Turn Your Website Into a Hub for Engaging Experiences

Company Blogs August 5, 2015 By Angela Wu Staff

In the digital age, companies are learning fast that meeting customer expectations and driving business outcomes go beyond brand recognition or product availability.

Bryan Cheung
CEO, Liferay, Inc.

In the digital age, companies are learning fast that meeting customer expectations and driving business outcomes go beyond brand recognition or product availability.

Managing digital expectations may seem daunting; however, it's clear that companies that understand their buyers and create consistent experiences across channels will more successfully attract, engage, and retain customers.

In light of this, we asked Bryan Cheung to share his thoughts on the digital consumer, data-driven marketing, and building better web experiences.

Q. How do you customize a web experience for today's digital consumers whose backgrounds and interests vary?

BRYAN CHEUNG: Today’s customers expect to be addressed “Audience of One”: they want to be the center of your digital attention. Personas, segments, and rules are a great start but the ultimate goal is to understand each person’s need at any given moment.

People interacting digitally tend to be more transactional and purpose-driven than in traditional marketing, which means less browsing and more doing. They’re looking for specific information, educating themselves about you and your competitors, or gaining understanding of a problem. It’s important to create continuity across channels: if someone is trying to execute a transaction on a mobile app, then switches to your website, do you let them continue where they left off?

Lastly, using digital tools and technology help tailor their experience. By looking at their search terms, click behavior, and level of engagement—how long they stay with you—you can figure out what they’re looking for and deliver exactly what they need.

Q. It sounds like you’re talking about the Buyer’s Journey. Do you take that into account when creating web content?

BC: Yes, the Buyer’s Journey is a concept that we use to help understand the path a lead takes on his/her way to becoming a customer, partner, advocate, star employee or some other role that’s important to your organization. Of course, there’s no single journey for everyone, and buyers tend to jump all over the place. However, modeling the journey can still help you accelerate the development of the customer’s relationship with your organization.

Then, the short answer is this: it helps to write your content with the Buyer in mind. They’re not going to want to hear about competitors or detailed technical specs in the beginning when it’s important to show empathy for their problems rather than the superiority of your solution. Later, as you build trust and credibility, you can be more confident and assertive in presenting your products.

Your site should also be designed to be flexible and dynamic, so that the most appropriate content for what the users need can be presented on any visit. The front page isn’t the single entry point for visitors; they’re going to find most content on your site through searches and social referrals.

Q. Data has been called the new oil. Where do you begin in knowing what to measure?

BC: At Liferay, we try to identify the inflection points that make the biggest impact on Buyer Journey acceleration. We start with a theory on which digital touchpoints indicate readiness to engage at the next stage; there might be one key touchpoint or several that work in tandem. Once we’ve run the model for a long enough period that covers the sales cycle, we test our assumptions and see whether those inflection points were indeed influential.

Sometimes your data gives you very obvious conclusions, but it’s usually more nuanced than that and requires deliberate and prolonged attention. You should hire dedicated data analysts and give them enough leeway to find the insights in your data.

Q. Tell us about the roadmap for mobile content and design.

BC: We’ve been building a lot of exciting mobile-related capabilities into Liferay, including adding targeted content to native mobile apps and supporting mobile push notifications. We work with the worldview that digital platforms are inherently omni-channel. Users are going to start their journey on the web or mobile but quickly switch to in-store or phone-based interactions before completing their journey, for example, on a tablet or at a digital kiosk. So Liferay is trying to make it easy to connect those dots together into a unified journey.

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We'll discuss these challenges in depth as well as topics on mobile strategy, integration, and collaboration at the Liferay Symposium. There's no better time or opportunity to get to know the Liferay team, key clients, and strategic partners than in Chicago this November.

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What I Learned at an Event for Event Planners

Company Blogs July 28, 2015 By Angela Wu Staff

Last month, I attended BizBash LA. As an event planner, I rarely get to enjoy events from an attendee’s point of view, so this was a great experience for me. Even though I was an attendee, I couldn’t help but revert back to my planner tendencies of directing traffic and ushering people into seats. Based on the smiles I got from others, I think they could easily relate. After attending 10+ sessions in one day, I learned that no matter what type of event you’re planning, from corporate conferences to music festivals, there are basic struggles and rewards that are universal across the board.

