Liferay and Customer Experience

Company Blogs 2013年6月7日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

When I lead the eBusiness technology efforts at my former employer, Oracle and IBM assigned "Account Managers" to our business unit.  I would hear from these people (there were multiple over the course of a year because no one really stayed in that position for very long) about twice a year.  They would visit our team and primarily try to sell us on additional product add-ons, services, servers, etc.  Very rarely did they ever work with us to understand how we were using Oracle products or what we could be doing to derive more value out of our investments in PeopleSoft, Oracle RDBMS, JDeveloper, Websphere AS etc.  

A year and a half ago, we embarked on a journey to take a more proactive stance in ensuring our customers are successful with their Liferay Enterprise Edition and Social Office Enterprise Edition projects and began building our Customer Experience Management team.  Our Support team is nothing short of phenomenal and do a wonderful job of helping our customers when things break, but relying on Support is very reactive in nature.  

The role of a Customer Experience Manager is to work closely with our Enterprise Edition customers and understand the nuances of their projects.  By understaning things like project lifecycles, development team strengths and weaknesses, architectural constraints, the Customer Experience Manager can make recommendations on go-forward strategies for our customers.  They work to ensure that our customers are getting the most out of their Liferay investment and also make customers aware of upcoming product updates by doing periodic roadmap reviews.  If a critical patch is made available, the Customer Experience Manager gets on the phone and alerts their accounts. If a customer is experiencing issues that can only be solved via consulting, they make introductions to our channels or Liferay's Global Services team.

In short, their role is to ensure that our customers have a positive relationship with Liferay and are continually deriving value from their investment.  Being a different type of company, we don't envision every interaction as an opportunity to extract money from our customers.  It's a simple equation -- the more we invest in our customers' success and developing that relationship, the more successful we will be.  From a Sales perspective, the Customer Experience Manager is a strategic differentiator for Liferay vs. other vendors because, frankly, no one executes on this concept as well as we do.  Other vendors tie the measurement of "Account Manager" roles to revenue while we tie this concept to a positive customer experience.  The differences in philosophy are not subtle in how customers are impacted, and ultimately, we believe that relationships are more important than short-term revenue.

What does a Liferay Customer Experience Manager look like?  Some are former Liferay consultants.  Some are former Liferay business development people who got tired of the Sales life.  Some are fundamentally astounding people who have a passion for Liferay and understand that people are implementing Liferay projects and not simply corporations.  

To that end, I would like to introduce the newest member of our Customer Experience Management team, Sang Baek.  Sang used to lead business development for our Asia-Pacific region and is now responsible for assisting customers in our Western region.  At a very deep level, Sang understands what it takes for our customers to be successful with their Liferay projects and brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role with Liferay.  Please join me in welcoming Sang to the CEM team.

Moving Your Documents From Dropbox Using Liferay Sync

General Blogs 2013年5月23日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Most enterprises use Dropbox grudgingly.  It works well, but there is always a lingering doubt about having proprietary outside of your organization's control.  Additionally, it is virtually impossible to manage roles to the degree that enterprises need within Dropbox's sharing mechanism.  Essentially, Dropbox is a great tool, but it's not a portal.

Liferay Sync has been making major strides over the past couple of releases, and it is very easy to make the move from Dropbox, Box.net, etc.  All you need to do is copy and paste your Dropbox folder into your Liferay Sync-enabled folder.

 

Let Liferay Sync chug along, and once the files have uploaded, Voila! you have everything safely held in your Liferay Document and Media Gallery.

 

From there, you can take advantage of all of Liferay's Enterprise-grade features such as roles, permissioning of documents, workflow, metadata and custom content types -- all on your own infrastructure and managed by your IT team.

 

In my next post on Sync, I will show you how Sync Mobile makes it easy for you to keep on top of your documents, edit them and collaborate via an iPad.

If you would like a working demonstration of Liferay Sync and how it fits into the larger picture of Liferay and Liferay Social Office, please contact me in the comments or reach out to a member of our Sales team for a demonstration.

