Overall, the implementation was super easy to do. Doing single sign-on (SSO) was the only hard part. The implementation ended up taking nine weeks total, but in hindsight, we could have done in it six. Most of the implementation time was spent in course work, which consisted of on-demand training - approximately 7-8 hours that you are required for you to do, before they turn on the system. During this nine week period, about 50% of my time was spent on implementation.
We had a deployment manager who we were able to email 1-1. I leaned on him heavily. He was great at all hours, for example, they would call back at 7pm PST. They were very responsive.
Content migration strategy is important to consider. Moving from an existing community you need to strategically choose how your layout will be. Two different systems will have two different ways to format communities. For example, Jive has communities with sub-communities, whereas Lithium has community, category, and boards.
Contact migration is also an important consideration. You need to think through how you are going to move contacts from your old community to a new one. For example, are you going to create new logins and passwords? We were hoping to use the integration with Salesforce.com to be a portal, but ended up using an in-house solution that works well to maintain same the same logins. The next related question is are you going to be able to keep them connected to all the posts in your old community? We migrated old posts. If you have a tech savvy team, you can do a self-migration. Lithium have a migration services team that we utilized. It cost us $10k to move content and posts were kept tied to the user.
The next consideration is your launch/promotion plan. Lithium helped us out and gave us a lot of examples. They shared pre-launch email dates, follow-up emails, FAQ pages (e.g. to explain why switching, why better).