Here are some takeaways from what I learned:

Measure Anything, Measure Everything

If there’s one main point that almost all speakers mentioned at this event, it’s the importance of goal-setting and goal-measuring. The key is to establish tangible goals at the beginning of the planning process to have a foundation for measurement at the end. Each team has their own goals, and it’s important to formally identify these objectives and keep them in mind the entire time. Your internal team may want to increase the number of new attendees by 15%. The sponsors may want to get 100 people to test out their new products and gauge their interest. Attendees may want to check out new features of your product before they’re made public so they can get ahead of the game. Be mindful of what you’re working towards, and let the goals be your motivation throughout the planning process.

Happy Sponsors = Happy Planners

Sponsorships are all about symbiotic relationships. In the end, both parties (event planner + sponsor) must feel like they have mutually benefited from the experience. Everyone wants to feel valued, and that applies to attendees, as well as sponsors. It’s important to listen to your sponsors and understand their objectives. Make the effort to understand their marketing needs up front so you can measure the success of their participation afterwards. Are they trying to build their brand awareness, or are they looking to generate leads? Do they want to feature a recent product launch? This is how you’ll keep them happy and get them to return year after year. Engagement is more valuable than eyeballs, so get creative with facilitating interaction between attendees and sponsors that communicate beyond signage. They’ll thank you for it!

Never underestimate the power of face-to-face meetings

In this day and age, it’s easy to feel like we ‘know’ someone well by looking at their Facebook and following their Twitter. In-person events allow us to create personalized human connections, something that can’t really be replaced by technology and the internet. To convince our attendees to take time out of their busy work days and get to an event, we as event planners need to know our audiences and define clear objectives and benefits of attending. Rather than just being spoken to, attendees want to feel like they’re contributing to the agenda and collaborating with one another. Create time and activities for people to actually connect at events, rather than just sitting together in a ballroom. Planners are the programmers of human interaction at events. Attendees need to realize the benefits of coming together in-person, something they wouldn’t receive from live-streaming your event or watching the session recordings afterwards. Facilitate labs, whiteboard sessions, impromptu meetups, and let the magic happen organically.

Mind Over Millennials

Millennials are the largest generation in history, and companies need to delight the Millennial mind in order to be successful. We need to gain loyalty and trust from Millennials, and the best way to do so is by speaking their language. Millennials connect through education, inspiration, and storytelling. Don’t just put on a show, but actually engage with your audience and make your event an interactive experience. For a Millennial to really feel connected to a company and/or event, they require meaningful content that lives on, even after the event is over. That means we need to create dialogue that continues the excitement from the in-person event, whether it’s through follow-up emails, physical mail, or social media. Know the right channels for the right time, and establish connections before (Facebook), during (Twitter), and after (Facebook) the event. Millennials want to feel like they’re part of a community, even when the event is over.

Millennials are quite socially responsible, and they expect the companies they’re involved with to be as well. Events offer a look at a company’s culture, a window into the corporation’s heart. Events are expensive, there’s no doubt about that. But that doesn’t mean that they have to be wasteful. As planners, we should be intentional with green efforts, and there are many ways to do so. Having easily-recognizable recycle bins around the venue is an easy first step. Going digital rather than printing every program and agenda goes a long way. Some venues (hotels) can set up donation programs for soap and other amenities after guests have checked out. You can look into food donation programs for leftover F&B. Get over the mentality of “this is how we’ve always done it,” and really challenge yourself to get creative. 

And in the End

Let’s delight our guests with small surprises because in the end, little details make a big difference. Attendees may not remember everything they hear and learn at the event, but they’ll definitely remember how they felt.

Overall, it was a great learning and networking experience for me to hear from industry experts and connect with other marketing and event professionals. If you want to see how I apply what I’ve learned, come check out the Liferay Symposium North America on Nov. 16-17 in Chicago, IL. You can see all upcoming and past Liferay events on www.liferay.com/events.

