The 3 Capabilities Your Digital Experience Needs to Offer

28. Oktober 2020 Posted by HCL Digital Experience Team

In order to compete today, enterprises have to offer staff and customers a fast, secure and flexible experience that’s up to the task of responding to a dizzying array of business needs. Trends and market needs can evolve as rapidly as a weather system, making an agile platform vital to keeping companies in tune with the business-critical demands. 

Business critical processes are core activities that are essential to meeting an organization’s mission — such as paying bills, making appointments, filling out time sheets, applying for permits, or filing a claim. Some of these processes are invisible to the customer and some can be seen.  This includes the fulfillment of company operations, protection of assets, and satisfying of regulatory requirements, and occur on all levels of an organization.   

Whether it’s centered on sales and marketing, accounting and finance, HR, or customer service, these business activities can be optimized by the platform they’re on, or not.  A dynamic publishing platform that can handle the business-critical needs of a company, regardless of industry, is a distinct advantage for enterprises in competitive markets.  With all the factors to be considered, what are 3 capabilities an elite publishing platform needs to have?  

Data Security and Privacy 

There’s a saying that a band is only as good as its drummer, and the same is true for the technology and security of digital experiences and platforms.  The greatest user interface in the world is worthless if it’s not secure from digital threats.   

Ensuring a secure platform includes protecting private data while it’s on-site and in-transit, with encryption that is flexible enough to connect users anytime anywhere while meeting all industry compliance requirements.   

If that sounds like a tough balancing act, well that’s because it is. But you don’t want a beautiful guitar solo being drowned out by a wildly inconsistent drumbeat, so it’s worth investing in the security measures needed to protect your operations.   

Powerful Content Creation If top-notch security is the essential but often overlooked drummer of a publishing platform, then the content is the virtuoso guitarist.  It’s what stands out most to users, holds them by the hand and ushers them into the experience.  

Crafting an effective brand message and communicating it efficiently relies heavily on how a company is able to facilitate content creation into its platform. A web content management platform should have fully responsive web and app capabilities that are scalable and easily organized.  It needs to gather all the relevant data into a single view that gives employees and staff a seamless and transparent experience.   

And it should provide employees with an intuitive platform that empowers them to become creators themselves, increasing delivery speed and further personalizing the company’s messaging.   HCL Digital Experience’s new, nimble content tools empower business users to create content and experiences without having to pull in developers. And insights and analytics — now included “out of the box” — helps marketers make customer journeys better, leading to dramatic increases in conversions.  

Content is more important than ever, and the ability to quickly build and launch personalized campaign journeys for customers is one of the true differentiators in modern enterprise business.   

Integration, of services and across devices 

Having a secure platform that boosts and distributes creative output must also integrate across channels and devices.  If the vital information coursing through the veins of an organization can’t be shared, viewed and accessed by the people who need it it’s a loss of valuable time.  

It starts with the ability to connect to legacy systems already in place, or any applications that the platform will have to work with.  Employees shouldn’t have to completely re-learn a set of tools to get work done, nor should they be slowed down by a convoluted learning curve that hinders work.  HCL Digital Experience (DX) makes it easy to integrate data and complex back-ends to create unified experiences for business-critical processes. 

A robust platform should feature drag-and-drop integration tools, self-service options, automated data updates and a seamless API manager that work cohesively for users who need to focus on their jobs, not asking IT for tech support.   

Along with a healthy integration of software and tools is the accessibility of devices and locations.  The modern workspace is mobile and doesn’t close its doors at 5pm. Employees need to have all the necessary data at their fingertips no matter where they are, and that data has to be transferable to team members and customers on any device.   

The best content management platforms for enterprise companies should offer trusted security and superior content-creation abilities in an integrated environment.  

Don’t get stuck with a drummer with poor timing or a guitarist who plays out of key.  Combine the best elements in one place you’ll have a successful band playing to a satisfied audience.  

