Category: Liferay

Building Enterprise Customer Portals with Liferay

Posted by on April 04, 2013

Remaining competitive in today’s market means customer-driven companies must continue to provide their clients with added value, and one of the most effective ways of achieving this is through a customer portal that enables a holistic view of the information customers care about the most. Customer portals also present an opportunity for organizations to generate revenue through strategic discovery features that expose clients to products they might be interested in.

Liferay for Customer Portals

Liferay Portal provides a versatile platform for solving a variety of business needs, including intranets and extranets, collaboration sites with blogs, wikis, and forums, consumer facing websites, and social community sites with built-in social networking features. And one of the most common use cases we’ve seen is customer and self-service portals.

Liferay’s site-based architecture makes it ideal for customer portals. A key capability of these portals is to provide separate sites, pages, and content for each customer. And since Liferay allows you to easily create individual customer sites with very little work, the scoping of the content and digital assets within those sites is supported natively.

LIferay easily supports the two most important features of customer portals – personalization and site-based security.

  • Personalization – Liferay allows for creation of personalized pages for each customer. The information collected within each customer site can then be utilized in creative ways to further enhance personalization and increase user engagement. Liferay roles and teams are often used as an elegant way to differentiate between user types within a single customer site, which in turn opens the door for further fine-grained personalization.
  • Site-based Security – Liferay’s architecture facilitates security by enabling straightforward management of site members and their permissions within the site. Moreover, end users can be appointed as site administrators to help decrease help desk load while providing customers with much needed content ownership and management capabilities.

Challenges and Solutions

Every project has its challenges, and it’s important to follow best practices and address them in the beginning to ensure a smooth implementation. From our experience in implementing customer portals of varying sizes, we’ve seen a number of common challenges and have found successful ways of addressing these with Liferay’s flexible platform.

Information Architecture

The quality of the information architecture will have a large impact on the success of the portal. The information architecture defines the types of content your customers will see inside the portal and the navigation within the portal to get to the right content, so it’s critical to define and categorize the content and display it in a way that’s easy for the customer to understand. A customer portal that makes finding important content difficult is destined for failure.

To resolve this in Liferay, you need to gain a clear understanding of Liferay’s architecture along with best practices. It’s important to involve a customer sample when defining and categorizing your content to determine which content is important for each customer.

Integration

Integration is a critical part of every customer portal because, more often than not, the content that customers typically care about usually resides in external third-party enterprise systems, some of which may change over time. Therefore, the best way to approach integration is with a reusable integration layer.

Liferay supports this with their service builder library, which allows developers to create a standard service layer abstracting all integration logic. With this, technical architects can easily provide their developers with a standard API to use for systems integration, resulting in increased developer efficiency and better overall solution maintainability.

Flexibility

Many customer portal solutions in the market were built to satisfy the immediate needs of those customers. This often leads to the solutions becoming inflexible, so when new technology or new use cases are required, these solutions simply can’t keep up. In addition, today’s users expect Web-based solutions to constantly evolve and get better, making the portal solution framework’s flexibility a key factor in determining both short- and long-term success.

Liferay addresses this challenge with its native support for the implementation and deployment of custom plug-ins to address any future customer needs. Additionally, Liferay was built with customization in mind – almost every aspect of the portal can be customized or overridden without sacrificing the ability to maintain a clear and supported upgrade path.

Branding

The ability for a customer portal to support different branding aesthetics for each customer provides a much appreciated, tailored experience to the users of the portal. The challenge here is that the majority of portal frameworks in the market today don’t easily support site branding, which usually forces adopters of those technologies to stick with one look and feel for all customers. Support for interchangeable skins or themes in a portal, though challenging for the portal vendor, enables more personalized user experiences.

Liferay’s Themes, Layouts, Mobile Support, and Custom Site Metadata allow developers to create unique look and feel options for each customer. The technical knowledge required to implement different skins is standard user interface technology such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This doesn’t just make branding easy, but also quite flexible.

Innovation

Interaction within a customer portal is typically thought to be business-to-customer. However, customer interactions don’t have to be unidirectional, and a new market trend is introducing social customer-to-customer interaction within portals. This social interaction can be particularly beneficial to companies whose revenue depends on successful ongoing transactionality between customers.

Liferay’s flexible platform and robust feature set also allows it to support innovative new features as market trends change. Rivet Logic is proud to be one of the few, if not the only, Liferay partners to have implemented such a portal with a fully integrated marketplace experience for buyers and sellers of services to collaborate and transact within the portal. With features like Google Maps-based discovery, quote management, private messaging, customer service, and more, we were able to build an extremely successful customer portal with the help of Liferay’s flexible framework.

