Takeaways from intra.NET Reloaded Boston
Modern organizations are increasingly seeing the value of trading in their notoriously outdated and static intranets for social and collaborative digital workplaces, but the opportunity to greater facilitate employee engagement still exists. At the recent intra.NET Reloaded Boston event, attendees were asked to consider, “What is the single most important thing for employee engagement?”
Three themes stood out among the 80+ answers collected, reflecting industry challenges and moreover the opportunities to facilitate greater employee engagement ultimately leading to a successful intranet.
“Of, by, for the people.” While a reference to the Gettysburg Address may seem a little extreme, it gives you an idea of how passionate the attendees are about “liberating” the traditional intranet and advancing it as a modern tool for employee engagement.
Whether creating a champion or rebel, empowering employees to become agents of change starts with:
Sharing knowledge by putting social tools in the hands of your employees
Allowing employees to use devices of their choosing
Creating emotion and a sense of belonging to promote culture
UX as the Key to User Adoption
The value of a productive and engaging intranet depends on user adoption, but is improving the user experience (UX) the answer? Some say yes.
L'Oréal proclaims to have devoted its energy and its competencies solely to one business: beauty. As Cara Kamenev of L'Oréal (@carakamenev) eloquently states, ”Every piece of content needs to be branded and beautiful.” When the UX reflects the culture of the organization, the digital experience becomes an approachable extension of the community that will drive adoption.
Content that Matters
“Clean out the ROT (Redundant, Outdated, Trivial) [content],” says Marcia Robinson (@MarciaRnyc) of Mercer. The cycle of improving productivity begins with making space for contextualized content that will actually help people make better decisions.
Employee Empowerment, UX as the Key to User Adoption, and Content that Matters sum up the inspired ideas resounding over the roundtable and three opportunities for employee engagement. Do you agree? Join the conversation and leave me a comment!
For more information on how to modernize your employee engagement with Liferay, check out: www.liferay.com/solutions/intranetsShannon Chang 2015-04-24T16:00:28Z
Portlets are components which create a portal application. They can function without any knowledge of other portlets, or can be configured to be dependent of one another in many ways. You can define events which portlets fire and listen to. You can query the location of another portlet and link to it from your portlet, or even call the service interface the other portlet is offering. One interesting idea is to embed one portlet inside another. Liferay offers a simple tag to do that.
Why would you want to do something like this, you might ask? There are many ways to create robust portlet applications. However, one aspect of good software engineering is the ability to reuse your components without replicating their code. Embedding existing portlets inside your portlet application accomplishes just that, as you don’t have to duplicate any existing code to be able to use it in another portlet.
A recent use-case at Ambientia includes a project where we had created some very basic linking and form sending capability to our application using web content articles to generate forms and including them in layouts where the functionality was needed. At some point we needed to embed the contents of said articles inside a portlet. This was no big deal, as Liferay offers the tools to do just that. However, over time the requirements changed and became more complex, and we noticed that the original solution using web contents did not work as it was supposed to. Whenever we were releasing a new version which changed the way the forms worked, we had to, in addition to updating the applications, remember to update the web contents in every environment we had. And at that point there were a few of them already. It was becoming quite time-consuming, error-prone and tedious job to do.
We decided it was the time to change our approach and export the web content based feature to a custom portlet. At this point the functionality itself was still easily replicated. We had to, however, figure a way to embed this newly created portlet inside another, which previously had embedded the contents of the article defined (it actually applied some dynamic logic to get the article to display). Luckily Liferay offers the liferay-portlet:runtime tag to use in embedding the portlet on custom portlet code.Embed your portlet using the liferay-portlet:runtime tag
The tag itself is pretty simple, offering you just three parameters to configure the display. These parameters include the fully qualified name of the portlet to include, the query string parameter to pass information to the embedded portlet, and finally default portlet preferences to configure the portlet to include. The parameters offer you some flexibility to embed portlets in different ways depending on some other criteria you might have.Now that the functionality was inside a portlet, we could dynamically add the portlet in any page we needed. We could also embed it in certain layout templates to make it in every single page using that layout, or include them in a theme to make it appear on every page of the application. And because of the tag library, we could easily use it within our custom portlet as well. And furthermore, we could apply some custom logic to decide if we even should include the portlet or not. In our case it meant checking some properties over the web service we had created which provided the data to the said view. Custom portlet used inside another portlet
All in all it was very straightforward to embed portlets inside another, definitely a technique which can and should be considered as a viable option if something similar is needed. I’m interested to hear if someone else has used this functionality, what was your use-case?Lauri Hiltunen 2015-04-24T05:56:20Z
If you've attended any Liferay Symposium, Solutions Forum, or Developer Conference in the last few years you've undoubtedly seen the companion mobile app that attendees can use to see up-to-date agendas, speaker info, session data, and a bunch of other features that enhance the attendee experience.
I'm happy to announce that the source code to this app (and its two server-side components here and here) is now available at GitHub and is waiting for you to check out (and developers to contribute!). The app is an example that showcases the real-world use of Liferay as a mobile data provider to a rich native app experience. It has been used at many of our events with thousands of attendees, speakers, sponsors, sessions, and more. Check out its documentation for details on how it works and how you as a mobile developer can also use it.
It takes advantage of several mobile features of the Liferay Platform, and there are many more for you to check out regardless of your mobile strategy (mobile developers and strategists won't want to miss next week's Developing Awesome Android Applications with Liferay Screens webcast!).
This app is not officially supported by Liferay, there is no official "release" and there is no one you can call to complain :) But you can contribute fixes, translations, or improvements! See the README for details.Kudos This project began as a re-purposed version of an app developed and demoed at WCS 2011 by LEVEL Studios (now Rosetta). The app was an early pioneering example of using Liferay to serve rich content to a mobile platform. Rosetta graciously agreed to donate the base app to Liferay and since then we have been adding new features in support of Liferay's worldwide events. We wish to thank LEVEL Studios and Rosetta for their donation and commitment to the Liferay open source community! James Falkner 2015-04-23T16:38:34Z
Liferay LDAP Configuration Manual
Goto LDAP settings from Control Panel->Portal Settings. Under Configuration, click Authentication->LDAP.
