In a digital era in which the ability to provide superior customer experiences has become a competitive differentiator, portals and the things they’re really good at--personalizing experiences, drawing information from many sources across an enterprise, integrating existing systems – have gained new relevance. Portal technology has emerged as an effective way for businesses to take advantage of new ways of doing business and capturing the often slippery attention of today’s digitally savvy, self-educating customers.
Last year, Liferay took our flagship portal technology and the best parts of our portfolio and introduced Liferay Digital Experience Platform (DXP). The move was both a response to changing market demands and opportunities in the new digital landscape as well as a much-needed step to move our identity closer to the reality of what the Liferay platform had become for today’s businesses. Liferay had not been “just a portal” for quite some time, but rather a platform for creating and managing differentiated user experiences across channels, devices and types of users (e.g., customers, partners, employees).
A few months later, the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals published with what seemed to be news of an official market phenomenon – portals were becoming digital experience platforms. The authors write: “The primary catalyst for change in the horizontal portal market is the response to digital business transformation: the evolution of traditional portal into the digital experience platform.” The report predicts that portals will be more comprehensive in what they’re able to do for businesses than in the past due to the demands of digital transformation, and this will lead to a growth rate increase in portal and digital engagement tech by about 5 percent over the next five years.
With these factors in play, the MQ evaluated and positioned 16 vendors, which included largely a mix of CMS- and portal-heritage companies. For the seventh year in a row, Liferay is positioned as a Leader in the report, which the analysts determine through measurements on our completeness of vision and ability to execute. Other Leaders include IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP. Liferay has had a long history of inclusion in the MQ for Horizontal Portals, first entering in 2008 as a Visionary (bottom, right of the quadrant). Since then, we’ve been able to surpass all vendors over the years in achieving the highest and furthest position in the quadrant, except IBM.
The following table of the 16 vendors included in the Magic Quadrant by their software primary origins underscores the blurring in distinction between traditional software categories as vendors expand their products’ capabilities to answer the needs of digital business. Portals of today are no longer just a portal (an aggregator of personalized content, data and processes through a single point of access) and a CMS is no longer just a CMS. Liferay, for example, offers a platform that is flexible, based on modern architecture, serves the needs of business and IT, and supports continuous, omnichannel experiences across mobile, web and smart devices. This is all in the name of equipping digital businesses with a single platform to glue together digital experiences across the enterprise.
|Portal Heritage||CMS Heritage||CRM Heritage||ERP Heritage|
|Backbase CXP||Adobe Experience Manager||Salesforce Community Cloud||SAP|
|IBM WebSphere||Hippo CMS|
As portals gain new importance in today’s digital environment, sometimes in the form of DXPs, digital technologies and changing customer expectations are leading to fresh applications of long-standing portal platform strengths. Liferay has excelled in tying together multiple systems, such as a CRM or ERP, through back-end integration, and for today’s digital businesses, this integration is crucial to connect systems and the people using them to share customer data and work as one connected business to serve customers. As a flexible, modern development platform, Liferay DXP prepares businesses to take quick advantage of new digital opportunities born everyday and emerging in the not too distant future. And the Liferay platform’s strength in building personalized sites for customer self service and onboarding is an opportunity for digital businesses to create a seamless customer experience from anonymous user (public websites) to registered customer (customer self-service portal, customer onboarding site) to lifelong fan.
As a longtime leader in portal technology, and now in applying that technology for the benefit of digital businesses, we recommend companies planning and undergoing digital transformation to take a serious look at including a modern, portal-based platform such as Liferay DXP in their technology stacks to tie together digital experiences across their enterprises.