The two largest online community software companies in the association market have gotten married. The companies announced today that Socious has been acquired by Higher Logic. Check out the presser.
I had a call today with Andy Steggles, Higher Logic’s co-founder about the deal. I’ll post some analysis about the deal in the coming days, but right now I’m neck deep in putting together the final touches for Community Manager Appreciation Day on Monday, January 23. Here’s a Q&A from my conversation with Andy.
1. Why did Higher Logic want to do this?
The integration of Socious’ products and services will allow us to better serve the association community. This will ultimately result in more rapid innovation, an expanded set of product offerings, and even better customer service. We were planning to hire approx. 50 staff in 2017 to help manage our amazing growth. By acquiring socious, we have now just filled 37 of those positions with incredible talent that have direct, community and association experience. It also gives us a great West Coast location which we’ve wanted to setup for a while.
2. Doesn’t this limit the options for Associations?
Associations still have a ton of choice for community. Most organizations use an AMS or database with engagement functionality, but everyone’s different. Some may want a best-in-breed solution that covers database, marketing automation, community, etc. Organizations which want a best in breed solution, have plenty of options (Jive, Telligent etc) but we feel that our focus on the associations is a compelling differentiator.
3. Is this the first time a community platform has acquired another community platform?
To the best of my knowledge, I think it is. As you know, most community platforms have either gone out of business or have been acquired by an AMS or some other larger enterprise solution. In every instance, I can think of, this often results in sub-par products or customer support, and we aim to only improve the best of breed solution we already provide.
4. How many employees does Higher Logic have now?
All 37 Socious employees are now employees of Higher Logic, which brings us to approximately 140 employees.
5. What does this mean for the association community?
We strongly believe that the association community should also have a best of breed option which understands the association market. Most of our staff have deep association experience and this is reflected in our product offering. There will be no disruption in business operations or service levels.
6. What are we doing with the Socious product?
Socious has features and functionality that complement the Higher Logic platform. Adding these key community features and products helps us accelerate innovation and enhancements to our industry-leading platform. The Higher Logic mission remains the same as it has for the last nine years: to provide organizations with a platform that allows their members to engage.
7. Are we going to keep the Socious AMS product?
Yes, we will continue to maintain and support the AMS product but we will not be actively selling it going forward. AMS clients will continue to receive the same excellent service that has been provided up to this point.