Liferay Vs. Websphere: Total Cost of Ownership Examined

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Why is Liferay accelerating in the Gartner magic quadrant and why are so many medium to large enterprises continuing to adopt open source products? Has open source software now become the preferred choice for enterprises? According to a Black Duck Software report, over half of all enterprises will utilize or contribute to open source in some manner in 2015.

This series of Infographics will provide a side by side comparison of Liferay Vs. Websphere, examining different aspects of the Liferay and IBM portal products.  The Infographic below, the first of the series, examines the total cost of ownership.

Liferay Portal Vs. Websphere Portal: Total Cost of Ownership Examined

Liferay

  • Liferay Portal is a single product that provides the complete functionality without the need for any additional cost.
  • Over 70 out of the box portlets plus additional portlets are available through its marketplace. 3rd party portals and extensions are also available.
  • Liferay provides:
    • Liferay Social enhanced integrated collaboration
    • Liferay Sync
    • …at no additional cost to Liferay Portal customers.
  • Core products provide the following capabilities:
    • Content Management
    • Document Management
    • Full Collaboration Suite
    • Workflow Engine
  • Leveraging out of the box functionality can dramatically reduce development investments and accelerate time to market, while providing the core portal capabilities.
  • Liferay enables organizations to leverage existing infrastructure and open source, or lower cost options. There is an extensive list of supported operating systems, application services, database, caching and indexing appliances. Liferay does not lock you into a vendor
  • Commercial and Enterprise offerings of open source products continue to grow in the market place. The difference between traditional enterprise offerings and open source offerings are becoming narrower. Significant cost savings can be achieved by leveraging lower cost application servers. Database alternatives will only be further multiplied in deployments and architectures that support high availability and disaster recovering.
  • Liferay’s core products are based on its open source variant and rely heavily on open source libraries.

WebSphere

  • WebSphere Portal Family consists of 3 main products:
  1. WebSphere Portal Server is the base portal. This does not include collaboration or content management capability. WebSphere Portal Express is targeted at small to midsize businesses and has limits on the numbers of users.
  2. WebSphere Portal Enabled, which contains integrated Web Content Management capabilities.
  3. WebSphere Portal Extend, which contains additional collaboration features in additional to Web Content Management.
  • Licensing cost is significantly higher in the majority of WebSphere deployments due to its Processor Value Unit (PVU) pricing vs. Liferay’s Server and JVM base pricing, which allows organizations to take advantage of today’s multi-core processors without incurring additional costs.
  • WebSphere Portal Extend, which is IBM’s most feature rich portal product, is double the price of its base Portal server PVU cost, and is feature for feature most comparable against Liferay’s single platform.
  • WebSphere has a much more limited list of deployment options and is primarily limited to IBM infrastructure products such as IBM zOS, IBM application server, IBM DB2 and Oracle products, such as oracle dataset.
  • WebSphere Portal is tightly coupled with WebSphere Application Server and RAD, and has a more limited support for databases outside of IBM DB2, which limits enterprise flexibility and increases TCO.
  • Although IBM portal product is a closed product, at its core it relies heavily on open source libraries, so the “open source” factor is not as big of a factor.

Advisors: How much copy should you write on your website homepage?

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Have you ever wondered how much copy you should have on your homepage? How much is enough copy?  The truth is, it depends on the product or service that you are selling.

According to a Neilson Normal Group study on users reading behaviour on the web, 79% of users scanned a new page, and only 16% read word by word. Making the copy more scannable, concise and devoid of marketing hype, increased usability by 124%.

Many websites have lengthy paragraphs on the homepage which speak about the company and its services, but perhaps this isn’t what your target market is looking for. Your target market is going to be engaged by copy that provides a solution to their problem, and persuades them that your the person that they need to solve this problem. According to Neil Patel over at Quicksprout, it is all about persuasion.   This is what you need to focus on when it comes to developing your homepage copy.  If it can be communicated in one word, then one word is all you need.  If you need more words to communicate your message, then more words it is. It is about writing just enough words to convert your prospect.