5 Ways that Liferay Symposium Will Boost Your Portal IQ

Company Blogs July 2, 2015 By Angela Wu Staff

Become a Liferay insider and get a first look at new features and product roadmaps. Learn how Liferay is transforming portal technology to change the way you do business.
Enhance your digital platform and modernize your users’ experience. With 60+ expert-led sessions, learn about new development tools, explore Liferay's mobile capabilities, and discuss best practices to help manage your production environmentFind Out More
  Make connections with industry peers to share, learn, and collaborate about your experiences. Meet one-on-one with other Liferay users and enthusiasts.
  Meet with our innovative sponsors and exhibitors to discuss the latest in enterprise platform solutions. Get your questions answered by Liferay movers and shakers with exclusive Speed Consulting opportunities where you can ask, build, and collaborate on your projects.
Take advantage of the new Expert Exchange round table discussions to facilitate opportunities on moving your business forward. Choose from hot topics on digital business, content targeting, integration, and collaboration using Liferay products, features, tools, and more. 

Join the conversation to receive exclusive offers and news updates!

Build Your Digital Strategy for Engagement at Liferay Symposium 2015!

Company Blogs June 1, 2015 By Angela Wu Staff


Reimagine Digital Engagement Through an All-in-One Platform

Being digital should be at the heart of what you do to provide customers with rich, compelling online experiences. To thrive, and not just survive, having a digital strategy is critical for finding and nurturing business opportunities.

Liferay Symposium can provide the enterprise toolkit to reimagine your digital strategy and help connect with your audience in more dynamic and personal ways.

Join us in Chicago this November to interact with the Liferay ecosystem, dig deep into the next iteration of Liferay, and gain fresh insight and best practices for digital engagement.

Score Big Savings Now!

Be the first 50 to register and save 50% off the standard registration price.

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Water. For Life.

Company Blogs February 26, 2015 By Angela Wu Staff

Last August, nine of us from Liferay HQ partnered with Living Water and took a trip down to Guatemala to serve the people of La Hermosa, Escuintla. Since 1990, Living Water has been implementing clean water projects in developing and impoverished countries. Over the last 25 years, they have completed more than 15,000 water projects.


Though rich in agriculture, Guatemala has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world -- almost half of the children are considered chronically malnourished.


In Guatemala, we were led by our friendly and fearless leaders Alvaro, Nestor, and Blanca. We stayed at the Living Water compound in Antigua where a couple of nice ladies cooked delicious meals for us each day. We would wake up at six every morning and drive one and a half hours to the village of La Hermosa in Escuintla.



Within one week, we were tasked to build a new clean water well and teach hygiene to the local residents of La Hermosa. The drill team got down and dirty as they drilled, made cement, and took sediment measurements. The hygiene team got creative and crafty as we taught proper technique for washing hands and feet, and the importance of using the latrine with Señor Jabon. Every morning, the children greeted all of us “teachers” with big hugs and kisses.



Throughout the week, we faced many obstacles including thunder and lightning storms, heat exhaustion, and countless bug bites. But knowing that we were helping build a much needed resource for this community was more than enough motivation to keep us going. We taught the kids about germs and bacteria, and they taught us how to play the “gasolina” game and “arranca la cebolla.” I’ve never had so much fun blowing bubbles and playing musical chairs by banging a hanger on an old, broken camera!



At the end of the week, there was a well-dedication ceremony where the mayor of the city spoke and thanked us for our work. It was such a memorable moment as we saw the crystal clean water pour out from the brand new well.



I’m proud to be a part of a company that values the importance of giving back. With Liferay EVP, we’re empowered to help our local communities, as well as communities around the world. If you’re interested in getting involved with Living Water, visit water.cc.

Quick Tips to Maximize Your Liferay Symposium Experience

Company Blogs September 25, 2014 By Angela Wu Staff

The fall season is upon us, which means the Liferay Symposium North America is right around the corner!