To enable LDAP, check "Enable", simple enough.
Under Import/Export, check "Import Enabled". When checked, Liferay will periodically synchronize with LDAP. The interval Liferay does this can be changed in your portal-ext.properties.
"Import on Startup Enabled" should be self-explanatory. Check it.
We'll leave "Export Enabled" unchecked. As we are not going to export our data to Directory Server as of now.
Now then, click "Add" to add your LDAP Server.
Type in the name of your LDAP Server at the top. We will notice that there is a radio button list of default choices (Optional).
Now create Connection with LDAP by filling up following values
A) Base Provider URL: The LDAP Base Provider URL format is ldap: //host: port.
For example ldap://10.0.0.116:389
B) Base DN: The Base DN specifies the initial search context for users and is
optional. For example dc=ktree,dc=org where dc is domain component of the
C) Principal: It is User Principal Name. These are generally in the format of
<sAMAccountName>@<UPN Suffix>. Example cn=Manager,dc=ktree,dc=org
d) Credentials: Fill up the correct credential for LDAP Server to which Liferay is
going to connect with.
NOTE: CHECK THE CONNECTION If all are correct Liferay will prompt a message "Liferay has successfully connected to the LDAP server.”
Now fill up the USER Fields
Authentication Search Filter : Enter the search filter that will be used to test the validity of a user. The tokens @company_id@, @email_address@, @screen_name@, and @user_id@ are replaced at runtime with the correct values.
For example : (mail=@screen_name@).
Import Search Filter : Used for checking filter while importing data on LDAP.
If we don't want to apply import search filter when we import user then simple fill this it is as (objectClass=person).
Now fill up the following attribute in order to import data on LDAP
Screen Name : cn (common name or canonical name)
Password : usePassword (users password)
Email Address : mail
Full Name : cn (ldap-full-name-attribute-help)
First Name : cn (ldap-full-name-attribute-help)
Middle Name : (leave it)
Last Name : sn (sir name)
Job Title : (leave it)
Portrait : (leave it)
Group : ou (organization unit)
UUID : uidNumber / uid (universal id)
Note: Click Check LDAP Users button. If everything is fine it will pop a list of users
Leave the other fields as it is and click save button in order to use this LDAP configuration.
Manual to support preview of different file format
Install OpenOffice in local system to work with LifeRay in order to display the preview of different types of file. LifeRay will interact with OpenOffice to convert
Current file format into pdf format as LifeRay internally supports PDFBox.
Run the following command to start OpenOffice:
soffice -headless -accept="socket,host=127.0.0.1,port=8100;urp;"
Open portal-ext.properties file and add following line at the end:
Run LifeRay server through eclipse IDE and goto Control Panel of LifeRay.
Server -> Server Administration ->Open External Service Tab -> Enable open office integration -> Tick on Enables check in button -> saveNeha Goyal 2015-04-23T14:26:23Z
According to JSR-168: Portlets are web components -like Servlets- specifically designed to be aggregated in the context of a composite page. Usually, many Portlets are invoked to in the single request of a Portal page. Each Portlet produces a fragment of markup that it s combined with the markup of other Portlets, all within the Portal page markup.
In other words, a portlet is an mini-application that provides some content that forms part of a portal page. These portlets are handled by portlet container.
A portal container:
- executes portlets,
- manages lifecylce of portles,
- provides them a runtime enviroment to portlets.
In order to execute and test the portlet container, we need a driver: the portal.
Requests from users are recieved by portal then this is directed to portlet container and these requests are executed on portlets. And portal (not portlet container) is responsible for bringing together all the content produced by portlets and present them to clients. So a portal is a web application (which can be deployed a servlet container like tomcat) which brings together contents from different portles and the communication between portal and portlets are achieved by portlet containers.
A portal does not only built a portal page from portlets but also provides:
- LDAP integration
- CMS integration
- Advanced security configuration
- Single Sign On (SSO)
- Customizable look and feel
- Theming engine
- Bridging frameworks for hosting portlets built using different technologies,
- Services for messaging
- Shared data, etc.
Although a portal and a portlet container are different units, they can be built together as a single component.
Courtesy:http://blog.yamanyar.com/2009/04/difference-between-portal-portlet-and.htmlNeha Goyal 2015-04-23T14:02:27Z
Recently, some customers met an issue that after installing sp9 or any conponent that contains LPE-10066 ( LPS-40597), web contents won't show to guest or site member.
The reproduction steps:
1. Setting "journal.article.view.permission.check.enabled=true" in portal-ext.properties. Start a clean 6210-sp7 bundle and drag a web content portlet to page, add one web content. Visit site with guest, the web content shows.
2. Setting "journal.article.view.permission.check.enabled=true" in portal-ext.properties. Start another 6210-sp9 bundle, connecting with the same database. Visit site with guest, there's no web content.
The root cause is this commit https://github.com/shinnlok/liferay-portal/commit/896de0dc6a21b19ff1bcc9223677ffc6013a1274. For journal.xml file, they add view permission to guest and site member role. And remove view permission under <guest-unsupported> tag. We can find the differences between the screenshots.
But journal.xml file only works when init the first web content in a site. So this file won't work in customer's old site. That's the reason.
Besides, the permission check mechanism is changed.
Before LPS-40597, portal would check if guest (or site member) Doesn't have view permission, if he doesn't have, he won't see web content; if undefined, he will see web content.
After LPS-40597, portal would check if guest (or site member) Do have view permission, if he do have, he will see web content; if undefined, he won't see web content.
In sp7, there's no view setting under "Resource Permissions".