Check out this great Infographic, courtesy of Quicksprout which provides some actionable and research-backed advice on writing effective copy for your website:

 

How Much Copy Should You Write on Your Homepage?
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

 

 

How to Use Jenkins CI to Deploy Liferay Apps (Part 2)

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Jenkins allows you to setup a deploy only project that would deploy artefacts from another build project. A typical setup at Veriday would look like the following:

Project 1 – Build and Deploy to Dev 1

Project 2 – Build and Deploy to Dev 2

Project 3 – Deploy to QA1

Project 4 – Deploy to QA2

Project 5 – Deploy to Prod. 1

Project 6 – Deploy to Prod. 2

In my previous blog post, I discussed how we setup projects like 1 and 2, in the list above. In this post, I will discuss projects similar to 3,4 and 5.

App Deployments

Before we build to QA1, one of our release steps is to configure project 3 to specify where the build artefacts will be coming from. Suppose we are promoting the latest development build from Dev 2 to QA 1. In this step we perform the following three steps:

  1. Match the SVN URL in Project 3 to the SVN URL in Project 2. This is important in case some build configurations were changed for that environment.
  2. Pick Project 2 as the source of the built artefacts and choose the build number. Each project has multiple builds depending on its setup. For example, Project 2, being a Development build task, would have a new build every night.
  3. We let Jenkins tag the current build in the SVN repository. This allows, in the case of emergency, fixes in production to perform the fix against the specific build that was released.

Deploying to different environments is a fast process, in this case. Instead of building code for deployment, you are just shipping the same application to a different environment.

The setup listed above has several benefits:

  1. On build day (or night) your activities are usually limited to picking the latest stable build on QA. i.e. the one that everybody has tested and is happy to ship to customers.
  2. Sometimes unexpected things happens. It is always a comfort to know that reverting to the previous application version is quick and easy. This would be done by picking the same build number you shipped to production the last time.

Depending on your Liferay project, a build may involve various types of deployments:

  • Portlets
  • Themes and Layouts
  • Various libraries, either your own or 3rd party ones

For portlets, themes, and layouts that typically get deployed into the Liferay /deploy path you usually don’t require a restart for Liferay to pick up the changes. However, deployments to Liferay or Tomcat’s lib paths typically require a restart. Our Jenkins build needs to be aware of this. All of the nuisances are configured on our Jenkins’s build tasks and deploys the various projects into the right paths, and then restarts Liferay.

In our case, deploying Liferay apps to a new environment takes about 2-3 minutes.

But, what about database changes? We haven’t crossed this bridge yet and we run database upgrade scripts manually during a release. This is a bridge that we definitely plan to cross in the coming year so stay tuned for a future blog post about Veriday’s experience with this.

Being Seen (and Heard) Online

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This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

Current and prospective clients are bombarded with massive quantities of advertising and marketing, most of which they discount, little of which they trust. In this noisy world, the smartest financial advisors work hard to stand out as different and better, by establishing and continually increasing credibility.

One way they do this is through more varied use of electronic communications, which can enhance virtually every aspect of a financial advisory business. A tactic to explore is adding key-word rich news releases, in addition to the thoughtful blogs and other social media channels.

This become especially important as search engines continually update the algorithms they use to index, categorize and rank online content. Whether you know it or not, people are “Googling you” … and could even be talking about you, positively or negatively, on discussion boards, social media sites, and rating services such as Yelp.

As the old song goes, how can you ‘accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative”?

STILL RELEVANT IN THE DIGITAL REALM

While many advisors have embraced blogging as a way to produce unique content that not only helps to boost their search engine page rankings (SERP) but also positions them as an authority on one or more subjects, others adhere to the time-honored tradition of issuing news releases whenever they have (1) an announcement (such as a new hire or receiving an award) or (2) a topic on which they can credibility write (such as tax tips in the spring or budgeting tips as the holidays approach).

The smartest advisors use both a thoughtful blog and keyword-rich news releases to help the right people find them online.