Liferay’s robust portal platform provides a versatile solution for satisfying a variety of enterprise needs, including building consumer-facing websites. Implemented correctly, these customer portals can bring great value to your customers, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Building an HR Portal With Liferay

Posted by on March 04, 2013

Leading enterprises are constantly looking to improve employee productivity by enabling efficient communications throughout the enterprise. This usually starts with an effective portal for human resources – an enterprise HR Portal – which enables organizations to disseminate corporate information to the work force in an engaging, efficient and intuitive manner.

Over the years, Liferay has evolved into a platform that can satisfy most Web-based enterprise needs, from corporate intranets to customer portals and enterprise websites. And one of the most popular Liferay use cases is the HR Portal, which is often the first step towards building an intranet. An HR Portal provides an efficient means of disseminating various company news and offers an ideal medium for employee outreach.

In a recent webinar, we demonstrated how to build an enterprise HR portal with Liferay in just 30 minutes. The demo showcased our latest open source Liferay community contribution that allows developers to easily create a fully functional HR Portal. This easy-to-deploy portal solution comes with many useful features, including:

  • Corporate news authoring and publishing
  • Customizable news publishing channels
  • User-friendly people directory
  • Customizable portal-wide main navigation bar
  • Smart news carousel
  • Customizable quick links

This HR Portal solution will soon be available in Liferay Marketplace – with the Community Edition available in a matter of weeks and the Enterprise Edition under development. Both versions will be available for free download.

Watch our recorded webinar to see a demo of the HR Portal in action!

Liferay’s Latest 6.1 EE Release Packs a Punch

Posted by on February 24, 2012

Over the years, Liferay Portal has transformed into a complete Web platform for social collaboration, Web content management, and development tools to create customized solutions.

The new Liferay Portal 6.1 EE features extensive updates to existing Web content management and document management systems plus new capabilities that are designed to provide more power to end users. Extensive user interface updates will make document management more productive and intuitive, with desktop and mobile access, live previews, and integration to external enterprise document repositories. Liferay 6.1 EE also simplifies the development and maintenance of rich websites, with sophisticated page templates and multiple site and page version editing. The new release also integrates with Liferay Marketplace, which will allow administrators to find and install applications to extend functionality directly from the portal.

“The new Liferay 6.1 EE release matures the 6.x branch with much anticipated implementations that in so many ways completes Liferay as an enterprise-grade product,” says Alaaeldin El-Nattar, Engagement Director and Certified Liferay Trainer at Rivet Logic. “Liferay 6.0 EE introduced several services that opened the door for the development of Auditing, Reporting, Workflow, and other enterprise features, while Liferay 6.1 EE takes Liferay as a leading and powerful portal framework and packages it into a fully functional enterprise ready portal solution. We have been waiting a long time for this release and are very excited about all the client needs that we will now be able to fulfill with relative ease. I am especially looking forward to making full use of Liferay 6.1’s new CMIS support, Document Sync, Website Management, and Mobile support. Cudos to the Liferay team on a job well done.”

To learn more, please visit www.liferay.com.

Join Us at Liferay WCS!

Posted by on September 21, 2011

Liferay’s annual West Coast Symposium (WCS) starts today in Anaheim, CA, and offers two full days of thought-provoking, eye-opening sessions that showcase interesting ways companies have used the Liferay platform to meet their business goals. The highly anticipated Liferay Portal 6.1 and Marketplace will also be announced at this year’s WCS.

As a Liferay Platinum Partner, Rivet Logic will be participating as a Diamond Sponsor. In addition to our main booth, our solution showcase will demonstrate our Team Beachbody case study. We will also be presenting a business track featuring a Sensus case study.

If you’re attending WCS, stop by and visit our booth!

Rivet Logic is Now a Liferay Platinum Partner!

Posted by on July 21, 2011

Since becoming a Liferay partner in 2006, we have worked closely with Liferay and have seen the product mature over the years. So its increased adoption by enterprises worldwide comes as no surprise as the product’s numerous benefits are being realized. Recently, Liferay named Rivet Logic a Platinum Partner after a significant year of growth in sales and new implementations of Liferay in 2010.

“Enterprises dealing with content management and collaboration strategies are looking for best-of-breed tools as well as thought leaders who can guide them through critical decision points during the purchasing, development, and deployment cycles,” said Bryan Cheung, Liferay’s Chief Executive Officer. “Liferay provides a fantastic platform for developing web content and collaboration solutions, and Rivet Logic has become an industry thought leader in the development of these sophisticated solutions. With some of the largest deployments worldwide, Rivet Logic has earned its position as a Liferay Platinum partner and we look forward to their future success and partnership.”

We’re honored to become a Liferay Platinum Partner and will continue to deliver high-quality Liferay-based solutions to our customers while remaining active in the broader Liferay community!

Next up is the Liferay West Coast Symposium held on September 21-22 in Anaheim, CA.

Join Rivet Logic at the 2011 Liferay ECS

Posted by on May 09, 2011

Liferay is hosting its third annual East Coast Symposium (ECS) in the greater DC metropolitan area this year, which will take place at The National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia on May 10-11, 2011. Since the beginning, Rivet Logic has been actively involved when we co-hosted the first Symposium at our facilities in Reston, Virginia. Since then, ECS has grown exponentially each year, to which is now a full scale conference.

This year’s theme is The Liferay Platform, focusing on the release of Liferay Portal 6EE and its expansion, with session topics that address the expanded role of the Liferay Platform as a basis for the next generation of Web applications and services. The agenda will be filled with thought-provoking, eye-opening sessions that showcase interesting ways companies have used the Liferay Platform to meet their business needs.

Rivet Logic will be participating this year as a Diamond Sponsor and will feature a speaker presentation on how Liferay can be used to build and deploy a global intranet solution during one of sessions. In addition, we will be hosting the Education Solution Showcase, where we will demonstrate a uPortal to Liferay migration.

The Symposium is a great opportunity for anyone interested in or already using Liferay to learn, share knowledge, and network with like-minded individuals. For more information about the Symposium, please visit http://www.liferay.com/events/liferay-symposiums/east-coast-2011.

We hope to see you there!

Liferay 6.0 EE Debut @ West Coast Symposium

Posted by on September 03, 2010

Liferay’s annual West Coast Symposium is being held next week on September 8-9, 2010. One of the anticipated events is the debut of Liferay Portal 6EE, which will be broadcasted live for those who can’t attend the conference.

As part of the Liferay 6 launch activities, Liferay will also showcase a new feature in Liferay 6 each day starting on 8/31. Liferay is also hosting a series of worldwide roadshows with their partners to further drive product awareness.

Rivet Logic will be participating as a sponsor at the West Coast Symposium and hosting the Reston, VA roadshow at our facilities on September 24th.

We hope to see you at one of the events!

Liferay Portal Used in Team Beachbody’s Social Community Platform

Posted by on June 03, 2010

We recently released a new case study, Team Beachbody: A Large-Scale Social Community Platform Built on the Open Source Liferay Portal, which highlights how Rivet Logic utilized Liferay Portal to build a revenue-generating social network for Product Partners and the business benefits derived from the solution.

Product Partners, LLC, an exercise and nutrition market leader, launched the Team Beachbody program as a membership-based online support community that offers a wide array of fitness programs. In order to generate revenue growth, Product Partners decided to harness the existing community around its products and combine it with the power of social networking to turn the site into a revenue generating resource. By offering active community members a percentage of sales of Beachbody products that they refer to new members, it encourages increased community participation.

Liferay Portal was selected as the development platform for its flexibility and scalability to cater to evolving business requirements and future growth, as well as its low total cost of ownership. Rivet Logic was chosen as the system integrator to implement the solution, and in particular, the WOWY SuperGym application, a featured element of the overall Team Beachbody experience. The WOWY SuperGym application has resulted in stronger customer loyalty and recurring revenue opportunities through a set of social collaboration features that encourage use and membership retention.

Click here to download the full case study.

BIZcon Europe 2010 Explores Open Souce

Posted by on February 03, 2010

This year, BIZcon Europe 2010, hosted by Ricston, will be held in Malta on March 4th and 5th. BIZcon is all about informing business leaders about significant trends and developments in business, and interestingly, the theme this year will be “Understanding and Leveraging Open Source”.

While many business executives are familiar with the term open source, not many have a clear understanding of how open source can be used and integrated into their organization’s environment, and more importantly, the value that can be gained compared to traditional proprietary solutions. As open source continues to gain traction, it’s important to keep business executives informed so that open source can be effectively incorporated into their strategy and leveraged to deliver bottom line results.

The agenda includes presentations from various business executives and leaders in open source, including Liferay CEO Bryan Cheung.

Rivet Logic Earns Alfresco Partner of the Quarter Award

Posted by on November 19, 2009

Alfresco just selected Rivet Logic as the winner of their Americas Partner of the Quarter Award.

Alfresco Partner of the Quarter, Q2 2009 – Rivet Logic

We’re truly honored to be recognized again by Alfresco for our accomplishments. Over the past year, we’ve continued to see strong demand for our Alfresco consulting services as more and more organizations are becoming more liberal towards the idea of open source. Last quarter, we kicked off several new Alfresco projects in a variety of sectors – including higher ed, media/publishing, technology and non-profit.

We look forward to continuing our work with major enterprises, and contributing back to the Alfresco community.