In sp9, there's view permission setting under "Resource Permissions". We can see the view permission is unchecked. So with new permission checking mechanism, guest or site member doesn't have view resource permission, so he can't view web contents, even though we set each web content is viewable by guest, there's no use.
The solution is setting this view permission to guest and site member. The issue we talk about only happens in the site created before sp9, new site create after installing sp9 will work fine, because journal.xml file works later.
I think this can make the issue clear.
Communities are essential to shaping our identities. They bring people together through a common activity or belief and provide us a context in which we are able to interpret ourselves and one another.
Take a sporting event, for example. Two strangers sitting next to each other can be wearing the same blue jerseys and rooting for the same team to win. Hugging, shouting, high fiving each other—by the end of the game they have practically become best friends. Removed from that shared experience, it is very likely they'd pass each other in the subway.
It is no different in the realm of business. For companies to be successful, they must be able to form communities that are committed to their brand, customers who enjoy the product or experience to the point of becoming willing evangelists within their circles. Featured below are 8 tips on how to get started on building a virtual presence for your organization that will gain loyal followers at the next level.
1. Build a strong presence on forums
Message boards allow members to go deeper on certain topics related to your products and your culture while providing answers when they’re available (which cuts down on your need for documentation). Forums can also promote a spirit of collaboration which could spark innovation and creativity leading to new ideas and projects! (Good example)
2. Hire a community manager (who doesn't manage)
The principle and logic behind this tip is linked to a blog post that inspired James Falkner, our own Liferay Community Manager. The post argues that since the manager title tends to promote a "hierarchy and control which is unnatural in communities," organizations should look towards hiring someone who can see to its cultivation and growth without necessarily setting up a structure that impedes participation amongst the members.
3. Host regular fun activities for members
It's a win-win, really. The more events, activities and opportunities you provide for your members to enjoy themselves, the more delighted they will be in their interactions with your company. Hoorah!
4. Use social media to interact with members
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest—these are not only platforms for you to broadcast or promote your brand to your followers, but it is also a channel for you to listen and develop deeper relationships with them.
5. Recognize top contributors
The members who are showing the most interaction and loyalty should be rewarded with prizes, acknowledgment, and perhaps an even greater role within the community. Elements of gamification could be implemented here if you want to ramp up the levels of competition.
6. Always respond to feedback
It's one thing to say that you're open to feedback, but it's another to create action items in response. Your response to feedback will substantiate and encourage future contributions from other members.
7. Set goals, iterate and continually measure to improve UX
Most things should live or die according to the data. Indeed, there is a truth behind the trend; you need to set SMART and objective goals that will allow you to determine what ideas are actually working, or where you need to stop the bleeding and turn it around.
8. Celebrate milestones together
With all the long sleepless nights and crazy deadlines that come with your work, it’s only fitting to enjoy the fruits of your labor whenever possible. Invite your community to celebrate all the achievements that you have been able to accomplish together!These tips are by no means comprehensive, but they will hopefully point you in the right direction. Overall, the journey to building a strong online presence involves team members who can serve as a bridge between the company and the customer, setting up environments in which strangers can become friends, engage with your company and feel comfortable.
What other helpful tips do you have in your experience with online communities? We would love to hear more—please comment below!Like to learn more about Liferay's community? Check out dev.liferay.com Looking for a platform to build your community? Check out the features of Liferay Portal *****
Liferay: Nerd On The Street is a blog devoted to sharing new ideas about business and technology. To continue the discussion, post your thoughtful insights below.Martin Yan 2015-04-22T17:29:53Z
The intuitive answer is zero, and it is right in most situations. Yet, in regions under the America/Sao_Paulo time zone, daylight saving time will start at October 18, 2015 at 0:00, so all clocks will advance to 1 AM once they pass through 11:59:59 PM. In other words, in half of Brazil, October 18, 2015 has no midnight. What the line above means, then?
If you test it with Google Chrome, hour will be 1. The browser will somehow assume that you need the first millisecond of the day:
At first I thought it was not correct but now it makes sense to me. In fact, I would never think about it anyway if other browsers followed this behavior. Yet, in Firefox we get a different result:
As a corollary, the date above does not yield October 2015, 18 at all:
While not perfect, this is not an absurd behavior neither. SpiderMonkey considers new Date(2015, 9, 18, 0) as the moment that comens one hour before October 18 at 1 AM. However, this difference of behavior is breaking our tests and causing some bugs (e.g. AUI-1893).
To solve them, we check whether the date's day of month is the expected one; if no, we calculate the DST shift and manually add it to the expected values. It is not elegant, but works. After all, it is rarely easy to deal with time zones, daylight saving time and browser exceptions; handling all of them at once will hardly be succinct.
Since this issue will probably not affect a sizeable number of users, I have no hope to see it solved, but now we know the problem. Once we glimpse the night misteries, we know that strange bug may be caused by the midnightless midnight
 This makes sense IMHO because the ECMAScript Language Specification requires the Date constructor to separately build the amount of days in the date and the amount of milliseconds in the day (cf. step 9 at section 22.214.171.124 from ECMA-262). Since the amount of milliseconds in the day will be zero, it is natural to the date to point to the first millisecond from the day. Also, this behavior will ensure the equality new Date(2015, 9, 18).getDate() === 18, which strikes me as very important (and other browsers do not comply with).
 The tests break because PhantomJS also follows the Firefox approach.Adam Victor Brandizzi 2015-04-20T13:57:45Z
Training with Alfresco University is the best way to acquire the right skills for your team to deliver a successful Alfresco implementation. The most cost-effective way to take advantage of this valuable training is through Alfresco University Passport.
An Alfresco University Passport is a per-user, annual subscription offering that provides the subscriber access to the entire catalog of eLearning and virtual instructor-led (vILT) courses available through Alfresco University. The subscriber can complete any of these courses as often as they would like during the subscription period of one (1) year.
In addition to the current course catalog available today, current Passport subscribers also gain access to any new and/or updated eLearning and vILT courses that are released during the term of their subscription.
