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An increasing number of people are members in various kinds of communities. Communities can be used for keeping in touch with friends, as well as for finding kindred spirits who share the same interests, e.g. sailing, gardening, running or travel. Online social networking is gaining importance in people’s everyday and working lives. Collaboration is the key word and members get involved in Web sites where they are free to create, organize and share knowhow and experiences in the form of words, pictures and videos.
This is a development that far-sighted companies can use to their advantage to get closer to their target groups, generate more customers and even make their internal staff work more efficiently. An online community is an excellent channel for brand-building and genuine one-to-one marketing. A correctly designed online community has huge potential for discovering exactly what your target groups need and want.
By studying the content that members upload and discuss, the online community owners can customize offers and even create new products and services. And this is where EPiServer Relate+ steps into the spotlight…
With our new EPiServer Relate+ product package, we are introducing a revolutionary new way to create and work interactively with online communities. We have combined our products EPiServer Community and EPiServer Mail with EPiServer CMS (Content Management System) in one and the same solution. This makes it possible, in an intelligent way, to mix static information from EPiServer CMS with the dynamic and user-generated content that characterizes a community.
An editor can, for instance, upload relevant articles, link to different forums or automatically send e-mails to all or selected members in the community. The members themselves have access to all typical community functions, such as My Page, video clips, photos, blogs, forums, clubs, comments, rating and lots more.
EPiServer Relate+ contains a template package in the form of a ready-to-use community – like a “mini-Facebook” - which means that your online community can be up and running very quickly. However, since it's based on the flexible EPiServer CMS and Community platforms it can, and should, be adapted to any customer-specific needs.
The template package consists of page types that interact with both EPiServer CMS and EPiServer Community, and developers get the template package "on hand" when they install EPiServer Relate+.
We are prelaunching Relate+ now, which means that you can download, order licenses and start developing community sites based on EPiServer Community 3 and the full, launch-ready template package today. We will add EPiServer Mail to the EPiServer Relate+ Product Package at the beginning of 2009. We do, however, also know that many of you out there want to get started and therefore we are pleased to deliver the latest technical achievements as soon as possible. You will be able to install the missing EPiServer Mail module on an existing Relate+ site at a later date. EPiServer Mail is of course included in the Relate+ licenses ordered now.
It is possible for you to choose between two different packages of Relate+; one for external sites and one for intranets. Technically they are the same, simply because we strongly believe that an intranet should benefit from the same features as an external community site. Today’s employees will expect that! The difference is that the intranet package has a lower price, but is targeted to fewer members/employees, and that you have the possibility to add EPiServer CMS 5 and Connect for SharePoint licenses at a very competitive price.
Try the functionality live! Visit our demo site.
Note that Relate+ is sold as an add-on package to EPiServer CMS 5, which is required to run Relate+. For customers that don´t have an existing EPiServer CMS 5 license, they should order this separately. If Relate+ is used as an intranet, the EPiServer CMS 5 license is offered at a discount price. Price Lists for the EPiServer Relate+ package will be available soon at the EPiServer Partner Center.