3 Key Benefits for Digital Experience Platforms

, , ,

This post was written by Christine Reyes and appeared here first on Liferay.com.

———————–

Business processes driven by customer needs are more than a popular trend; they are the driving factor behind successful digital transformation and company culture shifts.

Digital experience platforms are designed for companies that understand the importance of breaking down silos and bringing together data and channels in a way that can be shared among business units. Common features include analytics, customer context views, personalization and multichannel support.

Their goal is to enable companies to manage the elements of exceptional experiences with a clear view of business analytics, integration, comprehensive customer data and cost-effective implementation. Further benefits of digital experience platforms to digital businesses include the following:

1. Identify immediate needs in digital customer experience

As digital business becomes more personalized and unified across devices, it becomes increasingly important to interact with people at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Sophisticated data management streamlines the process of identifying customer pain points or gaps in communication, which can then be leveraged to improve digital experiences. This prioritizes what customers want without locking companies down to any specific technology or type of interaction.

Once companies identify immediate needs in digital customer experience, they can act on them from a place of knowledge, rather than trying to build strategies off of incomplete data. A digital experience platform will then be able to provide tools or integrate with the correct external products to address these needs.

2. Improve the accuracy of your marketing and customer engagement through holistic customer data and information

The first step to improving experiences is to offer the omnichannel interaction, and the second step is to constantly track, measure and analyze so that customer engagement can grow and evolve.

Digital experience platforms allow companies to track customer behavior at each digital touchpoint. As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, companies will have access to more channels of customer data, enabling them to draw new insights. The goal is to discover patterns in customer behavior and constantly improve customers’ experiences, even before they ask for it.

Customer data can include basic contact information, demographic snapshots, psychographic data points such as details about personalities or lifestyles, transactional data, communications history with the brand, account preferences, responses to marketing campaigns, and site engagement tracked through clicks, browsing time and social media shares.

A digital experience platform will pull this data into one place that each department can access as needed through customized views. This ensures that the entire company is working with consistent, updated information and basing decisions on accurate, holistic insights.

3. Use integration and flexible architecture to stay on the cutting-edge of digital trends

A common burden of technology upgrades is the unforeseen costs when development takes longer or is more complex than planned. If a digital experience platform achieves an effective level of integration and flexibility, then it will be cost-effective over time.

Veterans of digital change know that a technology upgrade can take months or even years. Sometimes, by the time you get the technology and strategy right, the trend is in its last days and the industry leaders are already gearing up for the next change. This makes it risky to pursue any new digital trend, because it may have evaporated by the time your company finally gets the fancy new software configured for your needs.

In today’s quickly changing digital environment, vendor lock-in is a handicap, and any digital experience platform should also make it easy to integrate with outside products, not just the vendor’s own offerings.

Because a digital experience platform starts with the core components in one place and product, it would be a cost-effective, long-term investment that mitigates the risk in acting on a digital trend. This could potentially level the playing field for companies that don’t have the largest budget, provided they have the foresight and agility to respond to the shifting sands of the market.

Final Thoughts

A digital experience platform provides the capabilities that you need to produce a variety of user-facing experiences. The exact tools offered will differ by vendor, and it is up to companies to assess their goals and determine which components are required for their strategy. However, the unifying principle for digital experience platforms will remain the same: architecture that integrates core business tools and provides a foundation for future digital innovation.

——————

DXP: Digital Experience Platform

Read more about the digital transformation and how you can create customer-first digital experiences. Download Liferay’s Digital Experience Platform whitepaper.

A Conversation with Customers: Liferay Digital Experience Platform

,

This post was authored by Bryan Cheung and appeared here first on Liferay.com.

——————-

The internet has changed the way we live because it gives everyone an equal voice in a global conversation. No matter who you are or where you live, you can make yourself heard, whether by contributing to Wikipedia, creating a video that goes viral on social media, or corresponding personally with people and organizations around the world.

And yet it still seems like so much shouting is going on, and not enough listening. One of the areas we see this is with companies and how they interact with their customers.

As companies, we have a bigger opportunity than ever before to hear our customers—to understand the problems they face, and give them the right solution to make their lives easier. That might be your next great product, but it might also be a simple phone call or email giving them some advice or help.

Unfortunately, too many companies today are overloading their customers with emails, offers, and content that reflect the company’s priorities rather than meeting the customer’s needs. These companies see digital technology as just another channel through which to talk at their customers.

That’s why we are happy to announce today the launch of Liferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP). With Liferay DXP, we asked ourselves, “How can we help companies do a better job of listening?” Liferay DXP helps your customers have a conversation with you, to make their needs heard and give you a chance to meet them.

It’s also important for the customer’s feedback to make an impact on your actual business operations. Liferay DXP isn’t just about surface level interactions. With our portal heritage, we’re able to integrate those interactions into your business operations, updating customer records, getting workflows going, and sending up-to-date information back to the customer.

And finally, in a world where customer data is increasingly being treated as a commodity to monetize, Liferay DXP seeks to give companies the tools needed to handle their customer’s data securely and sensitively. We want to encourage properly handling and processing data in a way that’s right by the customer.

Over the past 15 years, Liferay has been trying to find ways to make technology work better for people. As an open source company, we made sure the software we built met the needs of real users and customers. As a portal provider, we did this by matching people to the content and applications that suited their role in an organization.

And while making things friendly and easy for regular people, we also made sure to adhere to the stringent security requirements of our toughest customers.

We see Liferay Digital Experience Platform as the next logical step in our evolution as a company, and I hope that we’ve done a good job listening to your needs as we’ve designed our product.

 

Here’s Liferay’s official press release.

 

Recap of the 4th Liferay User Group Meetup

,

Veriday hosted the 4th Liferay User Group Meetup on May 3rd, 2016 at our office location. It was a successful evening full of insightful presentations and great company. A big thanks you to all of our clients and guests for joining us.

The 4th Liferay User Group Meetup

For those of you who missed it, the Liferay User Group covered the following presentations:

Kendra Flugeman, Account Executive from Liferay, spoke about the release of the highly anticipated Liferay Digital Experience Platform (Liferay DXP). The new platform is designed to help companies create and manage experiences that support end-to-end customer relationships. Liferay DXP will help digital innovation leaders to assemble a comprehensive view of the customer from separate systems, uses that insight to improve customer interactions, and integrates those interactions to the company’s operations.

Next up we had Eric Kirby, a Sales Engineer at Liferay, who walked us through a live demonstration of the new Liferay DXP Platform. If you’d like to see a demonstration of the new platform, please contact us and we will be happy to show you what the new platform is all about.

Lastly, Chris Lamoureux, COO of Veriday, and Gunther Bassler, Senior Solutions Consultant at Veriday, discussed the considerations that should be taken into account when deciding whether to upgrade to the new Liferay DXP; to upgrade or not to upgrade, that is the question. Chris and Gunther discussed when it would be a good idea to stay on Liferay 6.2, and in what scenarios it would be more effective to upgrade to DXP.

—————————–

For more information on any of the presentations, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Stay tuned for details on our next Liferay User Group Meetup, or sign up for our newsletter to receive updates right to your inbox.

Business Uses and Benefits of Intranets & Extranets: Part 2

, , ,

According to techopedia, an extranet is a controlled private network allowing customers, partners, vendors, suppliers and other businesses to gain information. Extranets make communicating simple for individuals inside and outside of an organization.

Keep in mind that intranets are also a controlled private network, except access is only given to individuals within an organization.

In this 2-part series, we will walk through what intranets and extranets are, how they differ, and how they can benefit your business.

What is an extranet?Visual diagram of the intranet and extranet spectrum

Extranets are an expansion of your intranet. They are private networks designed to allow certain individuals outside of your company to communicate with members within your organization in a secure and private virtual space. To put it simply, it is an extension of your intranet that you make available to users outside of your organization.  Generally, organizations will use extranets for:

  • Customer service through distributing personalized information to customers in a more efficient way
  • Training and education for new employees
  • Communicating and connecting with customers in a more controlled setting
  • Easing project management tasks by providing a workspace with access to common online documents for teams

Why should I invest in an extranet?

Extranets act as a system of engagement for your business’s prospective clients. Just as intranets can increase employee engagement, extranets expand to engage individuals outside of your organization too. There are many benefits that a business can reap from an extranet including:

For Customers (extranet):

  • Improves your collaboration with customers, clients, and partners by providing personalized and specific pieces of information to specific groups.
  • Easy access to relevant information for consumers through FAQ’s, company and product details, and more
  • Present customized and exclusive content or offers to your customers in a secure way.
  • Make information available to consumers on a variety of devices
  • Shorter time from business to consumer by eliminating communication barriers
  • Builds customer loyalty and improves customer experience by providing additional channels for communication
  • Improved customer service and experience by allowing customers and users to resolve their own queries.

For Employees (intranet and extranet):

  • Increased productivity by making information more accessible to employees
  • Reduced margin of error by centralizing company information
  • More effective collaboration by easing department-to-department communication
  • Cost effective by cutting overhead costs and streamlining work practices
  • More efficient communication of internal job opportunities

Using an extranet in the Real World

We know that an extranet is an extension of an intranet. It’s the part of the intranet that outsiders can use. The Bank of Veriday (BoV) has invested in an intranet and an extranet. They are able to share all of their internal information with employees within the institution. When their customers log in online to check on their personal banking, they are logging into BoV’s extranet, which provides them with selective information that was made available to them. Extranets are still closed off to the general public and require some type of authentication.

An extranet can help give your company an edge over the competition.  Extranets help streamline processes, workflows, and business functions, while cutting your overhead costs.

 

To learn more about intranets, check out Part 1 of the series!

Increase Employee Engagement Using An Intranet

, ,

What is all of this hype around employee engagement and why is it so important to your business?

Employee engagement is a vital element of a successful and productive workplace. As most leaders probably realize, there is a direct relationship between how engaged employees are in their jobs and the financial success of an organization.

There are many things that we could talk about in connection to employee engagement but these studies (among hundreds others) establish the relationship and speak to the importance of employee engagement and your businesses’ bottom line:

  • Research by Gallup has concluded that when employees are engaged at work they are more productive, and drive higher levels of profitability. Yet, according to the Gallup State of The Workplace report, worldwide, only 13% of employees are engaged, meaning the other 87% are not engaged at their work.
  • According to Dale Carnegie Training, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.
  • The costs of low engagement aren’t limited to turnover and recruitment. Gallup found that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year

Clearly, employee engagement matters. The drivers of employee engagement are complex; from involvement in decision making to effective internal communication, to being valued and involved. In this series of articles, we will look at how many organizations have explored how social and digital technologies can address the challenge of employee engagement.

In comes…. the Intranet.

The concept of the Intranet is a closed and secure network within the scope of a company or business which cannot be accessed from outside.   It is an internal website that allows employees to easily share and discuss information within their company or organization. An intranet is basically an internal database, which every employee can access, with different permissions for various roles. It is a place where employees are engaged in online collaborations, leaders actively participate in dialogue with their teams, and the interaction drives higher ROI.

One of the keys to success in business is to have a connected, integrated and involved employee base. When employees are disengaged, dislocated and misinformed it can lead to poor performance and unengaged workforce that ultimately impacts your bottom line. However, low employee engagement is not a simple problem to fix. But, what does this have to do with an Intranet?

Increasing employee engagement has become one of the central purposes for company’s implementing intranets because they help to solve the challenges of connectedness, integration, and involvement.  An employee intranet promotes employee engagement by offering tools that foster peer-to-peer collaboration and employee participation. The following diagram, courtesy of Worldwide Intranet Challenge, identifies key business reasons for having an intranet. At the core of this diagram is the assumption that the primary purpose of an intranet is to help employees do their job more effectively. From this central assumption, there are 8 key business drivers that can be addressed by having a corporate intranet.

 

Using Your Intranet to Boost Employee Engagement: Part 1

15 Awesome Web Portal Examples

, ,

This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com

—————————

As a web-based platform, a portal allows users to connect with one another and find content that is relevant with ease and simplicity. It combines information from different sources into a single user interface.

The portal’s functionality can provide a far-reaching impact on an organization and its processes. In fact, many companies throughout various industries are employing a portal platform. They include the following:

Banking & Insurance Portals

Web Portal Example - Santander Retail Banking Portal - Liferay Portal

Santander Bank, Retail Banking Portal

As one of the largest banks in the eurozone, Santander looked to build a new enterprise web platform that would integrate with existing software (CMS, Search Engine, Product Catalog) while allowing room for new content and features. Their site includes several retail banking features and ability to open new accounts and manage day-to-day banking operations.

CopperPoint, Insurance Portal

CopperPoint is Arizona’s largest provider of workers compensation insurance and wanted to provide a better user experience for their policyholders and agents. Their site offers a flexible web design that enables payments and account management for clients, in addition to mobile notifications, push messages, email alerts, and more.

Allianz, Wealth Management / Insurance Portal

Allianz Group, with a customer base of over 75 million, offers a site that is both dynamic and personal. With the “My Insurance Portfolio” customer site, users have the ability to retrieve historical records of purchased products and services along with integrated features to facilitate policy payments and renewals. The site also features easy-to-update contact information and communication preferences.

Patient Portals

Web Portal Example - UAB Patient Portal - Liferay Portal

UAB Medicine, Patient Portal

UAB’s top-ranked medical professionals found a platform through which they can reach many visitors and actual patients with health concerns. Their site hosts a free patient portal with a directory of various healthcare providers categorized by specialty, gender and location. It also features various subsections for knowledge about conditions and treatments, locations, contact info and FAQs.

Forest Hills Pediatrics, Patient Portal

Right off the bat, you’ll notice the beautiful layout and color scheme of the Forest Hills site. On top of that, this patient portal features the ability to request appointments and refills, review growth charts, print immunization records, and fill out surveys for check-ups and other portions of the medical record.

Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), Patient Portal

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) introduced a new portal with content, self-paced learning, and readiness tools with the goal of streamlining the Electronic Health Record (EHR) certification training and assessment process for its clients. It’s unique in that it has the ability to host multiple, branded portals for each of its certification programs, each with their own supporting community.

Government Portals

Web Portal Example - Grants.gov Government Portal - Liferay Portal

Grants.gov, Federal Government Portal

The mission of Grants.gov is to allow applicants for federal grants to apply for and manage grant funds online through a common website. With a fully-functional government portal, the government could simplify grant management and eliminate redundancies. Grants.gov is unique in that it sends over 1 million email notifications at the public’s request and receives over 4 million page views weekly.

London Borough of Camden, Local Government Portal

With services ranging from housing control to social care, Camden wanted an online experience that was personalized for citizens and local businesses, as well as simplified with a single sign-on for streamlined services. Camden built a standards-compliance site that boasts a high level of configurability and integration capabilities (including Facebook, Google and Open ID login).

Marines, Federal Government Portal

Aside from being visually impressive, Marines host a slew of functions for both the interested applicant and average visitor. The site features personalized private home pages for applicants to access various forms along with the ability to submit questions to the Marine Corps and watch videos on demand.

Student & Faculty Portals

Web Portal Example - Stanford University Student and Faculty Portal - Liferay Portal

Stanford University AXESS, Student & Faculty Portal

Stanford University developed a consolidated online platform called AXESS for the academic community to access information and record various transactions. The portal enables functions as related to student enrollment & financials, academic advising, teaching & grading, employment & training, and workflow-enabled administrative processes. The site is based on a user-centric design with modern UX standards.

York University Passport York, Student & Faculty Portal

My.Yorku.ca is the central information source for 55,000 students and a convenient one-stop shop for both internal resources and external data. The site includes personal course information (instructor, times, course Web site, etc.), grades, student account information, subscriptions to non-York newsfeeds and more. What’s more, personal portal calendars are automatically loaded with class times and locations for registered courses while other campus events can be added if desired.

Capella University iGuide, Student & Faculty Portal

Since all their courses are hosted online, Capella needed a portal platform that could support all their various functionalities. Capella’s portal, iGuide, provides tools and relevant content for supporting learners in addition to direct access to class information, registration for classes, and bill payments upon portal login.

Intranets, Extranets, and Employee Portals

Web Portal Example - Toyota Owner's Portal - Liferay Portal

Scion Owners, Extranet

The Scion Owners site is an exclusive online resource for Scion owners. For any registered user, this site serves as a great resource for all the information you need to get the most out of owning a Scion. The well-designed extranet includes: access to the manuals and guides for your Scion, track mileage and lease details; ability to track the vehicle’s major milestones on personal timeline; notifications for upcoming scheduled services, safety recalls, and more; participation in forums, local events and articles related to Scions.

AutoZone, Employee Portal

AutoZone built an employee portal known as the Daily Online Communications (DOC) to help serve its 47,000 store employees. DOC is the place for employees to find what they need to know about their weekly tasks, benefits, and training. Also, the numerous portlets included with Liferay make any content and style changes easy and fast; this has proven beneficial in keeping information up-to-date in a fast-moving retail environment.

Saint-Gobain, Intranet

As an organization that processes several files for patents, Saint-Gobain needed a solution to help sustain innovation with speed and precision. They wanted an information systems portal that would allow users to create and manage their own pages/content. With their new site, users could contribute autonomously while having access to documents with internal doc management tools and collaborative platform communities through portlets. They also reduced their server load by half and cut maintenance costs.

Liferay Enterprise vs. Liferay Community: What are the differences?

,

Liferay is the most innovative, fully functional open source portal product available in the market. Leading companies and organizations worldwide are using Liferay’s portal software for their business solutions. For a look into Liferay’s customer base, check out this article on who is using this technology.

Liferay offers two different editions: Liferay Portal Community Edition (CE) and Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition (EE).  So, what is the main difference? Below we will discuss the main differences and use cases for both editions.

Liferay Enterprise Edition (EE)

Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition is the commercial version of Liferay’s portal technologies. The Enterprise Edition is a paid portal, which provides an enterprise license from Liferay with ongoing feature updates and full service support. Liferay EE is the ideal choice for small and large enterprises, performance, or security critical applications.

Liferay EE is all about innovative technologies. Created for the Enterprise, Liferay EE provides a virtual space where you can centralize, share, and collaborate. Liferay EE has a wide range of functionalities which covers your business needs, and can also be customized where needed. Hardened for security and designed to be rock solid stable, Liferay Enterprise is offered with a subscription and support package, allowing organizations to build their portals on a stable version of the product that is offered over an extended period of time.

A Liferay Portal Enterprise Subscription provides customers with access to professionally supported software, online services and additional access to features and services within the Liferay ecosystem. With an Enterprise subscription, you receive direct access to engineering-grade technical support, security and bug fixes, training and support tools, as well as additional features within Liferay.

To check out more information on the Liferay Enterprise Edition, or learn about its features, click here.

Liferay Community Edition (CE)

Liferay Community Edition is the standard, free community version of Liferay. Liferay CE is mostly used for smaller, less critical deployments. The main difference between the two is that the Community Edition is free and is distributed “as is”. Liferay Community is available to the public and all users have access to source code in order to add to or customize the application as needed. The Liferay CE Edition provides you the flexibility to link Liferay with your own code in your portlet, theme, hook, layout, and Extension or web plugins, no matter what license you use for your code.

The Liferay Community Edition is for those who don’t need or want to commit to a Liferay subscription but still want access to the latest features and updates at no additional cost.

————————————————————-

It can be difficult to determine which edition is best for your business’ particular needs. The edition that is best fit for your organization depends entirely on what tasks and goals you are looking to accomplish with your portal technology. Drop us a line and we’d be happy to discuss which edition would help you meet your needs. 

What is a Web Portal and Why Should you Care?

, ,

This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com

————————————–

That’s a question we get often when we tell people what we do.

Answers can range anywhere from a quick pitch like “a tool that allows people to build their websites” to something more specific like “a framework for integrating information, people and processes across organizational boundaries.” (Thanks, Wikipedia)

Though true, those answers don’t always address the questions people are asking. Namely, how can a portal help me serve my customers?

Since the modern shopping experience mostly resides within the Internet, it is very crucial to have a strong web presence. With a public site often times serving as the main source of knowledge about your brand, portals could function as a means of first discovery that connects the right people to the right content.

But why a portal, and not some other development tool or platform?

Portals are special in the sense that they offer a fine-tuned content delivery system. Depending on the type of user that arrives on your site, you can create unique channels with images, text and other site functions that are relevant to that specific user.

So, let’s say you were a fashion company. With a proper portal system, a female shopper and a male employee, upon logging in, would find particular content that is useful to them—this is essentially the boiled-down idea of personalization.

We will see more utility for the portal as it continues to evolve in both form and function. Portals aren’t just systems of record anymore, as they are now being used as systems of engagement to reach different target groups across various channels. This is why we believe portals are poised to become the most personal way to help businesses connect with their customers, employees and partners.

 

#Liferay Named a Leader in Portals for the Sixth Year

,

As one of Liferay’s proud Platinum partners, we are thrilled to see it named a leader in Gartner’s Horizontal Portals Magic Quadrant. Liferay Inc., which makes open source portal software, is a Leader for the sixth consecutive year and positioned furthest in completeness of vision and ability to execute in the Leaders quadrant.

Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, positioned the evaluated vendors in the portal market based on independent research and analysis.   The Magic Quadrant gives enterprises a way to assess how well technology providers are executing their stated visions and how well they are performing against Gartner’s market view.

According to Gartner, “the past five years has witnessed a massive transformation of the market for horizontal portals. The nexus of mobile, social, cloud and information has at once heightened the demand for this ‘personalized point of access.’

Liferay will be showcasing its award-winning portal technologies at the annual Liferay Symposium North America, held November 16th and 17th in Chicago. Attendees representing businesses in several verticals will find strategies for increasing enterprise productivity, mobility, and audience engagement from over 60 available business sessions, case studies, and technical workshops

Veriday will also be in attendance at the Liferay Symposium as an event sponsor. As a dedicated Liferay technology partner, we look forward to this event to learn more about the latest and greatest innovations Liferay has to offer.

To lean more about Liferay, visit www.liferay.com.

A Recap of Veriday’s 1st Liferay Meetup

, ,

Veriday held its 1st Liferay Meetup on August 18th, 2015 at our new office location. It was a successful evening full of great people, food, refreshments, and insightful presentations on Liferay. A big thank you to Chris Lamoureux, Patrick Lafond, Scott Ord & Nick Quach for sharing their insights and wisdom on everything from Liferay Inc. to user experience design to agile development.

Veriday_event

Untitled

For those of you who missed it, here’s a quick recap of the night:

Nick Quach, VP of Technology and Solutions at Veriday, got the evening going as the first presenter of the night.  Nick spoke about Liferay as a System of Engagement, a term coined by Geoffrey Moore, a business author of such books as Crossing the Chasm. Nick discussed Systems of Engagement and the transition from current enterprise systems to systems that are focused on human culture, communication, and peer interactions, as opposed to processes. Systems of Engagement focus on a totally new user experience. Nick’s discussion highlighted how many enterprises are turning to Liferay to provide an effective System of Engagement in order to more effectively systematize their organization.

The next speaker up was Patrick Lafond, a Solutions Engineer at Veriday.  Patrick presented an insightful presentation on Liferay as an Integrations platform. Patrick focused on sharing some of his observations and experiences using Liferay as an integration platform (both providing and consuming web services).  Patrick’s background in Enterprise Integration provides a unique perspective on an implementation pattern commonly used in a Portal ecosystem. His discussion highlighted that Liferay provides developers the ability to leverage numerous tools, libraries, and frameworks in order to quickly and easily integrate with many diverse systems.

The 3rd presenter of the night was Scott Ord, a senior consultant at Veriday. Scott discussed “3rd Party Integration with Liferay”.  Scott covered 3 different means to add the necessary files to Liferay based on the type of framework (front MVC or front-end presentation).

Chris Lamoureux,  co-founder and executive VP of Veriday, closed off the evening as the last presenter. Chris spoke about his experiences working on many Liferay projects over the years.  Chris discussed, through his experiences, how Liferay has consistently streamlined the development process, from design to deployment, and as a result of Liferay’s efficiencies, saved enterprises significant time and money.

———————————–

If you’d like more information on any of the presentations, feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.

Join us for our next Liferay Meetup, and a great night of food, refreshments, networking and all things Liferay.  The next event will take place at the end of September. More details are to follow, or feel free to sign up for our newsletter to receive updates right to your inbox.