An Alfresco University Passport provides subscribers with the following:
- Easy, self-service course enrollment for eLearning and vILT
- Each subscriber has the ability to enroll in as many courses as they would like and can attend the same course multiple times
- For eLearning courses, subscribers have access to the courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- For vILT courses, subscribers have access to an Alfresco Certified Instructor during a live webcast
- A wide variety of courses are available and segmented by role into learning pathways for Developers and Architects
- Most courses have hands-on lab exercises in order to gain practical experience
- Leverage easy-to-use, cloud-based virtual machines for each course, directly from your browser
- Access to student guides, lab guides, and other rich media content in an electronic format
- All vILT courses are conveniently offered in 4-8 hour time blocks and are available in multiple time zones around the globe
- Passport offers a jump-start to acquiring the information that you need to achieve your Alfresco Certified Engineer and/or Alfresco Certified Administration certificate!
To get started today, please contact your Alfresco account representative to purchase your Alfresco University Passport or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm very happy to announce the release of Liferay Portal 6.2 CE GA4! Download it now: [Tomcat Bundle] [JBoss Bundle] [GlassFish Bundle] [Source Code] [Other bundles and Files] [Quick Start] [Detailed Install Instructions].
Once again, this release is particularly noteworthy. Why is that? Well, if you attended DevCon in Germany last year, you probably don't remember it, but I promised you a regular 6-month community maintenance release cadence, starting with the 6.2 CE GA3 release on January 15th. And on January 15th, we did it: we released GA3.
And then guess what? You discovered a fatal flaw in GA3 that was particularly annoying and impactful, especially on the "first impression" of Liferay. After some discussion in the community we all agreed a new release was needed rather than wait the usual 6 months, so here we are 3 months later with a new release that includes your most requested fixes, along with many others. It's great to see such cooperation! You spoke, we listened (and you spoke and we listened again), you helped us fix it up, and now we release a GA4 that we hope will meet your needs better than ever!Release Naming
Following Liferay's official versioning scheme, this release is Liferay Portal 6.2 CE GA4. The internal version number is 6.2.3. Future CE releases of 6.2 will be designated GA5, GA6, .. and so on. See below for upgrade instructions from 6.2.x, 6.1.x, 6.0.x, and 5.x.Downloads
You can find the 6.2 CE GA4 release on the usual liferay.com downloads page. If you need additional files (for example, upgrade SQL scripts or dependency libraries), you can find them at the bottom of the downloads page.Maven Artifacts
Developers can find this release in our Maven repository, and it should be showing up on Maven Central in the near future. As a reminder, you can also find Maven artifacts for Liferay 7 Milestone Releases (here's one of them) in the liferay-previews repository!Source Code
As Liferay is an open source project, many of you will want to get at its guts. The source is available as a zip archive on the downloads page, or in its source code repository on Github. The repository has also been tagged for the release (as a reminder, the liferay-plugins repo no longer gets tags for portal releases as the plugins are de-coupled from core). Many community contributions went into this release, and hopefully many more in future releases! If you're interested in contributing, take a look at our new participate page on the Liferay Developer Network.What's New / Changed?
This update fixes many issues [full list here], but here are some of the more important and/or popular ones that you may be interested in:
- All known security vulnerabilities since GA3 was released
- Guest users unable to see images/attachments (LPS-44724)
- CKEditor now works in IE11 (LPS-51183)
- Prev and next does not work in Media Gallery (LPS-41728)
- Asset Category selector's and Asset Category Admin's search ignores the user's display language (LPS-43709)
- Reviewer or Publisher is considered the author of a web content (LPS-53685)
- Many more (about 357)
These are issues that were found during testing, but deemed not a showstopper (usually things are left as-is because they aren't severe (data loss/security breach), don't affect very many people, and there is a convenient workaround - luckily our 6 month cadence means you don't have to wait more than 6 months!). For details on workarounds, see the bug reports.
- Writing to search index fails when Index Writer queue is full (LPS-54672)
- lucene/dump does not work when starting a node (LPS-54876)
The Liferay Documentation Team has been continuously adding and improving on the official documentation. This includes updated javadoc and related reference documentation, updated tutorials and learning paths, and a new home on the Liferay Developer Network. While still in beta, this site will also become the new home of our developer and technical communities.
Our community has been instrumental in identifying the areas of improvement, and we are constantly updating the documentation to fill in any gaps. Check out Rich's blog for more detail on how you can get involved.Support Matrix
Liferay has published the official compatibility matrix for 6.1 and 6.2. This is the official support matrix for our Enterprise Subscription customers, but it's a pretty good reference for CE as well. If you're wondering where Java 8 support is at, it's expected in the next release and has already been added as supported platform for EE.Liferay Marketplace
Most Liferay-authored Marketplace plugins were updated to support 6.2 GA1 when it was first released, and remain compatible with this updated GA4 release.
If you are a Marketplace Developer, and have authored a 6.2 CE GA1, GA2, or GA3-compatible app, you should ensure your app continues to work with this 6.2 CE GA4 release. It is Liferay's aim to remain compatible within a given release family, so in the unlikely event that your app works with GA3 but NOT GA4, you will need to make any necessary changes and re-submit, and let the Marketplace team know about any incompatibilities you discovered. Chances are you will have nothing to do (since you declared compatibility with 6.2.0+, which includes 6.2.3).Bug Reporting
As always, the project continues to use issues.liferay.com to report and manage bug and feature requests. If you believe you have encountered a bug in the new release (shocking, I know), please be cognizant of the bug reporting standards and report your issue on issues.liferay.com, selecting the 6.2.3 CE GA4 release as the value for the Affects Version/s field.Upgrading
Good news for those of you on 6.0 or prior! Liferay introduced the seamless upgrade feature with Liferay 6.1. Seamless upgrades allow Liferay to be upgraded more easily. In most cases, pointing the latest version of Liferay to the database of the older version is enough. There are some caveats though, so be sure to check out the Upgrading Liferay information on the Liferay Developer Network for more detail on upgrading to this release.Getting Support
Support for Liferay 6.2 CE comes from the wonderful and active community, from which Liferay itself was nurtured into the enterprise offering it is today. Please visit the community pages to find out more about the myriad avenues through which you can get your questions answered, and check out the new Liferay Developer Network for technical resources during your Liferay journey.
