- Launch of a new product, Lithium Response™. In a top secret OEM partnership, the team unveiled Lithium Response™ a product that enables brands to increase customer satisfaction while reducing costs and improving efficiency in the call center. Key features include easier processes to turn community conversations from unstructured information to entries into the Lithium Tribal Knowledge Base (TKB), peer-to-peer support and gamification incentives to drive self-service customer resolution, cost effective social-web support, blended contact center capabilities, and mobile enablement. The product is generally available (GA) in Q3.
Point of View (POV): The OEM’d product comes from a little-known but powerful solution from a privately held, purpose-built social customer care platform. The product maximizes agent efficiency via categorization, prioritization and queuing, and routing. The system is smart enough to guide customers to self service by replying with relevant links to community content. This platform has been battled test with complicated communication service provider (CSP) environments. Adapted for the Lithium platform, customer can expect a rigorous enterprise class solution that lives up to Lithium’s standards. Lithium Response™ also takes advantage of Lithium’s access to the Twitter fire hose. The movement to address multi-channel customer support puts Lithium in unique league with vendors such as Genesys Labs, Kana, and Moxie Software, who can blend contact center and social support.
- Delivers new release of social marketing. Building on customer feedback, the new Lithium Social Marketing Solution™ focuses on improving engagement. New features include support for rich media interactions, ad hoc groups, streaming conversations, and a new ratings and reviews module. A partnership with Shoutlet provides Facebook and Twitter campaign management. Social engagement is updated to include photo sharing, inline-conversations, groups spaces, and adoption of commons social logins. The new ratings and reviews module allows community driven content to be included via widgets. New development tools on iOS improve customer experience in the mobile interface of choice. The product is now generally available (GA).
Point of View (POV): Customers showed significant interest in the new social marketing solution features. The ability to improve ratings and reviews is much needed as this has become table steaks in communities and product catalogs. What’s impressive is the new line of partnerships that align with Lithium’s core strategy. Instead of building their own content publishing platform for campaigns, Lithium takes advantage of Shoutlet ability to place various types of content easily into the conversation. Partnerships with VMWare’s Socialcast unit allows Lithium’s Social Marketing Solution™ to integrate with internally focused collaboration tools to expedite the concept to product introduction process.
- Begins concerted global expansion. Lithium announced new APAC headquarters in Singapore which add to its Sydney APAC presence. Lithium also has a strong presence in EMEA with operations in Paris, Zurich, and London.
Point of View (POV): As the market consolidates through attrition and acquisition, Lithium’s push to get more feet on the ground around the globe is much welcomed by customers. Lithium needs to expand fast and put its $53M in funding to work to acquire long-term customers in expansion markets.
- Ups the ante in partnerships and alliances. New partnerships with Ipsos and Geoffrey Moore provide access to market research. Agency relationships include Sapient Nitro and Acquity group. Lithium adds software partners such as Shoutlet and VM Ware. Lithium’s approach is to find a small number but committed set of alliances and partnerships.
Point of View (POV): Lithium’s partnership and alliance program traditionally was the weakest among the major SCRM players. The addition of Ed Van Siclen, SVP of Global Alliances and BD, brings enterprise class partnerships to the Lithium’s arsenal. As SCRM matures, key partnerships with major system integrators must be prioritized as well as carefully crafted agency relationships. Software partnerships back to transactional systems such as ERP, CRM, and master data management will be key to long term success and enterprise adoption. More importantly, continued alliances with other engagement applications will keep the innovation engine alive for existing customers as they focus on improving engagement.