to discuss more.