Liferay Hamilton Office is Taking Shape

Company Blogs 2013年5月1日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Over the past several years, our North American Sales and Customer Experience Management team has grown at a tremendous rate.  We have team members in New York, Illinois, California, Minnesota, Texas and Florida, but the majority of our team is based in the greater-Cincinnati area.  To that end, It has become increasingly important for us to have a central location to meet and work together.  

In October of 2012, we announced that Liferay has chosen to open its North American Sales Office in Hamilton, Ohio.   Liferay makes a point to heavily invest in the areas and communities in which we do business, and as time goes on, I will write a series of posts which will serve to introduce you to the many good things happening in Hamilton along with the different ways Liferay will be partnering with the community.

That's not what this post is about, though.  This post is to answer the "How's the office coming?" question I keep getting from the community, Liferay team, partners and customers.

It's going well!  The office is under construction, and we will be located on the second floor of the Robinson-Schwenn Building in the heart of downtown.  The Robinson-Schwenn Building was built in 1866 and has been everything from an opera house to a department store and now hosts an expansion of Miami University, a coffee shop, and a law library.  Be sure to visit Buildings of Note for some beautiful photos of the building.


(Photo from http://buildingsofnote.blogspot.com)

Opening an office is no small endeavor, and we have been blessed to work with Cindy and Michael Dingeldein from the Community Design Alliance.  They have created the architectural and design components of our project and have helped ensure that our new space will be nothing less than beautiful and functional (much more on that in a future post).

So, how is the construction coming?  Quite well, and we expect to be moving in by the last week of May.  

 


Our first Sales bootcamp in January.

Dinner with Hamilton City Leaders, Brandon Saurber and Jody Gunderson, at Ryan's Tavern -- an Irish pub conveniently located in the next building... smiley

Liferay's New York-based Senior Account Executive working out of the current Hamilton office -- my house.  Note that my dog, Nashville, will be joining us at the new office.

 

 

My office and shared office.

The large windows let in plenty of natural light.

Painting has begun.  Behind the blue wall will be the "Rumpus Room."

Door frames are getting ready to go in.

Conference rooms, offices and a large shared work area.

 

So, that is where things stand now.  The carpet will be going in this week, and we are planning an official grand opening celebration at the end of the month.  Stay tuned for more news, updates and photos.

If you'd like to learn more about Hamilton, check out the 2012 State of the City Address.  The Liferay announcement occurs at 31:50.

 

 

TechCrunch: "The enterprise software space is a giant, stinking mess."

Company Blogs 2012年11月21日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

In response to some of the recent happenings at HP with the purchase of Autonomy, TechCrunch has released its verdict that "The enterprise software space is a giant, stinking mess."  Frankly, I couldn't agree more.  

The old, sales-driven methodology of putting the vendor over the customer is going away now that the customer has more and better choices.  Reliance on a single vendor to handle everything from sales of licenses to the installation and ongoing maintenance of needlessly complex enterprise software is causing enterprises to not invite the IBMs and Oracles to the table.

Liferay's ongoing success in the enterprise space is a sign that our methodology works.  Customers are able to make the choices that benefit them.  During conversations with large shops, my team and I sometimes have to convince customers that we really are that easy to work with -- there are no hidden agendas or costs when they choose Liferay.  It's an interesting state of affairs convincing customers who have been abused by vendors that you are actually "one of the good guys."

We certify and support different application servers, databases and operating systems.  Customers should use what works for them and expand on their internal skillsets.  Our Global Services teams and network of partners are there to assist, but Liferay isn't so complex that customers absolutely must use them.  Liferay is about using the best of breed software, and with that as our mantra, we make it easy for customers to integrate with other applications while using Liferay as their framework.

I'm thankful that the tide is turning, but we still have a great deal of work to do.  We must continue to educate customers that there is a better way and that reliance on a single vendor stack isn't the "safest" way to ensure success.  More and more customers are coming to Liferay, and we're happy to be ambassadors for the new way of doing business in the enterprise software world.