If properly crafted and distributed, a well-timed news release can:

  • Provide credible content that newswire syndicates will publish, thus producing numerous inbound links to your website and impressive content that you can “buzz up” in social media circles
  • Generate specific information for the search engines to catalog and rank, thus making it more likely that the right people will see you during online keyword searches
  • Draw attention from journalists who may be on the receiving end of a personalized email – which could result in an article or audio/video interview that will end up online and create even more credibility

TWO STYLES TO CONSIDER

While in the past news releases where reserved for use only when one had something truly news worthy to announce, today many smart advisors are generating topical news releases and syndicating them – as a public service – via a newswire service such as PR Newswire.

Online news releases that have a twist or dovetail on a current event are more likely to go viral and gain extra exposure.

Study the way these two news releases were built and think about the reasons the issuing company (in this case, GuideVine.com) published a traditional announcement-style news release in one instance and a more topical news release in a subsequent distribution:

TIPS FROM A PR PRO

I’ve been writing news releases (and every other conceivable type of marketing communications, including books, white papers, websites, speeches, client letters, advertisements, articles and brochures) for financial firms for over 25 years. Here are a few tips for writing and distributing a good news release:

  1. Put on your journalist hat. Write the piece as if a media outlet had interviewed you and written the piece. Skip the flowery language, adjectives and opinion – these are the hallmarks of an amateur, and readers (especially journalists) will discount both the content of the release and its creator. If you do use adjectives and opinion, put that content in quotes (from yourself or another entity). All of the top-tier newswire services will reject poorly written and/or overly self-promotional news releases; some will require that the release adhere to AP Style Guidelines.
    Good example: Marie Swift Joins Sheryl Garrett on Wealthminder Board
  1. Think long and hard about the headline and the subhead. You only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention. In the subhead, try not to repeat any of the keywords in the headline. Think like a newspaper headline writer or magazine editor – what would he or she write in a concise and compelling way?
    Good example: RightSize Solutions Announces Industry-Leading Two-Factor Authentication at T3 Conference
  1. Write for people first, and search engine spiders second. Writing with a specific audience in mind will increase your chances of being found in relevant keyword searches. Don’t try to “game the system” by jamming in keywords and phrases as search engines typically penalize over-optimized content. Write a good piece and you’ll probably be in good shape when it comes to keywords. Put the most important keyword phrase as close to the beginning of the headline and repeat it somewhere toward the top of the release. Search engines tend to place more weight on words and phrases found at the top of the page. Use synonyms, just as you would in normal speech – search engines understand synonyms so you can use them with confidence.
    Good example: Implications of Oil Bust on Fossil Fuel Divestment and Socially Responsible Investing
  1. Include images and links. Research from SEO-experts shows that links and images are good to include. First off, they make your content more compelling for human viewers. Secondly, they boost visibility on social media sites such as Google+ and Facebook, which favor multimedia. Finally, search engines like them when used in moderation and if relevant to the verbiage in the release.
    Good examples: https://plus.google.com/+MarieSwift/posts
  1. Generate online visibility by using a good newswire service. While you could go cheap and use something like PR.com or 24-7 Press Release, you will get better results on the SEO side of things (and impress more people) if you syndicate your news release through a higher quality service. Marketwired, Globe Newswire, PRWeb and PR Newswire syndicate to reputable news sites. This kind of syndication results in higher search engine rankings. Once the news release has been syndicated via the newswire service, select the best link and share that on social media – search engines are paying attention to social interaction so that is another very important factor in building online visibility (they assume that content generating a lot of interaction is valuable and timely, so that content gets a boost in search engine results).You will also want to email a personalized version to targeted media outlets. If you’ve done a good job crafting the release and targeting the right journalist(s), you might just get a call or email asking for an interview … which could lead to a another article in a credible third-party media outlet … and that will produce another virtuous cycle and benefits to your firm.
    Good example: Laura Pierson Takes the Helm at Peak Advisor Alliance (news release) led to Carson Revamps Management Structure (media article)

Building your online presence is important. A bad online presence can damage your reputation. As Richard Branson has famously said, “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.” Using thoughtful blog content and news releases can help financial advisors build stronger perceptions and drive traffic to their website, which should in almost all cases serve as the digital marketing hub.

