The Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Lithium Total Community integration delivers a true social CRM—an unrivaled customer engagement offering in the marketplace. Lithium’s enterprise class digital customer intelligence and experience products enhance the sophisticated service, sales and marketing engine of Dynamics CRM to complete a closed loop solution for managing and fostering your most important relationships.
The integrated solution creates a world-class digital experience resulting in:
A higher degree of engagement with customers and greater insights across all channels.
Mission-critical business results—including improved customer satisfaction, stronger brand advocacy, improved Net Promoter Score, increased customer lifetime value and lower service costs.
A robust, complete set of customer information that combines transactional CRM data with customer context from Lithium.
No other integration can offer better crowdsourced case deflection, management and social customer intelligence to drive CRM business processes. The primary benefits of our first release are customer service use cases, but more are on the way!
Key features of the initial release
Enriched customer profile through Klout topics, influence and connected social channels for each CRM contact record.
Support case workflow integration between Lithium Total Community and Dynamics CRM.
Social support widgets from the Lithium Total Community to encourage self-service.
Access to community-produced accepted solutions and knowledge articles through a federated search inside Dynamics CRM agent workflow.
Case portal integration.
Social customer intelligence analytics through PowerBI.
As we prepare to bring this product to market, we’re looking for candidates to advise and be some of the first to take advantage of this new capability recently announced at Convergence EMEA. The initial beta program runs from February 1 – April 30, 2016.
The time commitment is pretty simple. We’re looking for candidates to use the integration, provide feedback on a periodic basis and tell others about their success afterwards! Lithium will be responsible for deploying and supporting the integration during the beta period. Post beta period, there will be a charge for continued use of the connector (which will be discounted for early participants).
We can work with anyone that can move fast to get up and running, so if you already have a Lithium community and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and are interested in being a beta participant or just want to learn more about our integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please contact your customer success manager.
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We've recently run a few SEO audits and we've received audit results from a handful of customers -- thanks! We found that we're pretty solid on common best practices and, generally, our SEO practices look ok. However, we did find areas in need of improvement. This is such an important area, we're working on updates to the platform behavior around the following:
Handle “thin content” pages (intelligent noindex, nofollow)
Update and optimize our use of canonical
Redirect code hygiene
Update and optimize heading tags, title tag, metatags, and microformat usage
Audit and improve SEO controls in Admin
Add backend instrumentation and monitoring
Produce SEO technical documentation
Updates in these areas will start to roll out over the next few releases and we'll be monitoring for improved pagerank and referral traffic.
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Like some of the versions that came before it, Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 8 (IE8) is a hearty product, but its use worldwide has diminished significantly in recent years and its end of life is approaching. Since the release of IE8, the browser market changed a lot: users have more choices, web standards continue to mature, most browsers now get frequent auto-updates, and web user experiences have evolved. We know that IE8 thrived especially on Windows XP machines and on corporate machines in regulated or change-averse industries and on special purpose systems that did not need to be — or in many cases could not be — updated. However, with the steady market decline of IE8 (ref1 and ref2) as new browsers and new operating systems arrive, Microsoft has moved to sunset IE8 (ref) and has even announced exciting new browser technology altogether (ref) (which will be supported on Lithium communities later this year). As a result, Lithium will end support for IE8 starting with Community platform release version 15.6 (July 2015).
With the release of Lithium Community platform version 15.6, we can no longer guarantee users using IE8 will have a graceful or fully-functional experience, and users with IE8 on Windows XP (no longer under support from Microsoft) may not be able to connect. New features like the forthcoming responsive skin and the new media experience will be implemented using modern web developments methods that may not be compatible with IE8. In addition, we won't address any bugs or performance issues that appear to only IE8 users. Their path forward will be to upgrade to a more recent browser.
Here are some things we’ve done to ensure awareness and so end users know the path forward:
Contacted Lithium's customers who see IE8 traffic in their communities. If you haven't been contacted but you believe you have significant IE8 traffic, please get in touch with us through Support.
Edited our Preferred Browsers page.
Published this blog post.
Next steps are:
Implement browser detection messaging in the Community to give IE8 users a heads up that they should update their browser.
Update affected product docs upon 15.6 release.