Also note that customers on existing releases such as 6.0 and 6.1 continue to be professionally supported, and the documentation, source, and other ancillary data about these releases will remain in place.What's Next
Of course we in the Liferay Community are interested in your take on the new features in Liferay 6.2 and the updates in this GA4 release. Work has already begun on the next evolution of Liferay, based on user feedback and community ideas. If you are interested in learning more, join our expedition team and see what's under the hood of Liferay 7!
As I mentioned earlier, we will start doing regular open source releases of Liferay Portal every 6 months, until the next major release. So if you find bugs in this or previous releases, and want to up their priority to get them fixed, be sure to use JIRA and vote for your favorite issues!Kudos!
This release was produced by Liferay's worldwide portal engineering team, and involved many hours of development, testing, writing documentation, translating, testing some more, and working with the wider Liferay community of customers, partners, and open source developers to incorporate all sorts of contributions, both big and small. We are glad you have chosen to use Liferay, and hope that it meets or exceeds your expectations!
In addition to Liferay's engineering staff, a special thanks goes to the many open source developers who volunteered their time and energy to help with the release, whether it was bugfixing, idea generation, documentation, translations, testing, or other contribution that helped to improve this release. Check out the Community Contributor Hall of Fame and be sure to thank them if you run across them in the community (or add your name if you have contributed and are not listed).James Falkner 2015-04-15T14:19:57Z
Today’s buyers are more sophisticated than ever. They want sales reps that add value by communicating relevant, informative, and challenging information. Insights that help a buyer improve their business.
But just 20% of sales people add value to a sales conversation, according to Forrester Research. When most reps aren’t valued by buyers you can expect that buyers won’t call on them to build a business or evaluate alternatives.
So how do sales reps bring this value and avoid the unproductive “just checking in” type of communications? Sales enablement content helps sales teams to communicate value. It helps reps know what to say to accelerate any sale. And it provides valuable materials that can be shared with prospects to advance a deal.
With KnowledgeTree each sales person gets the sales, marketing, and sales enablement tools they need to engage and advance prospects. Let’s take a look at three core areas of value that KnowledgeTree brings.Reproduce Best Practices
The top producing sales reps in any team have learned how to communicate effectively with prospects. They know which messages resonate and which case studies win. But translating these best practices into action isn’t easy. You can’t rely on asking them for help at every turn.
KnowledgeTree automatically replicates best practices by recommending winning content to sales people. It analyzes which content is used by top performers and leads to advancing leads and won deals. The most effective materials are automatically pushed to all sales reps. Now you know exactly what content the top performers have success with.Onboard and On Goal
New sales people need time to ramp-up to be effective. But as a driven sales professional, you want to get up-to-speed and up-to-quota fast.
KnowledgeTree recommends sales guidance and training materials to sales people based on which lead, opportunity, or account a rep is looking at. That means there’s no hunting for training material or sales guidance. The right materials are automatically pushed to reps so they know how to message their products effectively.Get Back to Core Selling
Each minute you spend away from prospecting or advancing opportunities is money out of your pocket. And one of the biggest time wastes is looking for or recreating content to use with prospects. Searching through a portal or reproducing a presentation deck that already exists is not a good use of your time.
KnowledgeTree gives you back up to 30% of your day. The most relevant, recommended content is automatically pushed to you. You get not just the right content, but also email templates and tracking tools that help you quickly share content with your prospects.
When recommended content is pushed to you, you can more effectively communicate with prospects. That means leads and opportunities see value in your team and you can move to close faster.
In my last blog welcoming Ole Hejlskov to Alfresco, I mentioned there would be other news to share on the latest additions to our developer ecosystem.
This next announcement is one some of you may have seen: the introduction of Developer Support, a service that offers direct support for development stage projects and in production customizations, from a team of development-focused, senior Support Engineers at Alfresco.
Continued Customer Success is at the heart of who we are at Alfresco, and we understand that there are customers and partners who require on-going support of their development teams and customized code – to enable the deployment of high quality, low risk and high longevity customizations to their production.
Some of the specialized services that Developer Support will offer include:
- A dedicated team of savvy senior Support Engineers with a direct line into product development
- Assistance and mentoring with customized code development, and advise on public API usage and best practices (including code samples)
- Review, support and troubleshoot existing customizations, as well as offer recommendations on customizations and integrations
- Guidance on automation of Alfresco installation, deployment, and application lifecycle management
Developer Support can improve the speed, scalability, quality and longevity of any Alfresco custom development. It’s an exciting new addition to the Alfresco Customer Support Services Suite, dedicated to customer success, and to delivering outstanding results and business value throughout the customer lifecycle.
Need more information? Email me or visit: http://www.alfresco.com/services/subscription/technical-support/alfresco-developer-support
KnowledgeTree’s Predictive Technology Recommends Presentations, Sales Plays, and Other Essential Content to Enable Enterprise Sales Teams to Accelerate Sales
KnowledgeTree, a leading Sales Acceleration vendor, today announced a new wave of value for its platform. Now enterprises can now proactively recommend winning content of any kind, from any location, to their sales teams. That lets every sales rep sell with confidence, accelerating sales across users’ organizations.
More than 80% of sales people struggle to hit quota. But when reps have the most effective messages for any sales situation, they’re up to 30% more effective. Content like presentations, playbooks, and training materials helps sales people engage prospects and accelerate deals to close.