The FInancial and Insurance Advisor's Guide to Blogging

The Emerging Customer Engagement Economy

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Here at Veriday, one of our specializations is helping companies to better engage their customers in order to remain competitive in today’s customer engagement economy.   Engagement refers to the emotional connection or attachment that a customer develops during the repeated and ongoing interactions. Engagement accumulates through satisfaction, loyalty, influence and excitement about a brand.

When customers believe they are getting more out of a business, they will give more to it. When consumers spend, they are very vigilant in ensuring they get the best value for their hard-earned money. As a result, businesses must work harder to develop and retain a profitable customer base.   No longer is it just advertising campaigns, sales and the latest technologies keeping consumers loyal to brands. Although these tactics will help get consumers in the door, they will not create meaningful connections that engage consumers and turn them into brand ambassadors.

These days it is all about customer engagement. But why should businesses care? Below is an excellent Infographic, courtesy of Bluewolf, on the emerging customer engagement economy and why it is important for Enterprises to adapt.

The Emerging Customer Engagement Economy

 

Top Takeaways from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit 2015

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Last week, Veriday had the opportunity to attend and sponsor the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit (DMFS 2015) in Toronto (#DMFS2015). The conference brought together top digital marketing thought leaders in the industry including brands, technology solutions and agencies, with the purpose of driving thought-leadership and educating marketers on the latest in the digital marketing world.

Although there were many takeaways from the sessions, here are some of the top themes that arose that Financial service marketers need to be aware of when developing their digital marketing strategy:

1. It’s All About Consumer Engagement & Experience

It is no longer just about sales, but engaging consumers in the different stages of the customer buyer journey. Organizations in Financial Services can no longer remain competitive by simply providing a positive customer experience.   The buyer is changing and today’s empowered customers expect meaningful connections with brands.

The idea of being pitched right away from a brand no longer exists. No longer is it advertising campaigns and sales that is keeping consumers loyal to brands. It is about creating meaningful connections that engage consumers and turn them into brand ambassadors. Enterprises have to engage with consumers in a different way and level, and build that trust.

Delight your consumer with your content. Give consumers something insightful and something that is valuable to them. Make your content fun and something that they might actually want to share with their network.   There is so much noise in the content marketing world that content should be all about your consumer, not your brand. Tell a good story, or solve your consumers’ challenges, and make your brand part of that narrative.

2.The Importance of Mobile

We are continuously hearing that mobile is on the rise. Here are a couple of statistics, from the conference, that goes to show just how much mobile usage continues to drastically grow:

  • There are more mobile devices than people on the planet.
  • 16.8m Canadians were reached online via smartphones and tablets in Q1 2015.
  • The average consumer is checking their mobile every 6 minutes, 150 times a day.
  • 75% of conversions on mobile devices happen within an hour of the initial search.

Consumers are expecting a consistent experience no matter what device they are on.   As mobile increases in popularity, customer expectations are rising drastically with it.  This means that brands need to up their game to keep pace and keep the mobile experience seamless. To truly cater to their mobile customers and provide a flawless experience, businesses must understand the context in which their customers are using mobile and use this knowledge to improve their mobile experience.

3. Multi-Channel Marketing Approach

Omni-channel marketing has become somewhat of a buzzword in the digital marketing industry as of late. Simply put, this means that your business markets across as many channels as it can to reach its target market. From websites and email, to social media and print, every channel presents a unique opportunity to market.

An important point made at the conference was that businesses don’t need to be on every marketing channel, but they do need to be on the mediums that their customers are on. Perhaps the best approach to choosing is letting your customer’s decide what mediums you are on by creating a dialogue with them. Ask your customers where they want to be reached and what medium you can most effectively get your message across to them. The most important thing is giving your customers the information they want, on whatever medium they are on, and making it simple for them to find exactly what they are looking for.

When you choose the appropriate marketing channels, repurpose your messaging (mobile, infographics, webinars, e-books, etc.) and tell the same story through different channels.