Include this information in upcoming newsletters.
Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye to technologies that we've relied on for many years, but we're excited about this development. It'll allow us to introduce new interaction design patterns and new features that continue to drive engagement and deliver on the value our customers expect. Thanks for moving forward with us.
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Replies posted using the Reply by Email function register the same metrics in LSI as if the user replied directly in the board using their browser, with one exception: since the user does not visit the community, no visit or page view metrics are in incremented for the event. -- Jeff
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Wow is right! Great topic and discussion -- this is something we've discussed across several interrelated areas at Lithium as well. One thing we'd like to do is add some more instrumentation to the whole notifications system so we can all start to see some numbers and trends about the use of notifications and the engagement they can drive. Another thing we've evaluated is how much "engagement context and features" should we deliver to the user's email inbox. Reply and kudos via the links in email are pretty prevalent. But how about accept as a solution, helpfulness ratings, etc? And what about important engagement context to the user's inbox -- the posting user's avatar, rank, badges, # of posts, the number/time of replies to the thread you are replying to... and how about the leaderboards, hot topics, and related content for the area from which the message came? Or how about including the recipient's "personal impact metrics" and some personalized content (e.g. "recent replies to conversations you started" "other threads you might be interested in"). These all raise questions about where the engagement is happening -- on site or in the inbox or can we blend this -- and what are the characteristics and value for each point of engagement.
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We love active customers who help make our products better – after all, customer engagement is what Lithium is all about.
In the Products group, we use a variety of methods to collaborate with you, our customers, and today I’d like to provide an update on one of the ways this relationship is cultivated: our Ideas exchange . This area is a key piece of the Lithium Community – the place where you discuss and ideate with each other and with us on our product offerings -- and we want to make sure we ’ re continuously improving the process.
As a result, we ’ re making some updates to how we manage customer ideation at Lithium, starting with how we solicit ideas all the way through to how we select and implement top ideas.
The updates cover several areas:
Idea evaluation criteria update – we’ve updated the criteria by which we evaluate all ideas that are submitted to us and we’ve condensed the labels (categories) that we use to classify and organize the submissions.
Major backlog cleanup – we’ve implemented a large number of your ideas (at least 60 in the last year, supported by around 500 kudos) and yet we’ll always have a growing backlog of unaddressed ideas. We'll be going through the backlog to set or reset dispositions using our updated criteria.
Some of your ideas are candidates for implementation and some are simply no longer relevant or not feasible for us to implement. Many ideas will be closed and updated with the Archived status given the age and relevance of so many of them.
Label (categories) assignments - along with the consolidation of labels, we’ve established more formal workflows to help manage the process by which we review ideas. All of this is meant to make the collaborative idea management process we do with you as integrated as possible with our current product development activities.
We look forward to this next evolution of our ideation activities. We want our community to become a best in class idea exchange that will not only bring us new innovations but also give you the satisfaction of co-creating with us as we move even further ahead in the marketplace.
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Thanks for the feedback. We're readying a brand new mobile web experience that's built with modern, mobile-friendly components and includes support for common gestural inputs, like touch-drag and swipe to scroll. On the compose experience in particular, a new post page will be available that gives you more space to edit and works more naturally with touch-screen devices with gesture-based input. Once this is available, you'll have a much nicer, easier to use, more modern standard way to create and reply to posts.
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There is no out-of-the-box Lithium solution for moderating content that's not hosted in a Lithium-powered community, but t he Lithium platform is very flexible and malleable and you may be able to achieve what you want with some custom work.
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Olivier's photo reminded me of this one from my collection: not quite a tshirt, but some pretty good schwag if you ask me... It's an American Chemical Society Li mug!
The ACS sends a mug to each member on his or her anniversary displaying the element with the atomic number corresponding to the member's anniversary year. You get a Lithium mug for 3 years of membership. How nerdy and totally cool at the same time is that, huh!?!