 

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4 Features of a Cloud-Native Digital Experience

27. Oktober 2020 Posted by HCL Digital Experience Team

Hosting a digital enterprise platform on a cloud-native setting sounds like a dream: more speed, agility, scalability, integration, and cost-savings. But is a cloud-native environment so different from a cloud-hosted one, and how do those differences manifest in workflow solutions for enterprise companies?  

Let’s look at what makes a cloud-native digital experience unique, and why the distinctions in capability are important.  

Cloud-native means more than just a digital platform  

Cloud-native describes not just an environment but an approach to design and deployment.  It is a more progressive use of cloud technology that goes beyond the previously accepted benefits — primarily storage and convenience — and features applications designed specifically to run on the cloud.   

By being “native” to the cloud — built for the cloud from day one — these applications have a scale and deployment velocity that can’t be easily matched by on-premise or even cloud hosted platforms.  Enterprise companies that adopt a cloud native system can tap into a digital experience built to thrive in a constantly evolving digital workspace where time matters more than ever.   

Cloud-native is not the same as cloud-hosted 

It could sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because understanding the differences between the two systems can help shine a light on the advantages of cloud-native infrastructure.   

Cloud-hosted applications are designed for on-premise environments but are deployed and managed from the cloud by a service provider.  This model was originally born from a desire to save money by shifting premises systems from a capital expense to an operating expense, saving enterprises the added financial burden of capital expense costs.   

A cloud-hosted system is a compromise which combines some aspects of cloud storage and management with legacy systems of security, maintenance and infrastructure.  Cloud-hosted services, however, can still be bogged down by clunky and time-consuming updating protocol and can be more difficult to scale as needed.  Whereas cloud-native services and applications are designed strictly for cloud environments and can respond accordingly.    

How containers and microservices speed up deployment and delivery 

Cloud-native applications are typically made up of microservices packaged in containers.  Sounds simple enough, but it gets a bit trickier from there.  Microservices are a form of software where applications are composed of single-functioning services, allowing for very granular and lightweight operation.  They can do their job without depending on or impacting other applications.  This allows developers to address issues to specific applications without affecting a wider range of operations.   

Containers, which are portable file systems that can hold everything to run an application, such as microservices, are similarly lightweight and isolated.  These two go well together because they are both designed with the intention to do one thing.    

This means that any problems or bugs that may arise within an app can be resolved faster and with greater specificity.  It also means updates can happen for a particular application without needing to wait on a larger system update or overhaul.  In this way cloud-native software can be constantly and specifically improving.   

The benefits of a fluid architecture  

Cloud-native applications and services are being adopted by more enterprises because of the adaptability and flexibility they provide.  The apps are developed to be agile, automated, and easily scaled up or down depending on need.   

The granular nature of microservices and the containers they are held in allows for a more constant and direct response to any issues that pop up, and a continuously updating system that’s more elastic than legacy systems.  

Cloud-native is also a less demanding system as far as infrastructure and maintenance when compared to cloud-hosted or on-premise platforms, which require a greater amount of time and money to service, troubleshoot and update.   

The end result is a digital experience that can match the speed of today’s business environment and keep pace as it inevitably moves faster. Digital experience transformation is more than just prettying up consumer-facing touchpoints. It can be a challenge to combine all the relevant content, information and experiences together in a way that is meaningful to your audiences. HCL Digital Experience is trusted for business-critical digital experiences for when organizations need a platform that is secure, always available, and can scale to meet the needs of the business. 

HCL Digital Experience now allows you to employ a hybrid, cloud-native architecture so administrators can provide new content production and headless API capabilities in existing on-prem environments. No migration required. We offer the broadest cloud-native platform support on the market with recently added support for Azure EKS, speeding up deployment by 10x.

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What Are Kubernetes and Docker? And Why Should They Be Part of Your Digital Solution?

