The basic concept is very much needed by the association world--an online discussion group system that integrates with AMS (association management software) and that allows you to create distinct discussion groups (say, a group for all of your members, groups for your sections/interest groups and chapters, groups for retirees or students, etc.) that automatically update their membership to reflect membership in you AMS. This makes it possible to maintain discussion groups without having to constantly manually update their membership, which could take hours and hours every day, if you're an association of any size.
The discussion group system also lets you bring in members who are still wedded to listservs, as it incorporates the ability to send and receive posts to the discussion groups via email. In fact, if a member of mine contacts me about 'the listservs,' I just use the word 'listserv' with them, too, as I talk about whatever they need to know about the discussion groups. It really seems to avoid confusion and make them more comfortable.
I've been working with Higher Logic and this tool for several years (and our use of Higher Logic dates from before my joining my association). When I started, though many aspects of the service were clunky, customer service seemed responsive and personable and was able to give me faith that the clunky bits would be addressed in the near future.
As time has passed and I've talked to more Higher Logic clients, it seems many of us have been requesting basic features or improvements for years with little or no response from Higher Logic. This includes the ability for discussion group members to receive notifications when discussions they start receive replies, a feature that I've never seen missing from any social media, forum, or other discussion tool. (That's right, members have to remember to go back to check discussions to see if they've received any replies!) If you do some digging in their customer support forums, you'll find that people have been requesting this feature for at least six years.
Customer service and maintenance of what I see as their core product (the discussion group system) has dropped off even further in the last two years. The company has acquired four other companies in that time (RealMagnet, Informz, Socious, and Kavi) and it seems deadset on creating a monopoly on communication services for associations. The results, so far, have been as chaotic as you'd think. Customer service has become slow, uneven, and about as transparent as mud (often you'll be told by customer service to post your issue in the client discussion group and if you post in the client discussion group, you'll be told to contact customer service). No one seems to know what features are being prioritized for development or what the timelines might be. Often you're told to use clunky workarounds that you then have to somehow educate your poor members about and do a song-and-dance for them to convince them that the workarounds are convenient and/or will be fixed soon. New bells-and-whistle features are introduced while broken or, at least, in very unfinished stages of development and dropped as quickly as they're introduced.
It really feels like the core product is just being left to decay while the company pursues, I assume, new sales. What they're selling to these new customers, I don't know. Email services with features and customer service that's worse than when they were individual companies? The dying discussion group core product? Website content management systems that are much less intuitive to use than most other content management systems I've worked with?
I hate writing this review, because, one, as an association, there aren't really any competitors for you to work with. (Though there seem to be a few forming.) Two, I do think many of the employees at Higher Logic are doing their best and are likely as trapped working with a company that grew too fast as their clients are. (Take a look at some of the recent employee reviews in Glassdoor for an idea of some of the tension they may be facing.)
We want you to do better, Higher Logic! In fact, we need you to do better.
You don't have many options, but consider starting out small. Don't dive in and add or buy too many features or modules before you determine if you can work with the basics. Keep an eye on HL's competitors as they grow. Report everything that doesn't work to customer service and post about it in their client discussion group.
See "what do you like best," above. Our committees and officer groups, in particular, use their individual discussion groups to conduct official business in a way that can be easily handed over to their successors.