The Cincinnati Film Festival

Company Blogs 2012年8月20日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

With our roots firmly planted in the values of open source, Liferay continually makes efforts to support ventures that embody the spirit of openness, creativity and independence.  Through vehicles such as Liferay Portal, Liferay Social Office and Liferay Sync, our developers and community allow millions of users to experience the benefits provided by this ideology.  

Over the past three years, Liferay has been quickly growing our southwestern Ohio presence, and we now have several employees working in the Greater Cincinnati area.  As we develop deeper roots here, it is important for us to support the causes that drive openness, creativity and independence.  To that end, I am happy to announce that Liferay has become a supporter of the 2012 Cincinnati Film Festival.

In its 3rd year, the Cincinnati Film Festival is  "bringing brave and beautiful films and their filmmakers from around the world to" Cincinnati.  The festival will take place September 6 - 13 in various venues around Cincinnati's amazingly diverse arts scene.  

As part of our support for the event, we will also be donating 2 tickets to a film screening or film workshop to a local student at Miami University to help them develop their inner filmmaker and help us improve the world by fostering openness, creativity and independence.

If you're in the Cincinnati area, please do what you can to support this very important and amazingly impressive showcase of talent from filmmakers around the world.

 

Liferay is Coming to Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill!

Company Blogs 2012年4月12日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Come to a Liferay Roadshow
I'm excited to announce that Liferay and Dunn Solutions will be presenting our first roadshow in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill!  As someone who dearly loves North Carolina, I couldn't be happier to be coming to town to present next Thursday, April 19.

During the 3 hour session, Dunn Solutions and I will cover all of the things that make Liferay 6.1 our best release yet.

I'll cover things like

  • Liferay Sync
  • Multi-Repository Integration
  • The revamped Document and Media Gallery
  • Business-Defined Content Types
  • Multiple Site Versions
  • User Customizable Sites
  • Dynamic Data Lists
  • Kaleo Forms and Workflow Designer
  • (and more...)

So, if you're in the Research Triangle, please register to join Dunn Solutions and me on Thursday, April 19 at the Marriott Research Triangle Park in Durham, NC from 8 - 11.

Location: 
Marriott Research Triangle Park, 4700 Guardian Drive, Durham, NC 27703
Date: April 19, 2012
Time: 8:00 - 11:00 EDT
Registration: https://www.liferay.com/events/liferay-roadshows

If you're not in the area, we have a ton of other Liferay roadshows on the schedule as well.  Simply go to our Roadshows page, find a roadshow near you and register.  Roadshows are free to attend and provide an invaluable opportunity to meet with Liferay, our partners, members of our community and people who are interested to learn more about what the leading open source portal is all about.

 

My Favorite Liferay 6.1 Features

Company Blogs 2012年1月10日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Historically, every release of Liferay has brought one or two new features that, to me, were complete game-changers.  Of course, there were many features and improvements with the previous releases, but some just stood above the rest in terms of their overall significance to the product, its direction and overall usability.

Liferay 5.0 brought the social components via the World of Liferay (now Social Networking) portlets.  At the time, I was a community member as opposed to a Liferay employee, and I remember how having these features would dramatically alter the way I would be able to serve my customers.

Liferay 6.0 introduced Kaleo workflow and, at the time of its release, I was in Sales and thrilled to no longer have to describe complex processes to customers who wanted to apply workflows for their business processes.

Each release has had a killer feature that got me excited and made my job easier.

Liferay 6.1 is a different animal, though.  There aren't one or two features that I love -- there are several game-changers which will change the way we use our favorite portal.  

  • Custom Content Types
  • Documents and Media Usability
  • Content Types and Workflow in Documents and Media Folders
  • Related Assets
  • Faceted Search
  • Integration with Multiple Repositories
  • User Data Lists
  • Advanced Publishing
  • Dynamic Site Templates
  • Mobile Device Rules
  • Kaleo Workflow Designer (EE only)


Some of these are EE-only, and some are available in CE.  All of them are significant.  As opposed to writing a single blog post about each, I'm going to write a series that goes into more detail on the features -- providing screenshots, some usage scenarios and why I feel this feature is important.