KnowledgeTree’s new capabilities bring the power of predictive analytics to sales enablement content in the enterprise. With the platform sales teams know what to say and send to prospects to accelerate a sale. There’s no searching needed; the predictive technology recommends content and best practices proven to win in similar sales situations.
KnowledgeTree’s predictive technology recommends every type of content used by enterprise sales teams. It goes beyond just PDFs, videos, and standard collateral to push:
- Tailored Presentations: KnowledgeTree’s PerfectPitch™ technology automatically assembles presentations that best match each prospect. PerfectPitch™ compiles slides found anywhere in your library of presentations, giving sales reps a customized presentation that’s tailored for each sales situation.
- Sales Guidance: KnowledgeTree’s QuickPlays™ solution lets sales leaders push sales guidance to reps when they need it most. Internal training videos, demo scripts, competitive information, and other materials are recommended for each prospect. That lets sales reps know exactly what to say to engage any prospect.
- Enterprise Content: Fortune 1000 sales teams depend on sales enablement content from multiple locations. KnowledgeTree recommends content from across any repository, including Salesforce Content and SharePoint. That gives sales teams complete access to content without ‘yet another’ repository to manage.
QuickPlays Deliver Sales Guidance - 2015
“Enterprise sales teams are up to 30% more effective when equipped with winning content,” said Chris Atkinson, KnowledgeTree’s CEO. “But it’s not enough to hope that reps search and find content. That’s why KnowledgeTree’s predictive technology is so powerful. It identifies what content leading reps use to close deals. Winning content is identified and proactively pushed to reps when they need it most — right in Salesforce.com.”
“Our enterprise reps rely not only on our thought leadership material and case studies, but critically on PowerPoint presentations,” said Carol Sullivan, vice president of sales operations at Message Systems. “KnowledgeTree’s PerfectPitch technology will let this team auto-generate slide decks that are tailored to each prospect. That means there’s no hunting through decks to pick slides. Instead, the best slides are automatically assembled into a compelling deck to share with prospects.”
Automatically Generate Winning Presentations
The latest release of KnowledgeTree is now available. Contact KnowledgeTree for additional information or to schedule a demonstration.
KnowledgeTree’s Sales Acceleration platform helps enterprises sell more effectively. Our software boosts enterprise sales team productivity up to 30%. Companies like Rackspace, RingCentral, and Zuora depend on KnowledgeTree to predict what to say to their prospects to accelerate sales. To see KnowledgeTree in action, visit KnowledgeTree.com.
The post KnowledgeTree’s Data Science-Driven Platform Brings “Sales Acceleration” to the Enterprise appeared first on KnowledgeTree.
Equipping your sales team with the right assets for a given situation is a crucial part of a well oiled sales process. Relevant assets empower the sales team to communicate value and establish rapport with their prospects. But, assets are only one part of the puzzle. Your sales team must have the proper guidance to deliver those assets effectively.
With QuickPlays, you can give your sales team just in time coaching and best practices to ensure they have what they need to further the deal.
QuickPlays can be recommended for any sales situation. Guide your team through qualifying a Lead or on how to communicate with key buyer personas. Recommended QuickPlays will display front and center in Salesforce.
There are many different ways to guide your sales team.
- Create training materials that are a click away. Perfect for onboarding new reps or elevating struggling ones.
- Selling best practices for different personas are a great way to give your team the ammunition they need to tailor their value proposition.
- Competitor kill sheets. Who are they? What do they do? How do we differentiate? All excellent content for QuickPlays that you can recommend when a competitor is in the mix for a prospect.
For more information on how QuickPlays can help you guide your sales teams through the sales process contact email@example.com.
Enterprise sales organizations commonly have large branded slide decks that are repurposed and borrowed from to create custom presentations. Too often, the creation and distribution of these custom decks is a manual process. How can you ensure that reps creating custom decks do so with the latest and greatest slides? More importantly, how might you give reps the right slides to use?Automatically Generate Winning Presentations
PerfectPitch will recommend the right slides for any sales situation, allowing reps to create and share custom decks from within Salesforce.
When reps launch PerfectPitch they’re presented with the recommended set of slides based on the record they’re viewing in Salesforce.
Reps can choose recommended slides for an individual deck or across all decks in your content portfolio.
If there’s a particular slide the reps needs to find they can search for slides based on tags and content within those slides. Slide recommendations and robust search helps sales find the slides they need, and keeps them on message.
Reps can search for slides or rely on KnowledgeTree’s predictive technology to recommend the best slides for their sales situation.
Once the slides have been selected, reps can reorder and preview their custom decks to make sure it tells the right story to their Salesforce prospect.
With their custom deck ready to go, reps can share that custom deck with their prospect and get notified when that deck is viewed or downloaded. No more email attachments and shot in the dark followups.
To schedule a demo and learn more about PerfectPitch contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing in the spirit of Juan Gonzalez’s excitement over the new portal components, let me introduce a new Liferay Faces Alloy component which will be included in the the upcoming GA release. Following the example set by our friends on the AlloyUI team, we packaged their toggler as a JSF component.
Q: What advantages does JSF bring to the table?
A: All the power you would expect from the Java EE standard webapp UI framework.
AlloyUI Toggler + JSF ➔ Liferay Faces alloy:accordion
features added using JSF:
renders your menu from a collection, providing developers with the ability to iterate over a data model via the standard “value” and “var” attributes.
usage of @ResourceDependency support from JSF 2.
Broadcasts the tabExpanded and tabCollapsed server-side events when the users selects a tab.
features brought to the table by AlloyUI:
Beautiful easing animation!
features brought to you by the Liferay Faces team:
auto-detects Liferay and uses its bootstrap css … your portlet looks like an out of the box portlet.
all of the Liferay Faces Alloy components work outside of Liferay in a plain webapp.
When you hear “customer experience”, many of us think of what happens after a sale has been made. Today, that perception is no longer accurate. Customer experience includes all of the interactions that occur, from before the prospect even considers buying to well after the purchase is finalized.