In order to maximize your experience, we suggest coming with a basic list of goals and expectations. Having a good conference strategy will ensure you make the most of the sessions, workshops, and other activities at the event.

Our friends over at HubSpot have provided a sample list as reference. Below are some tips on how you can plan your conference experience with the aim to gain more knowledge while networking with fellow industry professionals.


We hope these tips will help you maximize your investment and come up with some great takeaways for your team. Don't miss your chance to register for our biggest event of the year. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive exclusive discounts. Hope to see you in Boston!


5 on 5 things to do in Boston

Company Blogs September 8, 2014 By Angela Wu Staff

Welcome to Boston

Liferay is excited to be in Boston this October for the Liferay Symposium North America. This year’s Back Bay venue captures the historic beauty of Bean Town as well as reflecting its modern cityscape

Boston à l'heure bleue by Manu_H is licensed under CC BY 2.0. © 2010, E. Huybrechts.

Even though you’re in town for business, there’s plenty of time for taking in the sights and sounds of Boston. Best of all, you don’t even need a car. If you’re staying at the Sheraton Boston (special Symposium rate until September 22), here’s a handy guide of things to do within walking distance and beyond.

Things to do near Sheraton Boston

local_attractions Copley Place Shopping Mall: 0.1 mile

local_attractions Prudential Tower Skywalk: 0.1 mile

local_attractions Boston Duck Tours: 0.3 mile

entertainment Boston Pops: 0.3 mile

local_attractions Frog Pond: 0.3 mile

museums Boston Public Library: 0.6 mile

entertainment House of Blues: 0.7 mile

local_attractions Downtown Crossing: 1.0 mile

entertainment Fenway Park: 1.0 mile

local_attractions Public Gardens/Swan Boats: 1.0 mile

 museums Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: 1.1 miles

 entertainment Theatre District: 1.2 miles

 museums Harvard University: 2.0 miles

local_attractions Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall: 3.0 miles

Wicked Fun in the City

Top 10 lists about things to do in Boston are plentiful enough. The historic city is packed with sights, attractions, architecture, nature, entertainment, and nightlife. Where do you go and what do you skip when you have just a day or night to see the city? Here's our take on five things (more or less) to do and see.

1. Wicked Cheap

Boston Common (1 mile): Beyond history, Boston is filled with a beautiful landscape. Enjoy a brisk walk in the Public Garden and watch the Swan Boats nearby. And just outside the Sheraton is the breathtaking Charles River Esplanade. If you’re up at night, star gaze for free at the Coit Observatory (1.3 miles). 

2. Wicked Eats

Zagat’s Best Bites: Whatever you’re in the mood for, Boston won’t disappoint when it comes to local dining (0.6 mile). In addition to the tasty treats we'll be having at our Sunday Boston Bites and Beer Welcome Reception, you can also enjoy happy hourflour powercocktailspubs, and some food truck grub to get your fill. Of course, you can’t forget the chowda. For outdoor fare, check out the SoWa Farmers Market (1.5 miles) on Sundays.

3. Wicked Fine (Arts)

Museum of Fine Arts (0.9 mile): With over 450,000 pieces of art, the MFA houses one of the best collections in the world. If you’re a Bank of America cardholder, get in for free during the first weekend of every month. Closer to Symposium, you’re just a stone’s throw away from art galleries (0.2 miles) on Newbury Street.

4. Wicked Historic

Freedom Trail (3.0 miles): The 2.5 mile walking path leads to 16 historical city attractions:  museums and meeting houses, churches, and burying grounds. The best part of the self-guided tour is that you can decide when and where to stop.

5. Wicked Weird

Offbeat Boston:  If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, Boston has its share of odd things to do not found anywhere else. While not quite odd, the Mapparium (0.2 mile) is sure to garner a few “awes” with its three-dimensional perspective of the world. If you’re getting weirded out by all of this, you may prefer just to learn about the odd ways of Boston.

The human skin book


Before You Get There

If there’s one thing that you’re not leaving home without, it’s your smartphone. Be sure to download the Liferay Events app to stay up to date at the symposium. And even for Boston, there’s an app for that. Check out the cool apps to know while in town. 