After you've had a chance to work with Liferay 6.1, let me know in the comments which features you feel are your game-changers.

Liferay at the Gartner Symposium ITXPO

Company Blogs 2011年10月13日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

I'm excited to announce that Liferay has been invited to speak at next week's Gartner Symposium ITXPO at the Walt Disney World Dolphin.  I will be making the trip to Orlando to deliver a presentation topic that is dear to all of our hearts -- How to Maximize Your Portal Value Without Breaking Your Budget.  As evidenced by Liferay's continued, year-over-year growth, we know a thing or two about delivering a cost-effective, yet powerful platform.  

This will be a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to companies who have been sinking too much of their budget into excessive license, maintenance and infrastructure costs.  These are the same companies who, sadly, think that portals are endlessly complex and resource-heavy.  While I won't be taking direct swipes at our competitors, I'm looking forward to seeing some nervous looks on their faces as I discuss how Liferay elegantly addresses these misconceptions.

If you or a co-worker are planning on attending the ITXPO, please stop by the Liferay booth and say hello.  Michael Wong, Jeff Handa and I will be there along with our partners TandemSeven.  Since we'll be in town, we would like to have a community meetup as well on Tuesday evening.  Time and location are TBD, but please add a comment below if you're in the Orlando area and/or going to the Gartner ITXPO.

 

Session Details
Tuesday, 18 October 2011

01:20 PM to 01:35 PM
Location:
Walt Disney World Dolphin - ITxpo Show Floor - Emerging Technology Pavilion Theater
1500 Epcot Resort Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

About Gartner Symposium ITxpo
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011 is the industry's largest and most important annual gathering of CIOs and senior IT leaders. It delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world's leading IT research and advisory organization. It is the industry's only event to deliver the insights, tools and relationships necessary to create, validate and execute transformative business technology strategies.


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Thank you, Steve

Company Blogs 2011年10月6日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement address delivered on June 12, 2005.

Fun, Games and Collaboration: Preparing for WCS

Company Blogs 2011年8月23日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

 

I'm working on my Liferay West Coast Symposium presentation which is meant to discuss how game culture can help build and enhance social collaboration for organizations.  
 
I use Foursquare, Google+, Facebook, Liferay, Spotify, Twitter, LinkedIn and Last.fm as the basis for my networks.  Each has pros and cons to their UX, but the overall sentiment is that networks need to be fun in order for people to become users and ultimately fans.  
 
Foursquare accomplishes this via badges and mayorships.  At whatever level and regardless of how meaningless, you are happy when you become a mayor.  Games should allow you to feel like you accomplished something.
 
Google+ and Twitter allow people to derive a sense of satisfaction when someone takes an action on their posts:  +1'ing something or re-tweeting.  It means you've provided value, and social acceptance is an integral component of the why people continue using the sites.  Additionally, conversations are started via Google+ (less so with Twitter, but it still happens), and there is a feeling of accomplishment when you can offer insight or stir something in others that causes a reaction.  Games should be challenging and satisfying.  
 
Facebook doesn't provide the same feedback loop, but its overarching concept is connection.  Seeing how your friends, families, co-workers, old classmates, whoever, interact and what they find interesting is why they have been successful.  It's fun to see that my nieces and nephews are going back to school from halfway across the country even though there isn't necessarily a game or competitive concept to these interactions.  Maybe games should just be fun for the sake of fun.
 
Last.fm and Spotify combine the notion of connection with that of discovery.  What do your friends (real or virtual) find interesting?  How do they impact your tastes and what is presented to you?  What have your listening habits been like for the past year, and what were your tastes like two years ago?  Based on all of this data, recommendations are presented.  Discovery is fun.
 
In an effort to make my presentation as relevant as possible, I'd be interested to know why you use certain social networks and what you get out of them.  Is there a reason you prefer Gowalla over Foursquare over Google Places over Yelp?  Do some introspection and ask yourself what is fun about Facebook, Twitter, whatever?  What is fun enough to keep you coming back to create and consume content?  What concepts would you like to see added to your company's intranet/extranet site to make you interact with it more?