2. September 2020 Posted by HCL Digital Experience Team

Developers are becoming increasingly used to hearing the names Kubernetes and Docker in conjunction with one another. They’re both technologies associated with containers (packages of software that include all of the parts required to run an app, like the code and system libraries), but a common misconception is that they’re competing solutions. Developers might be familiar with “Kubernetes vs. Docker” discussions when, in fact, using Kubernetes with Docker is an excellent method of running containerized applications. But to understand what that means, we first have to look at what each platform does separately. 

What Does Docker do? 

Docker is currently the most popular container platform. In this context, containers are the solution to a classic developer dilemma: Often developers will write code that works perfectly well on their own machine, but fails when they try to implement it into the program it needs to live in. Containers are the solution to this dilemma  developers can package their code into one cohesive container image, which can then be run on any computer that also hosts a container platform.  

30% of enterprise companies use Docker, and that number is steadily rising. If a developer can benefit from containerization, chances are they’ll look to Docker for their solution. 

So, What Does Kubernetes Do, and How are They Related? 

Now that you have a grasp on what Docker does and why it’s an important tool to be aware of, the first thing that’s important to understand about the Docker/Kubernetes relationship is that the two technologies serve fundamentally different purposes. As the Container Journal nicely put it, “Kubernetes takes containerization technology  and turns it up to 11.”  

Kubernetes arrived as a solution to the next conundrum that comes with containerization: Now that the containers exist, how can they be organized? If Docker is in charge of packaging and distributing an application, Kubernetes is in charge of scaling and monitoring those apps. The tech solution combines containers that make up an application into intuitive groups for easy management and searchability. 

The Kubernetes architecture allows for development teams to remain agile and flexible in a rapidly evolving digital landscape where agility and adaptability are increasingly vital to standing out amidst your competitors.  

It is possible to use Docker without Kubernetes, although it’s not recommended for any organizations that hope to scale their apps and ensure that they’re easily available to as many interested users as possible. Conversely, is possible to use Kubernetes with another containerization solution, but as Docker has established itself as the premier app container solution, the Docker/Kubernetes combo remains the best integration on the market. 

solution that utilizes the Docker and Kubernetes pairing will save development teams hours of time, as the tech pairing allows apps to be installed in the cloud or on the premises in minutes, rather than days. 

Find out more hereJoin our webinar called “Getting Started with Containers,” or watch it on-demand.  

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IBM WebSphere Portal (or IBM Digital Experience) is now HCL Digital Experience and That’s a Good Thing. It’s time to upgrade

18. August 2020 Posted by HCL Digital Experience Team

If you’re looking for the latest version of IBM Websphere Portal you’ve come to the right place. IBM Websphere Portal (IBM Digital Experience) became HCL Digital Experience back in 2019 and since then has released two major updates making HCL Digital Experience the most flexible and compatible digital experience platform on the market today. 

As HCL Digital ExperienceIBM Websphere Portal, has undergone a major transformationHCL Digital Experience built upon the legendary reliability and security of IBM Websphere Portal by adding future ready features and intuitive UI redesigns to boost productivity by up to 60% and increase your ROI by up to 661%. 

The New Features in HCL Digital Experience 

With these new revolutionary updates, HCL Digital Experience (DX) currently ranks highest worldwide amongst providers of web experience management solutions. When organizations partner with HCL DX, they can expect: 

  •  The Ability to Integrate all the Things! 

HCL DX delivers customer-centric and personalized experiences by integrating your organization’s data, services, and workflows to fully integrate your current technology stack into Digital Experience. The new Experience API interface makes it easy to manage all your API connections in an easy drag and drop way. 

  •  New Reliable and Scalable Technology 

HCL Digital Experience utilizes Docker and Kubernetes to provide rapid installation, near-zero downtime and auto-scale capabilities. The automated provisioning, load balancing, and self-healing that Kubernetes offers significantly reduce the total cost of site ownership as well. Read more on how the State of Ohio was able to utilize these new features to handle a 3000% increase in traffic. 

  •  RockSolid Security and SSO 

Intelligence-agency-grade encryption and cross-system authentication, even while at rest, is built into the core of HCL Digital Experience. Single Sign-On (SSO) ensures that team members can be securely authenticated and jump right into their secured, protected work. 

