Why Migrating to Liferay DXP from HCL DX Makes Sense For Your Business
2 Min Read

Why Migrating to Liferay DXP from HCL DX Makes Sense For Your Business

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In late 2018, when IBM announced it would be selling a large portion of the company’s software portfolio, including WebSphere Portal, to India-based HCL, the move was met with shock by many in the community. A contemporaneous article in CRN cited an IBM partner when writing that “the news that IBM would be selling parts of its software business came as a complete surprise to IBM's channel partners” (Kovar).

Real Story Group Founder Tony Bryne, a long time industry observer and analyst, tried to make sense of the news, sharing his view that the products IBM was divesting from were “mostly legacy offerings, in long-term decline.” Tony speculated that HCL saw an opportunity to take ownership of legacy technology that was sticky due to its frequent heavy customization, enjoying the fruits of licensing revenue until the products’ eventual demise in a few years. He added that customers were right to be concerned—colorfully saying they had “good reason to feel a bit queasy”—and noting that “it's not clear that HCL actually knows how to execute effectively on this model.” Tony’s concern was that a service provider like HCL might not be a good custodian of a software portfolio (Byrne).

Signs of Trouble

Tony’s caution proved prescient. Writing in 2020, Vivek Agarwal, CTO of solution provider XTIVIA, noted that HCL had since rebranded WebSphere Portal as HCL DX and only released v9.5 in October 2019, over three years after IBM released WebSphere Portal v9.0 in 2016. In addition to the slow pace of releases, Vivek noted that “at least some of the WebSphere Portal customers have experienced an increase in annual support and maintenance fees.” Like Tony, Vivek cited concerns about whether a services company like HCL would be able to successfully manage a software portfolio, writing that “time will tell whether HCL can successfully make the transition” (Agarwal).

State of the Union

The situation has not improved in the past few years. In 2023, HCL announced they would no longer offer new customers perpetual license packages. Instead, HCL DX would be sold on a consumption-based subscription model anchored on user sessions. Existing customers were given until June 30, 2024 to renew under the previous perpetual license model, otherwise they too are forced to adopt the new pricing model (Farnand). This announcement was separate from HCL’s decision to institute a standard 15% increase in the cost of software renewals as of July 15, 2023 (HCLSoftware).

Why Liferay?

If you’re an HCL DX customer frustrated by price hikes and a slow pace of innovation you may be wondering if there’s an alternative. At Liferay, we believe Liferay DXP represents an attractive alternative to HCL DX.

Like HCL DX (formerly IBM WebSphere Portal), Liferay DXP is a portal heritage offering. Liferay DXP’s support for common portlet specifications, including Portlet 3.0, Spring Web Model-View-Controller (MVC), and JavaServer Faces (JSF), means customers with substantial investment in WebSphere Portal may find migrating to Liferay DXP is substantially easier than moving to any other offering. In addition, WebSphere Portal and Liferay DXP are both primarily written in Java, with similarities in programming and development approaches. This means IT teams migrating from HCL DX to Liferay DXP can continue to use many of the design approaches with which they’re already familiar (Agarwal).

For those unfamiliar with our product, Liferay DXP is a feature-rich, modern Digital Experience Platform. Liferay DXP includes CMS, DAM, personalization, commerce, and more, enabling leading organizations like Airbus, Jose Cuervo, and Petrobras to build engaging digital experiences for their audiences. Organizations like Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and National Government Services have already migrated from WebSphere Portal/HCL DX to Liferay.

Liferay DXP was developed entirely by Liferay, so the platform delivers a seamless, uniform experience. In addition, the open source nature of our product gives customers confidence that they know exactly what’s running in their organizations. Liferay DXP is offered via self-hosted, PaaS, and SaaS deployment options so we can meet customers wherever they are in their cloud journey.

Ready to learn more? Explore our platform or book a call with sales!

Originally published
May 14, 2024
 last updated
May 20, 2024
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