Lithium Technologies, a developer of customer community platforms, has acquired enterprise social customer care solution Social Dynamx.
The company also announced the general release of the product Lithium Social Web.
Though the financial terms of the Social Dynamx deal were undisclosed, Rob Tarkoff, Lithium's CEO, told CRM that "we expect this product line to be a material contributor to our revenue in the very near term."
Lithium's relationship with Social Dynamx took center stage at the LiNC 2012 conference, when the two companies announced their codevelopment of Lithium Response for brands to bring additional support capabilities to online self-service, peer-to-peer communities, and the contact center.
Now, with the launch of Lithium Social Web, companies can blend social customer care with community engagement across multiple channels.
"[Social Dynamx's] user interface and the look and feel is very much the direction we thought that a social Web product needs to go," Tarkoff says. "For the most part, Lithium Social Web going forward is going to be built on the Social Dynamx platform…all of the capabilities that you see in their platform in terms of KPI measurement, queuing, quality management—we're going to now build our entire social Web strategy on that platform."
According to Jenny Sussin, a senior research analyst at Gartner, Lithium and Social Dynamx linking up demonstrates somewhat of a natural synergy that is only accelerated by the mergers and acquisitions activity in the market today.
"Lithium has an established community solution, and they're already recognized as leaders in that space," Sussin says."As we…continue to see the consolidation of the market and the prevalence of suite solutions, their having a customer engagement component on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and having a component that's really geared toward the customer service representative, is something that would definitely add to their overall offering, especially as they go to market targeting customer service and…IT buyers on behalf of customer service," she adds.
And although Lithium is in a unique position to tackle customer care and engagement across online sites, peer-to-peer communities, and other points of customer contact, it might not be a lone ranger for long in this regard. Just weeks ago, cloud giant Salesforce.com announced it would be launching Chatter Communities for Service as a way to blend Web self-service and peer-to-peer support.
"We'll see what kind of synergy it has with Service Cloud upon general availability, but that would be a competitor there," Sussin acknowledges. "The only other company I can think of [that may be a direct competitor] is Dimelo out of Paris….You don't see many vendors with community as part of their suite offering, and I think that's something that we will see change. For now, it's a very limited market."
Lithium's client base includes companies like Sephora, Best Buy, AT&T, and Telstra. Social Dynamx customers include Time Warner and DISH Network. According to Tarkoff, the combining of the two solutions " will give us a big advantage in being able to go to marketers or ecommerce VPs and say, 'Here are the ways we're driving revenue outcomes for your business.'"