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Lithium Online Communities Review 9 of 9
Lithium Online Communities Review: "Much better than Jive!"
https://www.trustradius.com/community-platformsLithium Online CommunitiesUnspecified8.721101
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November 19, 2012

Lithium Online Communities Review: "Much better than Jive!"

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction

  • Deployment and ease of use have been amazing – day and night vs. Jive. Typically deployment gives you a cringe – absolutely the easiest deployment I’ve ever been a part of.
  • Overall layout and design/ flow is a lot easier to manage than Jive. It has a CMS type thing that self-propogates through the entire community. Jive did not automatically propogate.
  • Analytics - They have a lot of patented algorithms that help generate key metric indexes. You can compare yourself with other Lithium customers. When you dive in deeper into analytics, Lithium allows you to look deeper into what an individual is doing vs. just a broad view of your community.
  • Integration with Salesforce.com
  • Content editor for moderators – you need to know HTML for adding custom content. Several editors don’t know HTML and it is hard to get it to look like they want. The WYSIWYG is very limited in the functions that it has. It falls on the site admin to do a lot of the adding of content. The client side works fine – can format posts however they want.
  • Since we launched Lithium, our metrics compared to have our old community (Jive) have significantly increased and our support cases being opened have decreased as of Q1, but we have not verified for sure.
  • In terms of customer satisfaction impact, right now, we've just had positive verbal feedback and have not quantified benefits. Clients have reported that they’ve learned a lot about our products from the community.
  • Lithium has an ROI analysis tool. You can plug amount on cost of a support ticket and it computes the money saved based upon having questions asked/answered in community. We are trying to use this feature. It's hard to do so, from the nature of our support organization. They want to be able to record all of the information coming in and have a hesitancy to release those numbers to us.

Product Usage

17 - 2 full access administrators who oversee community management.

9 site moderators who cannot do design/layout changes, but can do everything else

6 moderators specific to particular boards – e.g. partner board
0.25 - It takes a small proportion of my time.
  • Private customer community – for peer to peer communication about product usage and best practices
  • Also use for specific product programs and the partner program.
  • Web dev team uses for internal communication – internal collaboration.
  • Moving towards using for support – integrates with SFDC – don’t have plans to use as support portal

Evaluation and Selection

Were reviewing 2 other products. Aside from price, the integration to Salesforce.com was the big decider. At the time we were evaluating, Lithium did the community for Salesforce.com themselves.

Implementation

We were up against a hard stop with Jive’s contract ending and Lithium connected us with a deployment partner to do accelerated deployment using a template approach. It could have happened in 2 weeks. We did not end up going that way since we wanted more customization. Lithium handled technical stuff like migration, but a lot of the process is self-deployment. It’s one of the ways they teach use of the system is having the user self-implement.

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).

  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house

Training

It was out of the box training - pre-recorded/ not live. There was nothing for more advanced topics like APIs. They do have a good knowledge base and community that you can access and folks in there are responsive. I would however like more advanced training options.

Support

They are responsive and proactive. They are really on top of things. They send personal emails to check in on you. It feels like they really know you. You only get emails from 3-4 people at Lithium – they must be customer assigned.

Usability

It is easy as could be to use. Clients can also use it easily.

The analytics are easy to use.

Integration

  • Salesforce.com
We haven't had a single problem yet and we are still building on it. Lithium is so open as is Salesforce.com.

We had one of their partners do a lot of the integration work. We also had 2 business analysts in-house well versed in Salesforce.com that were able to do it.

We are trying to track Lithium community activity in Salesforce.com i.e. what pages a client contact has been to. We cannot see it right now, but are working towards it. It is a little bit of an obstacle but can be done.

Vendor Relationship

Our pricing is based upon page views. Other options include the total number of community members, total number of posts, content storage. Our IT director led the negotiation.