Hypersonic, Mail Portlet and You

Company Blogs 2011年2月7日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

 While performing a demonstration last week, I added the Mail portlet into a user's private pages and set it up using my Gmail account. Everything went fine during the demo, but when I tried to startup my environment for another demo later in the week, I ran into an issue at startup that confounded me for a few days:

"14:59:00,225 WARN [BasicResourcePool:1841] com.mchange.v2.resourcepool.BasicResourcePool$AcquireTask@25a885c3 -- Acquisition Attempt Failed!!! Clearing pending acquires. While trying to acquire a needed new resource, we failed to succeed more than the maximum number of allowed acquisition attempts (30). Last acquisition attempt exception: "

Digging through my logs, I ran into this:
"java.sql.SQLException: error in script file line: 29613 java.io.IOException: org.hsqldb.HsqlException: Value too long"

So, I opened up my lportal.script file, went to line 29613 and saw a whole slew of database inserts such as:
"INSERT INTO MAIL_ACCOUNT"
"INSERT INTO MAIL_FOLDER"
"INSERT INTO MAIL_MESSAGE"

As Liferay was integrating my Gmail Inbox, the messages that were being inserted into the DB were too long for Hypersonic to handle. I simply deleted all of the "INSERT INTO MAIL*" lines because I didn't need to have this as part of my standard demo stack. 

Note that this isn't really a Liferay bug -- it's a limitation of using Hypersonic for your DB.  Of course, you should never use Hypersonic SQL in production, but only use it for demonstration / evaluation purposes.

Sesame Street is "On" It

Company Blogs 2010年10月11日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Our friends at Sesame Street continue to raise the bar when it comes to being culturally relevant for kids.  A few months ago, they released Google search parodies, and now, Grover parodies the Old Spice Guy.

Enjoy!

 

Liferay Roadshows Coming To A City Near You

Company Blogs 2010年9月14日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Over the next couple of weeks, Liferay and our partners are going to present a series of roadshows around the country.  With the recent release of Liferay 6 EE, we want to provide our customers a forum to learn about and collaborate on the latest advancements in portals, content and collaboration.  Key technical and business leaders from both Liferay and our partners will be attending and will be available to discuss questions specific to your web projects.

Liferay will lead a presentation on the latest advances in portal and web technologies along with a review of Liferay 6 EE, after which the hosting partner will provide an in-depth discussion on the technical and business benefits of Liferay Portal 6 EE with both product and implementation experts.

The atmosphere will be casual and conducive to networking, discussion and Q&A.

To get things started, Liferay and our partner, Dunn Solutions, will be hosting a roadshow this Friday in Chicago from 10:00 CDT to 1:00 CDT at the Willis Tower (it's still the Sear's tower to me).  

If you're not in the Chicago-land area, odds-are, we'll be nearby.  The full schedule coupled with dates, times, who is going to be presenting, etc. is below.  But, be sure to check out the Roadshow page for the latest updates and to register for an event near you.  If you're in New York, DC or Atlanta, I look forward to meeting you!

  

City Location Date Partner  Liferay Time
Chicago, IL The Metropolitan Club, Willis Tower / 233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicagao 9/17/10 Dunn Solutions Mike Han 10am - 1pm
Dallas, TX Kenichi Restaurant
2400 Victory Park Lane
Dallas, TX 75219
9/23/10 Cignex Glenn Saler 11:30am - 2:30pm
New York, NY Holiday Inn SoHo New York
138 Lafayette St.
New York, New York 10013
9/23/10 Cignex Josh Asbury 11am - 2pm
Denver, CO Omni Interlocken
Broomfield, CO
9/24/10 Cignex Glenn Saler 11am - 2pm
Palo Alto, CA Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel
4290 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
9/24/10 Cignex Paul Hinz 10am - 1pm
Washington, DC/
Reston, VA
1775 Wiehle Ave
4th Floor
Reston, VA 20190
9/24/10 Rivet Logic Josh Asbury 10am - 1pm
Seattle, WA Grand Hyatt
721 Pine Street,
Seattle, Washington, USA 98101
Tel: +1 206 774 1234    Fax: +1 206 774 6120
9/27/10 Cignex James Min 11:30am - 2:30pm
Detroit, MI Ann Arbor Brewing Company
116 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
9/29/10 Youngsoft Glenn Saler 11:30am - 2:30pm
Irvine, CA Crowne Plaza Irvine
17941 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614
9/30/10 Cignex Ed Chung 10am - 1pm
Pheonix, AZ Doubletree Guest Suites Phoenix
320 North 44th St.
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 85008-7698
1-602-225-0500
9/30/10 Unicon Paul Hinz 10am - 1pm
Atlanta, GA Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Perimeter Center
6250 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd
Atlanta, Georgia 30328 USA
10/4/10 S&K Josh Asbury 10am - 1pm
Austin, TX TBD 10/5/10 Xtivia Glenn Saler 10am - 1pm
Chicago, IL Hilton Chicago
720 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
10/14/10 Cignex Mike Han 11:30am - 2:30pm

