As of 2/1/2017, Higher Logic, a leader in online community management software, acquired Socious. The press announcement may be found here. The acquisition accelerates Higher Logic’s continued drive toward providing organizations with the most complete engagement platform and world-class services that help retain and grow members and customers.
As separate companies, Higher Logic and Socious took complementary approaches to empowering our clients to achieve this goal. The addition of Socious, along with the Higher Logic recent $55 million investment from JMI Equity, will help them deliver innovative products and services to the market faster per Higher Logic. Higher Logic has stated that they will continue to support the MemberCloud customers but will not be continuing to advance the AMS features beyond current clients.
Review of MemberCloud
Isn’t it time to get rid of that AMS Membership Software you hate!? If so, the team at Socious believes that they have an AMS membership software solution to help you “love” your software again.
In our ongoing “Search of a Membership Management Software Series”, we have prepared a quick look at Socious’, MemberCloud, an AMS Software for associations in this database software review.
For those interested in learning more about Socious we are available to share with you are thoughts about the software solution and how it fits in the AMS market today. In addition, we have curated, interviewed, and prepared more detailed information for executives employed in the not for profit industry to set up a time to discuss as well. Our agnostic insights and software report is designed for those who would like fair and objective insights into the capabilities of this AMS membership software program.
Introduction to Socious AMS Software:
So, I had to ask. Where did the name Socious come from? I went to the source and was provided the following explanation:
Per Joshua Paul, Vice President, Marketing & Strategy, replied with the following reply:
The name Socious is a variation on the word Socius, the plural for the Latin word Socii, meaning a tribe (and the root of Society in English). Since our platform (both the AMS and social platform) are born out of bringing your community together and keeping your “tribe” engaged, the company name forms the foundation of our mission and core values.
After spending some time reviewing the MemberCloud membership solution and visiting with their team since their launch in June 2016, it’s apparent that Socious’s MemberCloud AMS solution was built specifically for association executives who approach membership management from a community-building perspective.
In other words, Socious’ developed MemberCloud in order to turn the traditional AMS model on its head. From their perspective, most AMS software solutions have concentrated to heavily on the back office over the years. So, Socious is turning their attention to the member experience but not giving up on the back office side (staff usage) functionality either.
They claim that by using MemberCloud you still obtain the efficiency and reporting that you would expect from an association management software platform for the staff. But, that MemberCloud goes further by providing an association more member-facing features than any other association management platform.
Brief Summary of Socious AMS Membership Software:
Socious MemberCloud is an all-in-one cloud-based association management system.
As stated earlier, Socious believes that most membership management systems are heavy on the back-end, administrative functions, but they lack member-facing tools. Socious has taken that old AMS model and turned it on its head. They provide all of the administrative tools and functionality that you’ll ever need, but they have placed an emphasis on the tools and features that will keep members engaged and informed so that they continue to renew their memberships, register for events, and get involved with the organization.
Per Socious, this is why they have forged ahead in order to provide associations with membership management and member engagement services. As an all in one AMS software platform, they provide users with everything from web design and community management to running events all within one database solution. What’s also truly unique is that Socious can even take some of the administrative tasks that you hate doing (but have to get done) off of your plate so that you can focus on what really matters: providing value to your members.
To the point, the team at Socious believes that by providing associations with an easy to use all-in-one membership platform built around creating an engaged community of members, you’ll spend less time learning different tools, copying and pasting data into Excel, and troubleshooting integrations.
Key Functional Areas of Socious’ MemberCloud
Member Management including Dues Collection
Community Management including Online Member Portal & Community
Chapter and Sub-Group Management
Website Management System
Event Management System with built-In speaker management system
Reporting with member engagement dashboards and analytics
Online self-service capabilities including items such as member directories, registering for events, paying and renewing dues
Surveys, Polls and Voting
eCommerce with full featured online store
Communication Management including built-In Email Marketing Service
Modern Architecture framework which is mobile friendly
Key Value Statements of Socious’ MemberCloud
MemberCloud is all-in-one AMS gives associations the ability to track and measure member engagement so associations can easily determine if your member engagement strategies are actually working or not.
The online community and member portal provides members with more ways and opportunities to participate with each other and your organizations and, as a result, more value.
The event management system allows associations to run and manage any sized event from start to finish.
MemberCloud offers robust membership dues collection system allows you to easily track and process dues no matter where your members are or what currency they use.
With their built-in website content management system associations are able to customize their site’s design, add member engaging content, and add security settings to their pages.
MemberCloud has Surveys, voting and polls functionality which allow AMS administrators to quickly collect data from their members and the built-in reporting allows them to analyze real-time responses.
MemberCloud has robust and fully searchable file libraries allow members to easily access their member, chapter and committee documents from one library and with one login.
Blogs and discussion forums allow members to interact and engage with each other, your organization, and your industry while creating exclusive content.
Within MemberCloud, members’ profiles are completely customizable and from there members are able to favorite the content and topics that they are interested in so that they only see the content that they care about.
The AMS software has a flexible online store not only provides easy accounting, reports, security, and member/non-member pricing options to your national or international efforts, but it’s all available to your chapters and sub-groups as well.
The integrated communications engine allows an association to send automated emails and notifications to members as well as send targeted marketing emails and set-up beautiful email templates.
Socious MemberCloud is entirely mobile friendly so that both you and your members can access anything you need from anywhere. No app necessary.
While not a functional area or feature, I believe that one of the most refreshing aspects of my review of Socious was a comment made below which I have paraphrased from their website:
Per a Socious article, we don’t want to work with all associations. Some associations are just looking to collect dues for the lowest possible cost. We are not a good fit for those associations.
I applaud software executives who know who they are and where they fit.
Where does MemberCloud likely Fit?
Philosophy: Socious believes that your time and effort should be spent providing value and engagement opportunities to members, rather than wrestling with complicated back-end processes. Therefore, association executives who are tired of spending money on bolt-on systems and desire to highlight their member benefits and keep members engaged logically will migrate over their philosophy more an more.
Demographics: In terms of demographic fit, Socious MemberCloud customers generally manage 1,000+ members and place an emphasis on their members by providing them with a myriad of ways to access exclusive content, collaborate with peers, and connect with industry experts. But, after visiting with clients and learning more about them, Socious seems to serves all types of member-based organizations, including professional and trade based associations, academic societies, and user groups.
Unique Services: Unlike any other AMS provider interviewed, Socious also offers AMS management services so that associations no longer have to worry about managing their technology, and can focus on better serving their members instead.