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Hi Guys, There is a configuration for the 3rd-party text editor we use that basically blocks the browser's native spellchecker. This is the default setting for this component. You can have this config turned off so both the native spellchecker and the text editor's spellchecker are available. Or you can have this config turned off and you can have Lithium deactivate the text editor's spellchecker so you only get the native browser spellchecker. I believe main reason the default is to block the native browser spellchecker is the UI gets weird with the red squiggly lines from both the native browser spellchecker and the text editor spellchecker, and the right-click features for the text editor and the right-click features for the browser conflict with each other when you have both the browser spellchecker checking and the text editor spellchecker checking for misspelled words. The main reasons we even offer the text editor spellchecker at all when most browsers already have a built-in function are 1) we have many (millions!) of end users using ancient versions of browsers, and 2) the text editor spellchecker allows custom dictionaries for each community (so, for example, brand words and special terminology can be added for the entire community).
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Can you please clarify your question? Are you wondering how you can get the Salesforce integration feature for your community? Are you wondering what the features of the integration are? Or are you asking a technical question about how the integration is developed?
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Lithium does have some components that I believe fulfill your use case. They're backed by a more traditional search mechanism and not semantic nlp, per se. For instance, if you start typing a question in the Ask a Question box on http://forums.att.com/, it'll start recommending answers for you.
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Lithium communities are currently available in 28 languages and we'll be adding support for 6 more over then next few months, including Arabic (and the right-to-left page orientation that goes along with it).
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Jeff Spitulnik is part of the product management team at Lithium. He joined Lithium in April 2012 from IBM, where he was part of the BigFix product management team building innovative endpoint management and security products now in use on tens of millions of computers and mobile devices around the world. Jeff has a wide range of experience innovating in social, consumer, and enterprise web technologies having served product management roles at BigFix (acquired by IBM), Documentum (acquired by EMC), Razorfish, and Borders Group. As part of his graduate research at the University of Michigan, Jeff studied the use of collaborative technologies and technology-enabled communities of practice. Jeff is an avid soccer player and youth soccer and lacrosse coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter at @spitulnik.
Here at Lithium, we take our community of customers seriously – you are the engines that inspire us to innovate and you motivate us to deliver great tools and technologies to help you provide the most amazing customer experiences on the planet. This is why I’m excited to announce a revamp of the Lithosphere Customer Ideas area. We love to hear your thoughts and ideas about Lithium products – what you’re doing with them, what your wishes and desires are, and what we can do to make them even better.
Your insights and feedback are both rewarding and challenging for us, and we want the Ideas area to be the premier place to collaborate directly with you. This type of exchange is critical to our mutual success and it is fundamental to the agile product development methods we use at Lithium. The Lithium Product Team and Lithium Brand Nation: taking customer’s success personally and building products we’re proud of together.
The first change you may have noticed about the Customer Ideas area is we’ve updated the submission guidelines and statuses. The concept here is to have a stronger, more definitive process – we want to be a lot more clear and responsive, especially on the items that influence our roadmap and get delivered to the market. We're committing to be a lot more active and approachable in the Ideas area so you can comfortably post your thoughts and know you’ll get a response from us or from the community.
However, please have some patience. It's going to take us some time to get that area “cleaned up,” but our ultimate goal – to keep things moving through and have a clear status set for every item in a timely manner – is within reach. Once you’ve had a chance to review the new submission guidelines and status, drop us a comment or two with your thoughts and questions. And in the coming months, look forward to a crisp workflow emerging as we catch up and stay in sync with you.
Also, on a related and final note – and we’ll expound on this in a future article – we’ve been busy evolving several parts our product development lifecycle process. You might already know we’re an active agile scrum shop. In fact, if you know agile, you might recognize the user story format we now suggest you use when submitting into the Ideas area. We’ve recently moved to a more aggressive sprint pace, added more teams, and we’ve re-upped our training and commitment to building and maintaining the expertise to continue to benefit from some of the greatest aspects of agile. Specifically, agile allows us to collaborate more closely with you, our customers, and respond quickly to change.
In our marketplace – and by “our” I mean the social business technology space where Lithium plays and the socially-driven marketplace where our customers play – being agile is a competitive advantage and a necessity. Some say that to continue to innovate and survive in the modern economy, we must be ruthlessly agile. We recognize this as we endeavor to help the world’s best brands cultivate the world’s best customers, and the world’s best customers develop the world’s best brands, including our own brand of great Lithium products.
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