RFPs, Sales and Building Relationships

Company Blogs 2010年6月30日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

 I'm a fervent reader of business books and blogs.  Seth Godin is one of my favorites, and in a recent post entitled "A Sad Truth About Most Traditional B2B Marketing", his wisdom shines through.  Seth highlights how many organizations, in an effort to save money and gain efficiency, become dispassionate about the relationships they build along the way.  RFPs are his main target.

RFPs dehumanize the sales process.  From the buyer's perspective, they can get a great deal of information from a number of vendors quickly.  However, I think that those efficiencies come at the cost of understanding who you will be working with once a product is selected.  How does the sales organization treat you?  Are they responsive to your needs?  Do you feel valued as a prospective customer, and do you think that feeling will continue once you become a customer?  

These questions are, arguably, more important than price (Liferay always wins on price, by the way).  When you buy anything of value (a cell phone, a car, an enterprise portal), you're making an investment in a relationship.  
My car is great, but how does the dealer treat me when it needs service?  My cell phone is amazing, but what is the reliability of the network that I'll be using for the next 2 years.  My portal rocks, but will the company that makes it support me when things go bad while continuing to innovate in ways that I can't imagine?

RFPs tend to be about the short-term "here are my requirements -- can you fulfill them and what will it cost?"  They don't speak to the longer term relationships that are built.  

From my perspective, the best relationships are built early in the sales cycle.  When I demonstrate Liferay, I do my best to understand what people need to accomplish and answer questions to the best of my ability.  Sometimes my style takes people aback because they are used to being "sold to."  I don't do that.  I try to help them envision how Liferay can help them reach their goals.  I tell them what works out-of-the-box, what doesn't and potential gotchas that they might encounter.  

Once people become our customers, they have a comfort level with the product and company in which they have invested.  They know who to call or email when they need something.  They know that we will do our best to keep them happy and to realize their goals.  They know that relationships are just as important as bottom line for Liferay.  They know that we value integrity in our interactions above all else.  They know that we're human.

To me, those factors are some of the most important considerations when buying a product.  And one of these days, I would like to see this question on an RFP:
"Please detail your company's core values as they pertain to integrity, vision, personnel development and community involvement."

 

Sesame Street Releases Google Search Parodies

Company Blogs 2010年4月21日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Our friends at Sesame Street continue to reach out to children in new and innovative ways.  Last year, they won an Emmy Award for their use of new media, and they have recently introduced a couple of brilliant videos that parody the famous Google Search advertisement that appeared during this year's Super Bowl.

 

 

 

It's really great to see Sesame Street changing, expanding and growing as they maintain their relevance to today's children (and children like me who watched them 30 years ago on PBS).  

And of course, SesameStreet.org is running on Liferay.

From TechCrunch: A Re-Birth for Enterprise Software?

Company Blogs 2010年4月6日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

 TechCrunch published an interview with Mark Andreessen about how enterprise software is on the cusp of a renaissance.  Silicon Valley is cheering.  Jobs will be created.  Innovations will be the norm as enterprises look to make changes to their internal offerings.