And speaking of Boston, don’t totally give yourself away as a tourist - take a few notes about Boston English!

We look forward to seeing you in Boston!

Liferay Symposium: Featured Speakers & the Future of Mobile

Company Blogs July 8, 2014 By Angela Wu Staff

We asked our featured speakers for their take and insight into where mobile is headed in design, user experience and enterprise management. Here's what they had to share.


NA-Symp-Email7-Icon-Speakers  A Roundtable Discussion on Where Mobile Is Going

Featured speakers at Liferay Symposium North America 2014


Mobile technology is reshaping the way we live and work by fueling our need to access information and connect with people and objects. Moreover, mobile is disrupting business sectors and creating a new platform for enterprise mobility. Touch-based infrastructures, wallet technologies, phablets, sensor-based applications, and responsive design will continue to be refined for the mobile market as users expect an immersive experience.

We asked our featured speakers for their take and insight into where mobile is headed in design, user experience, and enterprise management. Here's what they had to share.

How does developing mobile apps engage an audience?

James Falkner: Mobile devices from smartphones to wearables are treated more as a personal extension of ourselves rather than as a tool used to get work done. People are reaching for their phones in everyday situations, so creating apps that meet their immediate and long term needs is key to engaging them.  

Juan Fernàndez: The mobile apps extend the information experience to places never imagined before. We can now interact with users and users can access and share information wherever they are, whenever they need. The mobile experience is the final step for audience engagement.

juanf-quoteWhat do you think of wearable technology as a digital experience?

James: It’s nice to finally see wearable technology progress. We've had wristwatches for what—500 years? It makes more sense that wearable technology gets connected digitally because it is even more of an extension of yourself than the phone in your pocket. There are many applications that can make use of wearables which are not possible with physically disconnected devices, like healthcare apps that monitor your sugar levels, or pants that tell you to get back to the gym because they are getting stretched out a bit more than last week.

Juan:  It opens a really interesting set of possibilities never before imagined. Using standards, being modular, and focusing on service allows us to enter the market as a back-end service for wearable experiences. We are starting to see projects linking these new devices to Liferay to extend digital experiences even further.

What can cause user disenchantment or disengagement?

James: Intrusive apps that don't respect your privacy, don't respect platform norms (e.g., iOS vs. Android), unintuitive or tedious user experiences, and, of course, bugs.

Juan: Irrelevant information, outdated information, hard-to-search content, and a bad user experience usually lead to disengagement.

What can we look forward to with Mobile SDK? Any enhancements?

Juan: We plan to continue adding support to most common features native app developers need when dealing with Liferay Portal integrations. Features such as push notifications or offline and synchronization management of assets are on our list. We also plan to extend the scope of this project to include reusable visual components to make the mobile developers' lives easier by hiding complexity on accessing our services remotely.

Describe the perfect Mobile SDK user experience.

Juan: Personally, the perfect Mobile SDK experience would be a mobile developer designing a whole business app, from back-end services to user interface, just by reusing and connecting a set of Lego-like building blocks provided by Liferay. That way he would only need to worry about the business problem he's trying to solve: we'd take care of the rest.

jamesf-quoteWill building hybrid mobile apps be the wave of the future or should developers look to hybrid over native or mobile apps?

James: Hybrid mobile apps are no better or worse than other mobile solutions and approaches. Each has its drawbacks and advantages, so you have to decide which to use based on your specific requirements and resources. There are amazing apps made using each approach. The great thing is Liferay supports them all and makes it easy to build, regardless of your chosen development model!

What makes you passionate about your job or this industry?

James: Meeting and learning more about a diverse crowd of people from around the world and seeing the cool things that our community creates that Liferay never would have thought about.

Juan: Constant change, fast-paced evolution, contact with customers with a global impact, and creating tools to solve real life problems for people.


JUAN-HIDALGO-2 VITOR-FERNANDES-2 We tapped Vitor Fernandes and Juan Hildalgo from the Engineering Team for their ideas about mobile design. Vitor believes in a mobile first design approach that informs enhancing user experience. Juan draws from a breadth of design and interface experience in creating meaningful user interaction. 