Consider this common scenario:
A prospective customer calls in with a question about your product. Your rep provides an answer, and both parties continue with their day. Everybody is happy, right?
Now consider this instead:
A prospect calls in with a question about your product. Your rep is short on time and responds quickly with a generic answer suitable for any customer, but hardly tuned to the prospect. Or, the rep communicates old product information or data that clearly illustrates a lack of care. Or, they use targeted, but ineffective collateral that is shown through trial and error to not be effective. She then gives internal feedback upstream and downstream about the situation. He may even call the prospect back later to see if the issue has been resolved and to keep the conversation going.
This is a new way of handling the customer experience, where the sales rep tries to develop a relationship, understand buyer motivation, and add value to the selling situation. Of course, this also adds a lot of work and effort to the sales rep’s busy schedule, which is where technology comes into play. The proper solution will automate these processes (more touch points means more complexity) and pull relevant data about what is going on throughout the entire sales funnel.
Why is this customer experience important? Companies who focus on customer experience throughout a customer’s lifetime see higher growth. A McKinsey study on B2B buyers and the criteria they use in determining whether a company is outstanding found that ‘perceived sales experience’ ranked second behind ‘product/service features’. Further, a study by CEB reveals that the sales experience is worth 53% of the buyer’s likelihood to be a loyal customer and brand advocate. And further, in a world where B2B buyers see 80% of their sales engagements as being valueless, it is a major differentiator for your company to deliver a positive, value-based experience.
Unfortunately, the notion of a seamless brand experience may sound simpler in theory than in practice. Marketing understands the need for a seamless customer experience and is often able to deliver at the top and middle of the funnel, yet sales leaders haven’t been given the opportunity to provide a similar experience with respect to progressing prospects through their buyer journey. Further, there are several challenges facing organizations with regards to this new, seamless customer experience.
1) Software Eats Processes
An Accenture 2014 report asserts, “Proctor & Gamble, Tesco, Disney, GE – these are just a few of the global 2,000 that are now in a race to become digital. Those that get there first will be able to disrupt their existing markets and penetrate new ones.”
Digital disruption is occurring in almost every industry and affects numerous business processes – this is the impact of social media, business intelligence, cloud services, mobile, and the like. But just because your organization is on Twitter, hosts webinars, and uses Apple Pay doesn’t mean that you have digitized. Likewise, the traditional sales support tools (i.e. email and sales portals) just won’t cut it anymore.
It is imperative to incorporate these new technologies to all of your business functions throughout the sales funnel. Digitizing processes helps improve the customer experience by streamlining interactions and getting prospects more relevant information. And also to collect better data and feedback so that you can understand what drives performance, optimizes the sales process, adds value, and helps your team make more informed decisions. For example, marketing can blindly make content that they think is relevant and valuable, or they can use real-time analytics to tell them what is working, what is missing or needed, and how to focus their efforts.
2) A New Generation of Consumer
If technology is changing the game, then consumers are making the rules. Consumers have never been smarter or more tech-savvy than they are today. They come from an era of crowd-sourcing, social FOMO (fear of missing out), 3D video games, wearable technology, and ‘on-demand’ economies. They are hyper-digital, being connected to multiple devices every day, and always logged-on.
Technology has empowered this new generation of consumer with instant information, effectively heightening their expectations. They have more information at their fingertips, more ways to get educated, and more people influencing their purchasing decisions than ever before. They want two-way conversations with brands and new ways to engage as active participants rather than passive observers. Eighty-percent of consumers prefer brands that interact with them, as opposed to those that just advertise to them. They demand a personalized brand experience, and the pressure is on for brands to deliver. And let’s not forget, today’s consumer has instant access to online reviews rating the customer experience.
3) Internal Restructuring, Maybe
Customers are demanding more from their customer experience, and it takes an enterprise-wide understanding and commitment to meet those expectations. This requires that businesses develop and prioritize the customer experience and then align the company, processes, and technology to support it. Studies show that failure to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies can cost B2B companies 10% or more in revenue each year, while those that achieve alignment experience an average annual growth rate of 20%.
So who owns the customer experience? Ideally, marketing and sales should collaborate on developing this shared goal and should collectively be responsible for execution.
The digital winners have also recognized that the best way to start digitizing their companies is to invest in IT infrastructure and, more importantly, sales enablement tools that can help organizations keep up with the pace of the digital world and that offer flexibility, speed, and integration capabilities. What systems and processes can you implement now that will be relevant to both current and future customers?
4) The Power of Content
While marketing has known all along, it’s only more recently that sales leaders have recognized the power of content in engaging, persuading, educating, and challenging buyers. And it’s not just a matter of having the content, but rather aligning relevant content with process. This means training your sales reps on when and how to use content, teaching them how to discuss the value props with prospects, and helping the sales teams effectively use the content to guide the buying process.
When interacting with the new generation of consumers, organizations need to reconsider how their content is presented, packaged, and consumed. Is it engaging? Relevant? Challenging? Valuable? Entertaining? Educational? Is it personalized to that individual prospect and their needs and stage in the buying journey? Similarly, does the sales team know how they can quickly access and share this content? Is the right content available for potential buyers when they are doing their own research? Think of it as ‘proactively managing the customer relationship’ – be one step ahead.
As you can tell, there’s a lot going on in the selling space right now, but this change is inevitable. High-growth companies have recognized the new opportunities available and are gaining competitive advantage. What can smaller companies take-away from their success?
- Invest in data and analytics so that your organization can gain actionable insight on consumers, the market, and businesses processes.
- Consider new digital channels for reaching your prospects and customers, such as mobile, social selling, microsites, tablet apps, SEO, remarketing, gamification, and online forums. If you are already using several of these channels, think about how you can measure and optimize your efforts to use them more effectively.
- Map out your organization’s buyer journey and develop a plan for providing a consistent customer experience across all channels and throughout all touch points. Take the steps necessary to synchronize the customer experience across internal functions and departments.
