A new platform that fuses online collaboration, community development, content management and business tools has just been unveiled over the weekend by Concursive Corporation. The new solution, which includes an open source version, ConcourseConnect will enable users to create online communities with embedded Web 2.0 tools like blogs, forums and wikis

Built on a flexible scalable architecture with a customizable front-end interface, the appearance of the platform can be tweaked to tailor the branding needs of a company.

In effect, what it does is create what Concursive calls “commercial networks” – a business adaptation of social networks for internal or external use.


Concourse Connect - Profile

Building Around ConcourseSuite 5

This is not the first time that Concursive has raised eyebrows. Last year it announced it that new users who signed up would be given the opportunity to use its flagship product, ConcourseSuite 5, for free.

That package was the culmination of several separate modules -- solutions like CRM, CMS and collaboration -- that had been brought together in a single solution to assist companies with managing information and enabling collaboration.

ConcourseConnect compliments Suite 5 by offering users a product that provides an intuitive search solution and a view of all content within a community built using it.


ConcourseConnect Model

With the possibility of deploying it on-site, or as a SaaS, ConcourseConnect is capable of supporting millions of users through Java Portlet architecture.

" . . . ConcourseConnect means different things to different people," said Jeff Hershey, VP of Marketing for Concursive. "Perhaps the easiest way to think of ConcourseConnect is that it blends together the best pieces of online community, collaboration, content management and CRM software into one scalable, centrally managed solution."

Three Versions Available

As it stands, ConcourseConnect is available in three versions

  • ConcourseLite: Open Sourced, ad-supported, collaboration, community, no business tools, limited customization
  • ConcourseConnect: Collaboration, community, no business tools, full customization
  • ConcourseConnect Enterprise: Collaboration, Community, Business tools, full customization, centralized command, multi-tenant tools


ConcourseConnect - Create Group

While the websites provide examples of what the final product might look like, there is little to explain how it actually works. Given that this is a product for business users who are not necessarily tech-savvy, this may not really be a problem, even though it would be nice to know.

The commercial version of ConcourseConnect offers greater scalability and integration than the open source version is available starting at US$ 5,000 per year for on premise deployments.

The open source version of ConcourseConnect is provided under the GNU Affero General Public License (GPL and is available from the Concursive website.