What trends are we seeing in mobile design?

Vitor Fernandes: The ubiquity of mobile is apparent in our day-to-day lives, from the emergence of new smart devices like watches and glasses, to mPayment technologies like Google Wallet, Square, and Paypal Beacon. For the first time, mobile is influencing desktop-based interfaces, and content delivery is taking precedence. The level of complexity is also rising on matters of security with biometrics and face-scanning as password protection. Moreover, remote access to home and office from a mobile device is becoming commonplace. Motion interactive-graphics and animation are also popping up as a new layer of design, like Google’s Material Design OS.

Juan Hidalgo: Flat design is the new rule of simplicity in design as mobile leaders have adopted this and are turning away from the traditional skeumorphic design, which relies on the principles of physical objects. Flat design enhances user experience, refocuses the attention on your content, and uses a simple color scheme. Parallax scrolling and single page use are hot design trends, not just because they are easy to develop for a great experience, but they are also conceived to having a mobile first approach. Scrolling helps to create a way where users can navigate through information instead of through clicking. Parallax design provides depth and snippets of animation and emotion to create an immersive user experience. Single page web experiences help to remove the necessity of navigating between pages.

What are on our users' wish list?

Vitor: Our users are the best idea starters. Big on the wish list are responsive interactions or interfaces without lags, bugs, or glitches. They’re expecting automation to simplify tasks, personalization where they’re remembered, and customization to work smarter. Most of all, they wish for options to work, play, and share through a convergence of the technologies that they use to communicate and connect not just with people, but now with objects. The future of mobile is about bringing more beauty and meaning into each and every day.

Juan H.: Users want to have the same experience that they are feeling with other interfaces in different devices regardless of the connection point like the home, car, or office. The line between devices and experiences is becoming thinner. The important thing to remember is that if your product is not aligned with the feelings and the experience that the users want, you do not have a product. You only have an “interface,” which might be pretty to look at but without much utility for user experience.

We want to thank everyone who participated in our roundtable discussion on mobile. To learn more about how Liferay is adapting mobile technology for enterprise projects, please check out the hands-on workshops at the Liferay Symposium.



Attendees on a team of 3 or more will each receive $100 off the standard rate.


Lock in the Early Bird rate of $649 by 8/1.



Share what you know! July 11 is the last day to submit topic ideas.



5 Reasons You Don't Want to Miss the Liferay Symposium North America

Company Blogs June 5, 2014 By Angela Wu Staff

Not sure if you should attend the Liferay Symposium? Read this!


Hands-on Workshops & In-depth Technical SessionsEmail3-ONE
Learn directly from Liferay masterminds on such hot topics as content targeting, single page architecture, social, and responsive design. Further maximize your investment by attending a post-symposium training
Email3-TWOMeaningful Opportunities for Collaboration
Take advantage of Speed Consulting appointments with Liferay's senior consultants. Meet face-to-face with other Liferay users and enthusiasts.
Email3-THREEReal World Enterprise Client Case Studies
Gain insight into enterprise productivity, mobility, and web engagement for the future. Learn how Liferay is providing tangible business values and solutions to our key clients.
Email3-FOURAccess to a Community of Experts
Connect with our innovative sponsors and exhibitors face-to-face in a dedicated space, and learn more about their enterprise-ready solutions.
Email3-FIVEA Sunday Spectacular!
Kick off the first day with an exhilarating 5K run/walk along the Charles River Esplanade. Liferay will donate $100 to Solidarity and/or Living Water for every participant. Top off the night with some of Boston's finest bites & beers at the evening welcome reception. 

Justify Your Attendance

Download the toolkit 
to help present key 
takeaways before 
and after the event to 
your manager.

Bring the Team

Each registrant on a 
team of 3 or more will 
save $100 off the 
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NA-Symp-Email7-Icon-Speakers Have something thought-provoking to share?  Submit your paper topic by July 11! 


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