There's still very little NetFORUM can't do; but this is an Enterprise product, so expect it to need IT support.

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8-11 years

So many changes since my first review, which was not long after the Abila acquisition.

We remain on the 2014 version of the platform, because the 2015 version was really kind of a lost version that started down a path that was abandoned and the 2017 version remains a mix of old and new UI and technology elements between 2014 and 2017.

Recent indications of the current owners of the product, Community Brands, are that they are pushing to complete as much of the UI and technology transition to the responsive, MVC model introduced in 2017 as possible by this Fall. We'll re-evaluate at that point whether the move to 2017 is worth it.

Right now, the version of NetFORUM we're using continues to provide a useful and extremely customisable platform, one that allows even a 1-2 person IT team with the right skills to easily modify or add functionality to the system and build integrations with other systems in short order (as long as those systems will interact with the now-aging SOAP protocol that drives most of NetFORUM's prebuilt web services).

For those without an IT team, any investment in an Enterprise-level platform is going to require external support. Thankfully, there are now even more talented consultancies to choose from to help in that regard.

Whether NetFORUM Enterprise is the right AMS for you comes down to defining your needs, when and where you'll need to do things differently than the default "baseline" approach, and where your comfort level is in terms of balancing the potential cost and complexity that come with extreme customizability. The product can certainly do almost anything you'll want to accomplish, but it's unlikely to do so without engaging IT talent (internal or external) to get it there and keep pace with your business strategy on an ongoing basis.

If that kind of committment scares you, you may be better served by a simpler product that doesn't have the same level of flexibility; but also does not come with the same level of IT overhead. But, don't make that decision without talking to veteran customers of the product, and skilled consultants who can help implement and support the platform. Also talk about options like whether you want the vendor (Community Brands) to host your NetFORUM Enterprise system, whether you should host it yourself, or whether a consultant-serviced hosting approach makes the most sense for you.

For its faults (and no AMS is without its faults), NetFORUM still delivers a powerful solution that can be customized and extended to meet (or help meet) your goals.

Some will say that an AMS platform built on a "standard" CRM foundation (e.g., Salesforce or MS Dynamics CRM) is the future; and I'm somewhat inclined to believe there's at least potential truth to that. But don't think for a moment that such an approach is not without it's own level of committment in terms of IT support needs; and, building on a platform that already has it's own usage fees like Salesforce means that your per-user costs are going to be significant. Weigh. All. Your. Options. Carefully. And. Thoroughly.