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We are proud to have sponsored the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit this year and are excited for its anticipated growth. If you are on Twitter, make sure to check out the conference hashtag #DMFS2015 for some more great stats, insights, and information from the conference.

3 Themes from the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit 2015

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Last week, Veriday had the opportunity to attend and sponsor the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit in Toronto (#DMFS2015). The conference brought together top digital marketing thought leaders in the industry, including brands, technology solutions and agencies, with the purpose of driving thought-leadership and educating marketers on the latest in the digital marketing world.

Although there were many takeaways from the sessions, here are some of the top themes that arose that marketers need to be aware of when developing their digital marketing strategy:

1. It’s All About Consumer Engagement & Experience

It is no longer just about sales, but engaging consumers in the different stages of the customer buyer journey. Organizations in Financial Services can no longer remain competitive by simply providing a positive customer experience.  The buyer is changing and today’s empowered customers expect meaningful connections with brands.

The idea of being pitched right away from a brand no longer exists. No longer is it advertising campaigns and sales that are keeping consumers loyal to brands. It is about creating meaningful connections that engage consumers and turn them into brand ambassadors. Enterprises have to engage with consumers in a different way and level, and build that trust. Delight your consumer with your content. Give consumers something that is insightful and valuable to them. Make your content fun and something that they might actually want to share with their network.   There is so much noise in the content marketing world that content should be all about your consumer, not your brand. Tell a good story, or solve your consumers’ challenges, and make your brand part of that narrative.

2.The Importance of Mobile

We are continuously hearing that mobile is on the rise. Here are a couple statistics, from the conference, that goes to show just how much mobile usage continues to drastically grow:

  • There are more mobile devices than people on the planet.
  • 16.8m Canadians were reached online via smartphones and tablets in Q1 2015.
  • The average consumer is checking their mobile every 6 minutes, 150 times a day.
  • 75% of conversions on mobile devices happen within an hour of the initial search.

Consumers are expecting a consistent experience no matter what device they are on.   As mobile increases in popularity, customer expectations are rising drastically with it.  This means that brands need to up their game to keep pace and keep the mobile experience seamless. To truly cater to their mobile customers and provide a flawless experience, businesses must understand the context in which their customers are using mobile and use this knowledge to improve their mobile services.

3. Multi-Channel Marketing Approach

Omni-channel marketing has become somewhat of a buzzword in the digital marketing industry as of late. Simply put, this means that your business markets across as many channels as it can to reach its target market. From websites and email, to social media and print, every channel presents a unique opportunity to market.

An important point made at the conference was that businesses don’t need to be on every marketing channel but they do need to be on the mediums that their customers are on. Perhaps the best approach to choosing is letting your customer’s decide what mediums you are on by creating a dialogue with them. Ask your customers where they want to be reached and what medium you can most effectively get your message across to them. The most important thing is giving your customers the information they want, on whatever medium they are on, and making it simple for them to find exactly what they are looking for.

When you choose the appropriate marketing channels, repurpose your messaging (mobile, infographics, webinars, e-books, etc.) and tell the same story through different channels.

Advisors: 5 Quick Ways to Amplify the Reach of Your Digital Marketing

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Below are 5 quick and actionable tips to help amplify the reach of your digital marketing:

  1. You’ll notice that on each of our blog posts we include a very clean and simple widget that enables our audience to share that piece of content with anyone via their own social networks on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  This widget is provided by the team at addthis.com. You too can enable your visitors to share your content by displaying that widget on your own respective site by downloading it here.
  1. If you’ve been actively blogging for a couple months and have built a base of around 15-20 posts, consider combining some of the top visited articles and creating an eBook offer.  Since eBooks are considered to be higher-value content pieces, you may be able to collect visitor information in exchange for downloading of your eBook. eBooks are a great way for Advisors to collect information from prospects visiting their website.
  1. Interested in driving more blog traffic to your site?  Post a small excerpt of a blog article to your LinkedIn page that includes a “Read More” link pointed back to your website.
  1. On top of posting to your LinkedIn network try sharing the post within a number of LinkedIn groups and communities.  I would be cautious in submitting to forums where you haven’t contributed or built rapport in the community.  Blindly posting to a number of forums, before building a rapport in that group, can be perceived as spam.
  1. Finally, be sure to think about who in your network could also benefit from your content pieces.  Your extended partner community of accountants, lawyers, etc. may have their own digital marketing channels that may be open to sharing your content in the form of a guest blog post or direct e-mail to their client base.  You can track the metrics of who is directing the most traffic back to your site and reach out to these partners. The top referrals should be logged in your CRM as partners that warrant “thank-you” emails and quarterly check-ins.  Staying committed to this approach could some day land you a client who contacted you after coming across your post on their attorney’s monthly eNewsletter.