As someone who has been working for and with a company whose software was created with an Enterprise (capital E) mindset, my response is "what took so long?".  When Brian Chan wrote the first line of code for Liferay 10 years ago, the fabric of Enterprise Software was changed forever.  With the advent of Liferay, companies had a robust, feature-rich, scalable option to the expensive, expansive and limiting offerings by other vendors.  Because of our open source model, the community has helped Liferay to grow and mature organically.  While other vendors have crippled innovation on other platforms, Liferay has encouraged and fostered it.  

So, to all of the upstarts who will be entering into the Enterprise market, I recommend that you follow Liferay's philosophy.  Be open.  Foster a community.  Innovate ruthlessly.  Play well with others.  Create value while not being cheap.  

Enterprises are waiting for the next innovations.  Software creators need to make something worth buying.  Software vendors need to have a business model that makes buying from the traditional players less risky.  

Marc Benioff on The Social Enterprise

Company Blogs 2010年2月25日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Mark Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, wrote a guest post for TechCrunch entitled "The Facebook Imperative." In it, Mark discusses the needs for increased collaboration for the enterprise and also notes how a the more traditional enterprise software (Lotus Notes, Sharepoint, etc.) hasn't really changed since it's inception.  Sure there are add-ons and "socially" things you can do with them that you couldn't 10 - 15 years ago, but nevertheless, proprietary enterprise applications are fundamentally unchanged.

That's one of the things that excites me so much about our upcoming Social Office release.  I see where we are headed with it, and I am confident in saying that Social Office is, indeed, a game changer.  This application is being designed to facilitate the natural social interactions and need to collaborate that knowledge workers have.  It is done with an intuitive interface that is easy to use, understand and master.  From a sales perspective, I know that Social Office is scratching an itch felt by companies worldwide because the pre-release interest has been massive.

Say what you will about Mark Benioff, but his vision for software as a service fundamentally changed the ecosystem of corporate acceptance of how software can be delivered.  I think the vision he presents in "The Facebook Imperative" is a worthwhile read and something that businesses should react to.

 

Twistori - Love, Hate, Think, Believe, Feel, Wish

Company Blogs 2010年2月18日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

I believe in the power of technology to bring people together.  Although our society lives in more physical isolation than 20 years ago, I think that we are seeing people remove those barriers through self-expression online via Twitter, Facebook, Buzz, Yelp, and on and on.  It is powerful to watch people express themselves. Social media breaks down barriors by allowing the free flow of conversation and personal expression.

Twistori let's you see, in real time, Tweets from people who use the words love, hate, think, believe, feel or wish in their posts. It's powerful stuff. As I type this, I have Twistori open in another window, and here are a few of the thoughts from people who I will never meet but nonetheless have the opportunity to impact millions:

  • if i has to choose between loving you, and breathing. I would use my last breath to say i love YOU
  • The more i think about the #ipad product category, the more it makes sense to me. I must be in Job's reality distortion field
  • I believe that music is connected by human passions and curiosities rather than by marketing strategies. Elvis Costello
  • i think I'm done blaming people for broken systems.
  • i wish life was easy. anyone have that staples button handy?

I'm not sure if we are approaching the visual representation of Carl Jung's collective consciousness here, but we're getting close. Neat stuff.

Google Buzz, Consolidation and The Future of Portals

Company Blogs 2010年2月11日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

 A couple of weeks ago, Paul Hinz, Liferay's Chief Marketing Officer, asked me for my thoughts about what the future of portals holds.  I provided a long, drawn-out response which, when boiled down to its essence, comes back to consolidation.  

Consolidation of the information that employees and users needs in a single online experience.  
Consolidation of data from disparate systems into an easy-to-digest format.
Consolidation of what is important from all of the noise that is online.

This week, Google Buzz has been all over the news, and from my preliminary usage of it, Google has done an excellent job at consolidating the information that I want/need into a stream of information that is easy to digest.  From my Google Reader, I can share information with my contacts.  I can see what my contacts find interesting and comment, interact or ignore.  Google Buzz intelligently links all of the disparate Google systems into a unified whole.  If I post photos into Picasa, they appear in my Buzz stream.  If I post a new blog entry on Liferay.com, it appears in my Buzz stream.  If one of my colleagues posts a buzz item, I can chat with him inline about the topic.  

There is a ton of stuff going on here, and Google is seamlessly connecting their systems into a consolidated whole.  Reader, Picasa, Gmail, Google Talk...all tied together in an intelligent and easy-to-use fashion.

Naysayers of Buzz have stated that this is a me-too offering because Twitter and Facebook are doing the same thing.  They're not.  Entire ecosystems have been built around filling in the blanks that Twitter has left behind (Twitterfeed, Twitpic, Tweekly.fm, Liferay's own TweetRay), and while they are nice, Google has built on the experience and shortcomings of Twitter and has launched something that speaks to the real needs that people have: consolidation of information into something that is useful, usable and ultimately, makes life a little bit better.

Will Buzz remove the need for Facebook and Twitter?  Probably not.  But, I do think that these two applications will have to react to what Google has created....a portal.

Accenture Open Source Conference 2009

Company Blogs 2009年11月24日 按 Joshua Asbury Staff

Accenture Open Source Conference Logo

One November 17, 2009, I had the great honor of presenting at the 2nd annual Accenture Open Source Conference in Amsterdam.  Accenture has made great strides over the past couple of years in spreading the gospel of open source software, and with the introduction of the Accenture Innovation Center for Open Source, I think that we are on the cusp of an even greater rate of adoption/acceptance of open source software in the enterprise.

  My presentation's ambitious goal was to cover three topics:

  1. Introduce Liferay as an open source portal and as a company
  2. Discuss a case study of HanseMerkur
  3. Highlight the pros and cons of working with commercial open source products whose business models are either based on professional service or subscription/support.

Item 1 turned out to be pretty easy.  I was impressed at how many people at the conference already knew about Liferay.  We were mentioned during presentations by Sun and Accenture, and I had the opportunity to speak with several service integrators who are working on projects in Europe that use Liferay.  The highlight for me occurred during a presentation by Accenture where they presented an impressive case study on how they used Liferay coupled with Alfresco for T-Mobile Czech Republic (http://www.t-mobile.cz).

Item 2 was fun to talk about as well.  HanseMerkur has been a great supporter of Liferay, and it is always great to talk about success stories.  I delved into their original decision-making process for choosing Liferay back in the 4.2 days, spoke to their architecture and how their needs have changed over time.  Thankfully, Liferay has matured, and many of the process workarounds that HanseMerkur needed to employ are being solved by things such as Staging and Remote Publishing.  

Finally, I spoke to the two predominate business models for commercial open source -- Professional Services-based and Support and Subscription-based.  With the introduction of Liferay's Enterprise Edition in 2008, Liferay presented a great opportunity for discussing the benefits of both models.  The audience, which consisted of business leaders as well as developers, were keenly interested in how our Enterprise Edition compares to our Community Edition.  There are cases to be made for both models, and frankly, I'm a big proponent of the way that Liferay does business.

So, I'd like to thank Accenture for inviting Liferay to present at their conference, and I certainly hope that we get invited back next year.  I always love spending time in Europe, and being surrounded by people who are engaged in open source always leaves me feeling empowered.

With all of that said, what's a trip report without some photos?

Amsterdam is beautiful at night -- particularly during the holiday season!

 

Being from Ohio, I'm used to wide-open spaces.  The city of Amsterdam doesn't offer much of that.


The conference was held at the Amsterdam AJAX arena -- home to Amsterdam's AJAX football club.

The AJAX Arena has an amazing sliding roof and is magnificent.

 

Accenture put on a great show with great presentations, a wonderful vendor showcase and spectacular Dutch food!

After the end of a long day, I hopped the train back to Amsterdam Central Station for one last night in Amsterdam.

Where I spent time at my new favorite bar, Gollem.  They serve a ridiculous number of beers -- most of which I have never heard of.  It has a cozy, authentically Dutch atmosphere, and is a must for anyone who visits Amsterdam.

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