I have spent time with the Social Conversation Listening/Monitoring solution from Biz360 and I wanted to share my findings. Biz360 has been a monitoring and measurement company for years, 10 years. While they started out with more traditional media measurement they have analyzed blog data for 3+ years and added Twitter, discussion boards, forums, etc., to the mix in 2009.
The Biz360 team compare themselves to some of the more well-known solutions in the market and feel they can service the lower end self-service accounts up through the enterprise. I’ll share my thoughts on how they compare functionally in a minute, for now, some insights on pricing.
- They do a great job of keeping pricing up front on the web site. You can navigate to their website and find current pricing at any time.
- At $399 per month they cannot be considered a serious choice for the majority of small and mid-sized business users on the market. While they might be a good fit for some projects I would encourage them to consider an additional tier of pricing if they want to offer a solution to meet the small business need.
- Their pricing is, however, competitive in comparison to other comparable solutions with automated sentiment analysis, customized reporting, and ticketing systems.
- Lets compare them to Radian6, as one example. At the low end (from a price point) you can begin using Radian6 for a cost of $500 per month for 1 topic and 10,000 results. Biz360 clearly beats that pricing and can compete well on functionality at this lower end.
- At the higher end of usage you will need to run a thorough analysis that reflects your strategic needs. At the high-end, Biz360 comes in at $2799 a month for 50 topics and 20 users. Compare that to Radian6 at $1500/month for 50,000 results (plus $100 per registered user) and you will need a spreadsheet to figure out which solution is the cheapest for your needs.
- I have said it before but I will say it again. I dislike the idea of charging based upon the number of results. It leads to lower usage, surprise charges, bad feelings. Kudos to Biz360 for not going this route.
Talk to me about Sentiment Analysis
Biz360 has automated sentiment analysis support and continues to train, test, train, test, using a mechanical turk method. Individual results will vary but Biz360 appears deliver results as accurate as the other tools on the market. Sentiment analysis is not 100% right in all use cases. sometimes it will be 0%, sometimes 100%, averaging out to around 70-80%. hile important as a tool to help in first pass analysis, do not bet your analysis, or your job, on your tools sentiment analysis exclusively.
Biz360 gives users the ability to override the system-derived sentiment.
I did not pull out my stop watch but I was impressed by the performance of the solution. You should not find yourself running out for a cup of coffee while your search runs.
Tell me about the Ticketing System
Biz360 needs to give more depth, more workflow capabilities, as it is falling short of competitors like Radian6 and others with its current ticketing solution. This system allows you to assign a message to another user for follow-up at which time an e-mail is sent to them. Once they follow-up on the message, entirely outside of the system, they can login and update the ticket as appropriate. A basic dashboard shows overall system statistics. I would like to see much more ticket and workflow management, the ability to tie tickets to future activities, and much more.
I have data that I want to get out, what is possible?
Biz360 does not have any CRM integrations yet, this work will be coming in the future. However, their API, a very simple XML REST-based API, should make the data extraction part straight-forward. This API provides the ability to get the list of topics, and the data associated with those topics, out as a standard XML object that can be manipulated programmatically by any developer with basic development skills.
What did I leave out? Anything else I can tell you about Biz360? Let me know.