As Accenture says, “Success cannot be left to serendipity. The business imperative for all is to achieve enduring customer relevance at scale through a customer-focused digital transformation.” Technology and innovation are forcing change, and digital strategy is the future of business. The drive towards a seamless customer experience makes adapting to new technologies necessary in order to survive, not to mention be market leaders. Seventy-eight percent of Accenture survey respondents believe marketing will undergo fundamental change over the next five years, citing digital as one of the top drivers of that change. Are you coming along for the ride?
That challenge arises because of the nature of content. It’s not just a set of PowerPoints and PDFs. It’s videos on YouTube, your blog, landing pages for webinars, third-party research, scripts, and even internal training materials. How can you expect sales people to know where to look for all of this great content?
Many sales enablement teams have answered that challenge by centralizing all of their content in a master portal. That means that sales people must leave their day-to-day workflow, visit a portal, browse or search for content, and hope to find it – a frustrating experience as I’ve mentioned before.
And it’s also annoying for the teams that are producing your content. Marketers and sales enablement teams create and update a lot of material. If they need to store it in yet another location it is cumbersome. Not to mention the big letdown that happens when you know how little of your content is actually being used.How to Centralize Sales Enablement Content without Centralizing It
A more effective approach is to keep your content where it already resides: in your marketing automation, video site, file sharing tool, or enterprise content management application. By linking back to existing repositories you can keep your materials where they more naturally live. And there’s no version chaos, because content only needs to be updated in one place.
A related but less effective approach is through ‘enterprise search’. While this helps sales teams to find content across multiple repositories, it increases the volume of search results that a rep sees. That means they’re potentially seeing unformatted, unapproved, and unimportant content rather than the materials they actually need.
A better approach is to proactively recommend content to sales people based on their sales situation. Waiting for a sales person to reactively search for content means that they can’t get timely information and must know what to search for. A proactive approach pulls content from anywhere and pushes just relevant materials to a sales person.
That means your great content can be managed like you do today – and sales people can use all of your sales enablement material no matter where it is.
How do you address the problem? As we’ve discussed elsewhere, sales enablement content is a powerful force to help sales people communicate effectively. And it’s most effective when it is proactively pushed to sales teams as they need it – not when they decide to search for it.
But what kind of content should marketing and sales enablement leaders provide to sales people? Let’s take a look at a few key types:Thought Leadership Content
Today’s buyers are harried. They have multiple projects in flight and are struggling to complete them effectively. Adding a new project (i.e. your product) to their list of things to do is difficult in that kind of environment. You need to shape their strategy and thinking, getting them to confront the status quo.
This is often done through content marketing and its parallel, thought leadership. Materials that can entertain or inform a prospect about new ways of running their business or new opportunities to shake things up. These materials can come in many forms, videos, webinars, eBooks, and even infographics. But their intent is the same – to show a prospect how much better their business could be.Customer Success Stories
Vendor-sourced information is critical to the sales process. But prospects are highly influenced by what their peers do. Seeing that a colleague or industry peer is using a particular technology or addressing a certain challenge affects prospect behavior.
Written case studies, generally in web page, PDF, or PowerPoint versions, are a common variety. But converting case studies into video format can be an extremely compelling path. Why? They help prospects identify with the success story and it is more believable to see someone actually citing the value they got from using your solution.Business Case Material
Any time that a prospect purchases a product, they build a business case. It may not be robust – filled with spreadsheets and appendixes – but it’s still a business case. Prospects need that business case to justify the cost and encourage adoption with the targeted users.
Business case materials could include a whole variety of materials, including ROI calculations, case studies, product information, sample roll-out plans, and more. The key here is to think through what your prospects are likely to need as they build out their own justifications. Then aggregate the sales enablement content that would influence the shape of that case and support it.Implementation Guidance
Companies that have repeat customers, or renewal customers in a subscription world, must place a lot of emphasis on customer success. That is, making sure that your products don’t simply end up on the shelf. Otherwise, come renewal time, they’ll be forgotten and cancelled. And upgrades or referrals will simply not be possible.
So understand what kinds of implementation materials are available. Customer best practices, roll-out guides and plans, training videos on your own products, knowledgebase content, and other assets should be readily available to your team. In some cases you may want your sales people to share these materials in the sales process to increase the comfort of prospects that implementation will be smooth.Conversational Materials
Sales people are on the phone or in person with their prospects frequently. How they guide those conversations is critical to their success. They need to establish rapport and, most importantly, add value in these discussions to. That means that sales people need to be equipped with scripts and guidance that reinforce their ‘trusted advisor’ status with their prospects.
Giving reps helpful guidance on what messages will resonate with prospects helps them steer conversations toward a close. And allows the rep more time to consider the mechanics and strategy of the close. Plus, when you can recommend specific conversational guidance to a rep (say, based on the persona of the prospect or the competitor you’re facing), you’re more likely to have a more targeted conversation.Training and Product Content
Your prospects have access to a lot of product material via your website. They can generally get access to datasheets, feature lists, demonstration videos, and more via your site. So they expect your sales people to have more than a superficial understanding of your products. Joining a call without understanding the depths of your product is not a way to be one of the 20% of sales people considered valuable by buyers.
But putting reps through training classes or providing them with training packs is just not enough. Too much of training is forgotten within weeks of the class completion. You need to reinforce the sessions by delivering training material to the reps as they need it. If they’re looking at an opportunity where a particular pain is surfaced, they should get product training on the related solution pushed to them. That allows your rep to be real-time product experts on all of your solutions.
The same holds true for general sales-related training. If there’s a particular combination of persona and product being sold, or a certain competitive situation, you want to provide reps with guidance that has been proven successful in previous sales engagements. Pushing these best practices to reps helps them to be more successful.
By surfacing best practice sales enablement content of these types to reps when they need it they know what to say and how to say it to their prospects. That helps them be radically more effective in their sales conversations.