As an innovations manager at the Customer Solutions Practice of Cognizant, I had been enabling the teams to come up with new ideas, build on them, provide support to develop them into offerings, market them, the whole shebang.
We even built a system that allowed people to submit ideas, comment on them, rate them, categorize them, allow the management to evaluate them (Neuron Magic Quadrant), provided a hosted project environment for collaborating on the building and an application exchange for the finished offerings.
Thats how the whole idea of integrating social technologies with CRM systems came up. I took a personal interest in it & started looking into it in full earnest & over time with passion and increasing conviction & commitment.
Lithium is one such organization that has the conviction, commitment & passion in leveraging the power of the communities for business.
I had been to their offices during my San Francisco visit earlier this week to discuss on our new partnership & chalk out joint strategies to help our customers dig into the whole social thing.
I met with a lot of people there with whom I have been conversing over twitter, mails, etc. and it was all a new kind of deja vu. Meeting people in the flesh after long interactions over the digital medium is not new to me (thanks to the onsite/offshore model at Cognizant) but the interactions that we have over twitter is not really a “professional” relationship.
And I am glad to say that this new way of communicating brings in that extra social touch that sometimes is lacking in the professional email interactions.
Paul Gilliham, Lithium’s Director of Customer Marketing interviewed me when I visited their Emeryville offices. It was fun (lots of passersby interrupting the interview for one) and revealing to me. The setup was all so very simple – just a camcorder, a flip cam, a lapel mic and two tripods – and yet am impressed with the quality of the video. Take a look for yourself:
Thank you Paul for the honor! 🙂 (And thanks for introducing me to a new term – whistlestop tour!)