 

If you want to amplify the reach of your digital marketing download the free e-book today!

Guide to Content Marketing

LinkedIn and Lead Generation: Does it Work?

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This post was authored by Kristen Harad and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

Financial Advisors often hope for the “magic bullet” when it comes to marketing. What is the easiest way to make my phone ring? If that sounds like something you ask yourself frequently, then you may quickly dismiss LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. While you won’t attract too many leads directly from LinkedIn, this social platform can be a powerful way for you to showcase your expertise and relevancy to your target audience which, when done well, can assist in attracting leads.

Here are 4 LinkedIn “Musts” to make the most of this platform:

1. You Must Be Present to Win  

LinkedIn is synonymous with Professionals.  As a professional, you’re expected to be here.

When my mother-in-law, a self-employed nutrition coach recently joined at age sixty-nine, any question mark about whether LinkedIn reached mainstream status faded in my mind. LInkedIn is a “must have” marketing channel. No longer cutting edge or hip, it’s just part of the program.

Whether or not prospective clients originate from LinkedIn, they will include a review of your profile in their due diligence.  You can leverage this opportunity and make a positive impression.  If you’re not on LinkedIn, that potential client will move down his list.

2. Think About Your Target Client in Your Profile

How can you help your prospect identify if you’re the right person for them? Yes, you must complete your profile which LinkedIn helps you through step-by-step.  You also want to build out a Company Page. (Keep in mind, it’s best to lead your Company Page with a clear, easy-to-understand, and relatable description of who your clients are and how you help them.  Include a video message or training to stand out and make it easy for your visitor to understand and connect with you.

3. Be a Thought Leader

You should already have your foundation marketing platform for which you create regular content. This written or video blog reaches a limited number of people if it exists only on your web site. Even the most prominent bloggers, like Michael Kitces from Nerd’s Eye View, realize that publishing content without promotion does not work.  LinkedIn is one of the many channels where you can push out your content, widen your reach and solidify your expert status.

Here’s how to get the most our of LInkedIn:

  • Join groups where your target audience participates.  Usually Advisors find themselves in Financial Advisor groups:  the CFP Board ® Group, NAPFA, or the FPA to name a few. While helpful for business support, you want to engage in groups where you can educate and hear from your potential clients.
  • Be a valuable contributor and people will pay attention to you.
    • Every time you post to your blog, share your content with your LinkedIn Groups.
    • Listen and give feedback.  Take time each week to engage in conversation in the groups, outwardly helping others and commenting on their content.
  • Link back to your site when you answer questions.  As long as you have your site optimized for lead capture (with a call-to-action and a sign-up form, you’ll be able to provide relevant responses while also building your list.

4. You Must Connect with Your Clients

LinkedIn sends out push notifications when people change jobs, receive promotions, or achieve other professional milestones.  You can keeps tabs on what’s up in your clients’ life by connecting with them on LinkedIn.  (Plus, you will be able to keep your clients up-to-date with your latest content).  When you present in their mind, they’re more likely to make the important introduction when a colleague, friend,or relative inquires for a referral.

Remember, if you expect potential clients to view your LinkedIn profile, then navigate to your site, and sign up for a consultation all in one visit, you will be disappointed.  But when you recognize that LinkedIn helps you get your self-branded content in front of your audience faster, serves as a viable way to stand out from the competition, and continually reminds your clients of your value, you will soon see the power of this professional platform.

 

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile