Best Practices: What can a Portal do for Your Brand? [Part 1]

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Every technology project has the potential to transform a business for the better, but only if they are designed with best practices in mind. With over 100 digital transformation projects under our belt, we understand how important it is to design solutions with best practices in mind. Portals can be one of the most transformative projects an organization ever undergoes and can bring surprising results if implemented correctly. Here are six best practices for designing an easy-to-use portal solution that can create value for your brand.

 Portal

Best Portal Practice #1 – Envision the Transformation!

When designing a portal, it’s important to envision the transformation you want to accomplish.

Most brands beginning the process of digital transformation have insufficient integration between systems. Usually, they deal with static content being uploaded and downloaded from a variety of systems. This process could mean having employees uploading and downloading the latest version of a .PDF file, having access to static brand libraries and having to make every change manually.

To successfully implement your portal solution, your brand needs to see the ongoing goals of the digital transformation. That foresight involves moving passed current industry standards and envisioning the transformative potential of a new technology solution. Your end goal should not be industry best practices; it should be transformative, moving your business to fully automated processes with full integration.

Embracing the future of your portal solution will put your brand in a position to retain competitive advantages today while finding new opportunities for success going forward.

Best Portal Practice #2 – Customer Journeys

What can a portal do to improve the quality of the customer experience? A quality portal makes it easier for an organization to manage communication, provide a high level of customer service and build relationships with your clients.

Without an intranet, it’s typical for customers to feel out of touch with your organizations. Do you send customer communications from a generic, corporate email address? Do your emails often go directly to the customer’s junk folder. Even when it does reach their inbox, these communications usually go unread for a variety of reasons, such as:

  1. The email comes from a generic address,
  2. The attachment is too difficult to read on your customer’s favorite device
  3. A lack of personalization, making the email look like spam

All these issues are closely related to the lack of integration between systems, and not thinking in a customer-centric manner. These problems usually aren’t limited to one area of a brands communication strategy. Over time, the lack of an integrated communication strategy might alienate your customers, causing them to look for another provider. A portal can solve those problems by putting all information in one easy-to-access place. This gives your customers access to whatever information they need.

Best Portal Practice #3 – Change Advocates

A portal solution built with best practices in mind will engage your key stakeholders, giving them a personal connection with your business, and turning them into advocates for change and improvement. A well-designed portal solution will connect all areas of your business, helping management gather first-hand user insights to improve workflows and processes, or to find new ways to solve existing challenges.

Portal
Each department, role, or individual would have their own, unique views, providing them access to information and giving them a personal connection to your business processes. This personal connection to your brand, along with a streamlined, single-login experience will reduce employee frustration, increasing productivity and engaging your employees. Studies have shown that engaged employees are far more productive, and result in reduced employee turnover. Can your brand continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape? Can you afford to not take advantage of technology that will have a tangible result on your bottom line?

Veriday’s experience designing technology solutions has helped us deliver results to our long list of clients. Is your brand is looking to transform your business processes using technology? We can help implement a solution designed with best practices that meet your needs. If you think we can be of assistance in your next digital transformation project, contact us, and let’s sit down to see what we can do for you. In the next post, we will discuss three more best practices for implementing portal solutions. 

 

 

Check out Part 2 Here!

Liferay DXP vs. Liferay 6.2 : Interview with VP of Solutions, Nick Quach

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In this exclusive interview, Nick Quach, VP of Solutions at Veriday and resident Liferay expert, sits down with Veriday CEO, Marc Lamoureux, to discuss Liferay DXP (Digital Experience Platform), the latest and greatest Liferay platform. In this discussion, we will hear about what’s new and innovative, what changes you’ll see from the previous versions, what new business challenges it can solve and when an organization might choose to migrate over.

Nick has extensive experience using and implementing the Liferay platforms, including Liferay DXP, for a wide range of solutions, clients, and industries.

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Marc: It’s Marc Lamoureux and Nick Quach from Veriday. We’re here to talk about Liferay DXP (Digital Experience Platform). To start off this discussion, I thought I’d ask you, in your experience, what kind of customers traditionally would be using Liferay?

Nick: I think one of the strengths of Liferay, even before DXP was introduced, is the fact that they have always prided themselves on providing a platform versus providing a product. What that allows the end customer to do is to use that platform to deliver their requirements in however many ways they need.

So, whether an organization is using it for a corporate intranet (which is probably one of the most prolific use cases for the platform out there), using it to build simple web sites, or using it to engage their customers. Whether it’s a B2B or an e-commerce type engagement, Liferay has them covered.

I think for us the diversity of the Liferay client base is probably what’s most compelling and what’s most telling about the actual platform itself.

The distribution of what we actually see clients using Liferay platforms for is quite broad compared to what we would see in the more traditional web content management system like WordPress, that are only used in situations where someone is looking to build websites. You see Liferay being deployed in a much more diverse manner.

Marc: Interesting; so traditionally Liferay has described itself as a “portal platform”, but now they’ve rebranded the product to the platform “DXP” (Digital Experience Platform). Talk to us a little bit about why they made that change and what do you think is behind the positioning of a product from portal to digital experience?

Nick: Liferay itself has always been a platform, however it was called Liferay portal because the problems that we were trying to solve 10 years ago dictated what most of the organizations were using Liferay for. A lot of the organizations that were interested in portal technologies already had a dispersed set of software in-house with information separated into different subsystems. These organizations were looking for a technology that would allow them to consolidate the data into a single touch point with the benefit of providing a more seamless customer experience, which is where the term “portal” came from.

The use case was to provide a more seamless customer experience, to provide a one-stop shop for their clients, allowing them to access everything they needed in one place. The portal was typically viewed as a system engaged with a touch point in which an organization could interact and communicate with their client.

Five years ago it was really about collaboration and aggregation, it was really about getting people onto a platform that allowed them to communicate. But the world has changed and what we’re seeing today is not so much a fundamental shift in the way people are viewing technology but the way in which people want to consume technology. I think that’s what’s really driving Liferay and the platform and where we see the marketing of the platform heading.

Before, portals used to solve the problem of “I have a lot of data and I need to be able to consolidate that data in a single touch point” but now it’s more about “I have a lot of data but I want to be able to engage with my client in whatever fashion they choose to be engaged”. It’s no longer about just aggregating the data but also using it to engage the customer. Your system is now part of a greater ecosystem of engagement, providing consistency between interactions with clients.

Marc: Let’s say I’m currently using Liferay to engage with customers. When I see that Liferay released the DXP platform, what would you want to convey to me about new tools, or features that provide better opportunities for engagement and improvement in customer experience?

Nick: Well, I think it would be naive of me to of sit here and list all the new features feature-by-feature that Liferay DXP offers but I would tell them that if you’re already using Liferay, the engagement model doesn’t need to change. What I would challenge them to do is to think about how you could extend your engagement model.

My main point in an explanation to a customer would be to consider your engagement model and think about how you could increase the number and quality of touch points in which you interact with the client.

So, for example, if you’re in a B2B context, there are a lot of different channels in which an  organization can interact with their business clients and so regardless of the channel, how do you take all the data provided by the channel, all the various engagement models and how can you use the platform to provide you with not only insight, but a richer engagement?

Liferay DXP allows businesses to increase engagement by having tools in place that can capture and analyze data and provide a more personalized experience depending on the situation, providing different offerings or information depending on their situation, whether the customer is using a desktop or a mobile device.

It’s all about engaging people in different ways, for example if the client was attending an event in which you were hosting a booth, could you interact with them in a way that lets them know “we’re just around the corner from you, come pay us a visit” and offers them an incentive to visit? You already have a good solid foundation to engage with your customer, but what else can you do to engage more seamlessly in other medium. How can you use DXP to deliver that engagement?  Then, and only then, we can start talking about some of the new capabilities that DXP is offering.

Marc: It sounds like the customer experience can change for people who are engaging with these websites or forms. A more personal experience can be provided, with real time enablement, so you can respond to all the data you have about that customer and become more engaging over time. Basically it boils down to thinking “with a digital DXP platform I’m going to get a much, much more personal experience”?

Nick: Absolutely. The idea of real-time engagement, the idea of personalized engagement and the idea of omni-channel engagement, where regardless of how you are interacting with a client, the experience is seamless and they will get the same consistent customer experience regardless of which touch point they are using to interact with your business.

I think the real key here is “what do you look for in technology and what do you look for in a platform that will allow you to engage with your client that way.”

Marc: If you’re a current Liferay customer and looking to make the move to DXP, what are some of the business or technology issues you have to be thinking through on the way to making that move?”

Nick: That’s a bit of a tricky question to answer due to the fact that Liferay is a platform with a diverse range of use cases. Not every client is going to be the same. That being said, nearly every single business is looking for ways to increase their business capacity. Whether that’s through sales, more efficient communication or by any other means, whatever their method is the Liferay DXP platform can enhance the experience of client interaction. This makes their business processes more efficient through providing a platform that allows the customer and the business to communicate and engage.

Regardless of what your use case is, what I would do is ask “what are you using the platform for?”. Whether it’s  B2B, B2C or an e-commerce situation, you must ask, “how do you engage with your customer and how can you do it better?”. How do you look at that engagement model and say, “can I provide a better experience? Can I provide a more seamless experience?”

Whatever you were using Liferay for in the past you can continue to do it. You’re going to get a lot of new features so even if you choose not to look at engaging your customer differently, you’re going to get new features, new capabilities and you’re going to get a product that is going to be able to meet the standards of web technology today.

Marc: So from a business consideration the first recommendation is just to think through your engagement model, your strategy, what you want the customer experience to be and then plan those components against the new platform?

Nick: Absolutely, and then also look at how to utilize the platform in your greater ecosystem.

Typically we used to think about platforms (and Liferay in general) as an engagement system but we always typically looked at Liferay being THE engagement system, i.e. “this is where you go to engage”.

What we’re seeing in the industry today and what we’re seeing with DXP is now the platform has the capability to be part of a greater ecosystem, a component in the Internet of Things. It allows you to look at Liferay DXP as not solely just the primary engagement model but a component of the greater engagement model.

However, what you’re getting from the platform is the ability to use a consolidated capability. You’ret not losing the ability to consolidate data and the ability to have a lot of systems underneath that you need to interact with.. You still get a lot of benefit in that sense however, you can start to challenge your thinking about what engagement means. DXP doesn’t stop at DXP. It has the potential to be used in a greater ecosystem as part of the Internet of Things.

Marc: So in preparation for this conversation I was reading a little bit about Liferay DXPs technology platform and it seemed to me that there are opportunities for some technologists to make some improvement in the way they build and deploy these engagements/experiences. Talk a little bit about the opportunities that exist in the technology.

Nick: Of course, we already discussed Liferay DXP and what business challenges the platform is trying to solve and one of the things we haven’t talked about so far is the trend in the industry: that development is moving faster than we’ve ever seen before. The internet is constantly changing now, whereas before it used to change maybe once per year. What we’re seeing as a result is a greater need for modularity, platforms that will allow us to change capabilities, add, remove and update features in a safe way so that we can meet business goals quicker, cheaper and more efficiently.

I think that ability to change and evolve is fundamental to any platform that you’re looking for. So we’re not just looking at how to engage but how to select a platform that allows you to stay current with how quickly things are moving in the industry.

One of the key features of Liferay DXP is it’s move to modularity. Liferay spent a considerable effort to re-architect the platform. They’ve introduced a technology called OSGI which is very technical but put simply it’s a framework for modularity that allows Liferay (the platform) to be separated into separate components.  Everything that you do and interact with on the platform is a component in itself and you can add (or remove) components into the platform without having to disturb the platform itself.

The modularity brought to Liferay DXP by OSGI means users are looking at an increased agility, allowing you to quickly and easily develop new features and capabilities to your end customer.

Marc: So are the implications of the modularity that if I’m using DXP as a technologist, that I have a chance to make it extremely light (for a technology platform) and able to run really fast, really only using a small number of features?. On the other side, I am also able to turn on lots of robust features and drive a different kind of model. Would I have that kind of flexibility?

Nick: Absolutely! The ability to customize the platform is unparalleled to what was in Liferay 6. Having said that, Liferay has always been the strongest vendor in terms of providing “hooks” or “extension points” into their platform that allow you to customize the platform to your desires.

Liferay DXP has taken that flexibility and has increased it a hundred-fold so that now with modularity you can run a much slimmer, or heavier version of the platform, whatever you choose.

You can add new capabilities and alter what is provided out of the box much easier than you ever could before and in a very safe manner where it protects your code, your intellectual property which you are deploying or creating on the platform. It also allows Liferay to be able to update its system more readily so that it can provide new features and capabilities to the market in ways that it never could before.

While there is a steeper learning curve than previous versions of Liferay, the technology only shifted, not changed completely. Having said that the product is relatively new and is only now starting to be fully understood. I think the learning curve will solve itself over time.

Marc: Let’s talk a little bit about the reputation of Liferay. Traditionally, Liferay has been viewed as a really strong technology platform that is extremely cost-effective because of their business model and how they deliver a combination of open-source fundamentals but for an annual subscription model. How does the DXP release preserve that value?

Nick: I think if anything the DXP release increases that value proposition for customers. The cost hasn’t changed between DXP and Liferay 6. Materially you’re still looking at a platform that delivers a much lower cost of ownership than any of its competitors.  

Compared to Transfer Portal by IBM, compared to WebLogic, compared to Adobe Experience Manager, Liferay DXP is still a fraction of the cost of onboarding when compared to other competitive products. The ROI doesn’t stop there. Outside of the cost of acquisition I think what you’re going to see is the cost of ownership further reduced due to modularity. The ability to provide new capabilities, develop, extend and test the platform, with modularity, in a very safe manner is going to increase your ROI. Outside of the original cost of acquisition of the product, you’re going to see that the ROI benefits of DXP are going to be greater than what we’ve traditionally seen in the past.

Marc: Interesting, so if we wanted to recommend to the audience how to learn more about DXP, what would you suggest they do? With the technical community? With the business community?

Nick: From a technical perspective, Liferay provides resources online. Dev.liferay.com is a great resource if you enjoy reading code. Liferay is still a proponent of open source so there is a Liferay 7.0 which is the open-source version of the DXP offering. For the most part the two are very close. The code base is 99% the same so Liferay doesn’t hide anything. You can look at the source code, you can read the documentation and forms online. The community is still strong and so there are a number of ways to get information and tangible experience; play with the product if you so choose. You can also get trial versions of DXP as well.

From a technology perspective, I think being open source and the vibrant community that Liferay offers really maximizes your ability to learn and engage with Liferay, which is largely unchanged from previous generations.

From a business perspective I think there are a lot of ways to engage with Liferay. You can reach out to partners like ourselves, here at Veriday, to walk you through the thinking in terms of where we may be able to help you view your current offerings differently, how you can potentially engage your clients better, and how you can leverage what Liferay DXP offers in a way that is going to provide you with a greater ROI.

You can also always engage Liferay and their sales channel, or look at the plethora of literature available online (blog posts, podcasts, ebooks etc). There are a lot of different ways that you could get information from a business perspective

I believe that one of the things you’ve got to look at before you even think about a platform is: how do you want to engage with your clients today? How do you want to engage with your clients tomorrow? How do you look for a platform that gives you all the tools you need to engage with your customers in a way that provides you with all the benefits we previously mentioned?

Marc: Good stuff. I think that’s enough for one day. As Nick mentioned, you can reach us at Veriday.com if you’d like more information. You can also drop us a line on Twitter (@VeridayHQ). We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding Liferay itself or Liferay DXP. We look forward to talking to you again on our next podcast. Thank you very much!

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That wraps up our interview with Nick Quach. Stay tuned for more interviews, with our Liferay experts, about Liferay DXP, the newest digital experience platform.

In the next part of our series, we will be sitting down with Sam Hyland, Service Delivery Lead here at Veriday, to discuss the new technological features that you can expect to see in Liferay DXP. As always, if you want to continue the discussion, you can reach out to us on Twitter @VeridayHQ.

Alternatives to SAP Enterprise Portal

In today’s economy, businesses stand to benefit from implementing an enterprise-class portal that provides consistent access to tools that improve productivity, fuel innovation, and improve customer satisfaction. The enterprise portal has become an integral part of today’s leading businesses, as it brings together its various applications, information, business units and services, on one common platform.   In this article, we will look at SAP Enterprise Portal, as well as its alternatives.

SAP Enterprise Portal (formerly known as SAP NetWeaver Portal) unifies key information and applications to give users a single view that spans across IT areas and the organization. The platform allows you to take advantage of all of your information in one unified platform. Features and functions of SAP Enterprise Portal include:

  • Infrastructure management – The Portal provides a personalized, secure interface that unifies enterprise applications, information, and processes from both SAP and third-party sources into a coherent, role-based portal experience.
  • Collaboration – Users can access and share information and applications in a collaborative environment regardless of where they are located.
  • Contact and knowledge management – A shared set of user services for finding, organizing, and accessing unstructured content stored in third-party repositories and SAP content management systems.

There are a number of SAP Portal alternatives in the market today with similar functionalities. Which alternative you choose depends entirely on what tasks and objectives you are looking to accomplish with your portal platform.  Let’s take a look at some solutions for alternatives to SAP Enterprise:

OpenText Portal

OpenText Portal is a highly scalable platform and efficient means of aggregating content and applications for use across a variety of initiatives inside and outside the firewall.   OpenText’s Portal is marketed primarily as part of a Customer Experience Platform, which includes social media and digital asset management. It is well equipped for large customer facing sites, with customers characterizing it as a total information and customer experience offering. Users also score this portal high in ease of administration. One complaint about OpenText Portal is that it comes with less out-of-the-box capabilities then many of its competitors, and requires more building.

Liferay

Liferay is the leading provider of open source enterprise portal and social collaboration software solutions, and a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the 5th year in a row. Liferay is a web platform built to deliver immediate results with long-term value. With Liferay, you are able to build many kinds of portals including social networks, e-learning portals, employee and customer portals, and customize them to fit your business’ needs and objectives. The platform also provides more out of the box portlets then any other portlet on the market including Liferay collaboration, web publishing, content management and social networking.

The open-source option of Liferay can also mean significantly reduced costs for businesses with sufficient in-house resources to take advantage of it. One of Liferay’s major strengths is its platforms ability to incorporate new features very easily as a result of its open source base. A caution to some is the fact that the company Liferay itself is smaller than most of its competitors. However, Liferay has seen a rapid growth in the past few years.

Redhat Jboss

JBoss Portal is an open source platform for hosting and serving a portal’s web interface, publishing and managing its content, and customizing its experience. JBoss portal doesn’t aim at providing as many out of the box portal solutions as other platforms but is built to provide a fully reliable customized portal. JBoss features easy to use administration tools, a straightforward web content management system, and reliable performance and scalability. Many customers are attracted to its low start-up costs. One complaint about Jboss is that enterprises expecting immediate business usability may find it difficult to get it up and running without specific in-house developers.

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Not sure which Portal suits your business strategy? Contact our specialists to learn which platform is best suited to help power your business.

Alternatives to Oracle’s WebLogic

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WebLogic, developed by the Oracle Corporation, is one of the leading portal frameworks and named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals. The WebLogic platform lets you provide a user interface to integrate dissimilar environments into an integrated, dynamic and customizable portal that can simultaneously support your customers, partners and employees. WebLogic is often used for managing enterprise portals and is known for improving business visibility and collaboration, and reducing integration costs.

In addition to a portal framework, WebLogic Portal provides many business services such as content management, communities, personalization, search and user management.

There are a number of Alternatives to WebLogic in the market today that offer similar functionalities. Which alternative you choose depends entirely on what tasks and objectives you are looking to accomplish with your portal technology. It is important to identify the needs and thus select the product with which you will build your platform on.

Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best Alternatives to WebLogic:

Redhat JBoss

JBoss Portal is an open source platform for hosting and serving a portal’s web interface, publishing and managing its content, and customizing its experience. JBoss portal doesn’t aim at providing as many out of the box portal solutions as other platforms but is built to provide a fully reliable customized portal. JBoss features easy to use administration tools, a straightforward web content management system, and reliable performance and scalability.

Liferay

Liferay is the leading provider of open source enterprise portal and social collaboration software solutions, and a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the 5th year in a row. Liferay is a web platform built to deliver immediate results with long-term value. With Liferay, you are able to build any kind of portal including social networks, e-learning portals, employee and customer portals. The platform also provides more out of the box portlets then any other portlet on the market including Liferay collaboration, web publishing, content management and social networking.

Apache Tomcat

Apache Tomcat is an open source software implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies. Apache Tomcat is used to power everything from simple one-server sites to large enterprise networks.  Tomcat powers numerous large-scale, mission critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations.

IBM Websphere

IBM Websphere is an integrative software platform that enables organizations to build and manage web portals. Websphere was also named a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals based on its scalability, flexibility and use in B2C and B2B organizations. Websphere is used to help organizations deliver exceptional web experiences regardless of location or device. The platform allows for people to interact with other people, applications, processes and documents in a unified, personalized and role-based fashion.

Every organization will eventually be faced with the challenge of choosing an enterprise portal solution and integrating it into their business processes. The decision is not one to take lightly as the portal technology you choose will be deeply integrated into your organization’s infrastructure and work as a corporate face for your systems and processes.   Choosing an alternative to WebLogic or Sharepoint depends entirely on what features are important for your organization.

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What is your greatest challenge when it comes to choosing or implementing a new portal technology? Share your experiences below.

Liferay Vs. Websphere: Who is using these technologies?

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In a previous article, we discussed Liferay Vs. SharePoint and who is using these technologies.  This week, we will look into comparing Websphere with Liferay.  Before moving on, check out our article on the customers and uses of Liferay technology:

Liferay is the leading Open Source portal server and a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portal Platforms.  Many enterprises are using Liferay to build robust business solutions that deliver long-term value and results.  The company has seen a recent rapid growth in the past few years.  Liferay is an all-in-one enterprise portal with broad product capabilities that provide a user-friendly interface where you can centralize, share and collaborate.

Liferay has proven its real world performance globally with many clients across many diverse industries and business functions. It has been used in just about every industry around the world including automotive, education, government, healthcare, financial services, IT and Hi-Tech, media and entertainment and more.  It is primarily used for corporate websites, intranets and extranets but is highly scalable and easy to launch with many out of the box features.  Major organizations around the world choose Liferay for a wide variety of business functions beyond the traditional portal:

  • Intranet portals
  • Extranet portals
  • Content and Document Management
  • Web publishing and shared workspaces
  • Enterprise collaboration
  • Social networking
  • Enterprise portals and identify management

Liferay has a strong community with roughly 4 million downloads (80,000 per month), 350,000-500,000 worldwide deployments and over 19,000 registered users on liferay.com

Some of Liferay’s key customers include:

Liferay Clients

Learn more about their case studies and the enterprises using Liferay across industries and around the world.

Websphere – Who’s using it?

Gartner Research named IBM’s Websphere as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portal Platforms based on its scalability, flexibility and use in B2C and B2B organizations. Websphere provides companies of all sizes with enterprise web portals that give users a single point of access to the applications, services, information and social connections they need.

Websphere was first released in 1992. Today, more then 100,000 clients globally are using IBM Websphere to build and integrate their infrastructure solutions. IBM Websphere has more then 800 IBM Business Partners worldwide supporting it with software, solutions and services. It supports more than $1 quadrillion worth of business transactions daily.

Similar to Liferay, Websphere is used across just about every industry globally. It works across a variety of industries including banks, telecommunication companies, government agencies and more. Websphere is used in B2C (approximately 75% of deployments) and B2B (25% of deployments) organizations.

Below are the most common uses of Websphere:

  • Website generation
  • Content and document management
  • Enterprise employee and customer portals
  • Document collaboration
  • Shared workspaces

Some of Websphere’s key customers:

Websphere Clients

To learn more on Websphere case studies, click here.

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With a number of portal technologies on the market, many capable of powering your intranet portal, picking the one that’s right for your business can be daunting.  Looking to move to a new portal but aren’t sure where to start? Get in touch with us today!

What portal technology are you using for your business? Does your portal technology effectively support the technology demands placed on it in today’s digital economy?

Liferay Vs. SharePoint: Who is using these technologies?

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Portals continue to evolve as platforms gain new features that increasingly blur the boundaries between portals and areas such as content management. Customer experience, customer engagement, digital experience and marketing integration have been a large focus of portal platforms for the past couple of years as more and more enterprises have embarked on portal implementations. Today we will examine Liferay Vs. Sharepoint

Earlier this year, Gartner released its latest Magic Quadrant for horizontal portals. Microsoft SharePoint and Liferay were both named in the top 5 for leaders in horizontal portals.   But, who exactly is using Liferay and SharePoint and who are some of their top global customers? Below is a brief summary on the customers and industries using the Liferay and SharePoint platforms.

Liferay – who is using it?

Liferay is the leading Open Source portal server.  Many enterprises are using Liferay to build robust business solutions that deliver long-term value and results.  The company has seen a recent rapid growth in the past few years.  Liferay is an all-in-one enterprise portal with broad product capabilities that provide a user-friendly interface where you can centralize, share and collaborate.

Liferay has proven its real world performance globally with many clients across many diverse industries and business functions. It has been used in just about every industry around the world including automotive, education, government, healthcare, financial services, IT and Hi-Tech, media and entertainment and more.  It is primarily used for corporate websites, intranets and extranets but is highly scalable and easy to launch with many out of the box features.  Major organizations around the world choose Liferay for a wide variety of business functions beyond the traditional portal:

  • Intranet portals
  • Extranet portals
  • Content and Document Management
  • Web publishing and shared workspaces
  • Enterprise collaboration
  • Social networking
  • Enterprise portals and identify management

Liferay is growing year over year, and has over 150,000 community members, 5 million downloads, over 500 apps in Liferay Marketplace, and 650 employees.

Some of Liferay’s key customers include:

 

Liferay Clients

Learn more about their case studies and the enterprises using Liferay across industries and around the world.

SharePoint – who is using it?

SharePoint’s usage is widespread because of its complex collaboration structure. The platform allows you to develop your business collaboration solutions fast and effectively.  Similar to Liferay, SharePoint’s customers are spread globally across just about every industry including retail, education, transportation and more.

According to Microsoft, SharePoint is adding approximately 20,000 SharePoint users every day.  That is approximately 7.3 million new SharePoint users every year. Similar to Liferay, the majority of customers use SharePoint as an internal tool; intranet/extranets and enterprise content and document management.

Here are the 5 most common uses of SharePoint:

  • Intranet portals
  • Extranet portals
  • Enterprise content and document management
  • Public facing websites
  • Forms & workflow

Some of Sharepoint’s key customers include:

Sharepoint Clients

Check out some of SharePoint’s case studies here.

Which portal you choose depends entirely on your industry, and what tasks and objectives you are looking to accomplish.  In a previous article, we took a look at some Alternatives to SharePoint.

Question:  What portal technology are you using for your business?  Are you satisfied with it? If not, what frustrates you about your portal technology?  Share your experiences below. 

Alternatives to SharePoint

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Collaboration is key for any business or operation.  In order to run a business in today’s economy, there is a need for collaborative technology.  Collaborative technology is the foundation for aligning business goals with technology, in order to facilitate effective communication and improve productivity.

SharePoint is a collaboration suite used by many professional services and firms. It is a family of software products developed by Microsoft that allows businesses to store, access and share information among members of their organization.  Although SharePoint offers many robust collaboration features, it certainly isn’t the best fit for every business.

There are a number of Sharepoint alternatives in the market today with similar collaboration functionalities.   Which alternative you choose depends entirely on what tasks and objectives you are looking to accomplish with your collaborative platform.  Let’s take a look at some solutions for alternatives to Sharepoint:

Alfresco

Alfresco is a robust and scalable content management platform that is built on open source technology.  Alfresco is designed to enhance business’s productivity and workflow, by focusing on collaboration.   The solution encompasses similar functionality as SharePoint, but at a much lesser cost.  This free platform enables organizations to collaborate more effectively across cloud, mobile, and on-premise environments while also interacting with team members through Alfresco’s miniature social environment.  The platform makes communication among different organizations simple using message boards, individual and group calendars and more.  Alfresco offers mobile app integration, making it easy to edit projects from anywhere, at any time.

Liferay

Liferay is the leading open source portal and social collaboration software.  When it comes to providing collaboration features to facilitate effective communication and improve productivity, Liferay is one of the leading technologies for businesses.  Liferay provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to work collaboratively using the right tools for sharing knowledge and communicating.  With Liferay’s collaboration tools you are able to assign tasks, create meetings, share knowledge using built-in calendaring, task management, wikis, blogs and more. Unlike SharePoint, Liferay’s open source platform is built to ensure it can support and extend the application to grow with the business and brings collaboration into your daily routine without requiring extra steps.

Huddle

Huddle is a cloud-based enterprise collaboration and content management platform, which allows people to connect, share and work together easily.  It is designed to enable people to collaborate in Huddle’s cloud via their Microsoft Office tools.  Users can save files into their Huddle workspaces directly from Microsoft Office applications, with a Huggle comment stream alongside it.  Huddle supports mobile applications and allows employees to track project deadlines and completed tasks, reassign projects, and easily manage and exchange information or projects with others.

Collaboration Solutions Software (IBM)

Collaboration Solutions (formerly Lotus Notes) is IBM’s flagship product for enterprise collaboration and can be used to collaborate internal and external information.  IBM’s online communication tool offers immediate online collaboration with colleagues by means of instant messaging, web conferencing, shared content libraries and social networking capabilities.

Google Apps

For smaller-scale organizations with multiple locations, Google is another free alternative to Sharepoint that provides many capabilities for collaborating.  Google Apps offer simple and efficient ways of collaborating, allowing businesses to organize day-to-day schedules, projects and files securely.  Google Apps allows employees to simultaneously and securely work on Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint.

There are hundreds of collaboration tools available in the market place.  It can be tough to determine which one is best for your particular needs. Choosing the best collaboration tool for your organization depends on your business goals and strategies.

Still not sure which solution is best for your business?  We can help to empower your organization to work better together by improving the way they collaborate and communicate. Contact us today to discover the untapped power of collaboration solutions.