  •  New Practitioner-Friendly Tools 

HCL Digital Experience took the robust content authoring capabilities of IBM Websphere Portal and turned it up to an 11 with a new reimagined user interface that dramatically reduces the learning curve and enables content to be created in half the time. Quickly build new content that responds to the market and industry needs without having to rely on IT. As agility is an increasingly important team skill, tech that helps deploy content quickly and easily has become a necessity. 

  • Cloud Native Support and Flexible Deployment 

Modern digital experiences are easy to deliver, even with a complex backend. HCL Digital Experience can now be run natively in the cloud as well as on-premises, and now has the broadest cloud native support on the market helping your organization modernize without compromise. 

  • A New Digital Asset Management System 

HCL recently released exciting new capabilities to its platform, that helps empower users to create compelling experiences, improving the bottom line and customer satisfaction. There are new media managing, rendering and versioning capabilities, and most importantly, it’s free to all DX customers! Also, it comes fully integrated so it’s faster to get up and running and one less thing to do before you can get started making content and digital experiences. You can read all about hereYou can watch the new capabilities in action here.  

Great! So How Do I Upgrade? 

Learn more about how you can upgrade to take advantage of all these new features by signing up for a free workshop where we will work directly with you to provide a personalized upgrade plan and go over any questions you may have. 

Sign up for a customized workshop here.  

Contact a sales representative here.

 

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5 Ways an Intranet Can Drive Employee Productivity and Engagement

6. August 2020 Posted by HCL Digital Experience Team

An intranet is a private, secure computer network that is only accessible internally (thus, the “in” in its prefix) to a company’s employees.  Intranets surfaced in tandem with the internet in the 1990s and exist as a secure alternative to the public internet network that could be used by anyone online. It can be an integral tool for enterprises looking to improve employee communication and engagement. Employment engagement is key to an organization’s success.

A recent Gallup study1 said that only a third of employees are truly engaged in their work — and that organizations with higher engagement levels are not only more productive, they achieve four times higher earnings per share growth. 

An intranet platform provides enterprises with useful collaboration tools that can open up dialogue among co-workers while streamlining certain processes within the organization as a whole. A good one also serves as a vital tool for sharing HR and other information, as well as providing operational and computer services within an organization.

Let’s look at five ways the intranet can boost productivity in the workplace

1. Improved Communication 

Not only can it act as a direct link between staff from all departments within a sprawling organizational flow chart, it can host blogs and forums that provide employees with a unique outlet to collaborate. An intranet network can allow employees to communicate in creative and empowering ways that might not otherwise occur, promoting a much-needed sense of community. Given the way the world has moved more toward remote work, this is more important than ever.  

Intranets can have communities and discussion boards, so that instead of employees having to sift through an unwieldy company directory to find another staff member, they can easily use the intranet to connect with them and quickly enhance the work they are doing.  

Additionally, an intranet network can distribute company updates, alerts and action items efficiently to everyone, saving time and streamlining internal communications. 

2. Centralized File Storage and Comprehensive Search 

The sheer number of files, documents and digital information an enterprise must grapple with can make managers and project leads — anyone, really — shudder in horror.  Being able to locate and access the data you need when you need it can be the difference between a job getting done and a project failing.   

With an intranet network you can store all your files in one centralized location, making data searches faster.  The intranet search engine can look up key terms and connect you to the discussion, blog or piece of information you need.  Communications can also be saved and stored, making posts and notes easy to look up and review.   

3. Faster Response Time  

If a problem arises, the collaborative nature of a company’s intranet software can unleash the shared knowledge and expertise of key players.  An issue can be immediately shared, whether it’s with IT or an emergency development in another department. Teams can then troubleshoot from all angles and stay informed of the solutions.   

By acting as an information conduit for an organization, the intranet can quickly assemble the collective brainpower of the organization to identify and quickly solve an issue that could otherwise can take much longer to properly assess and address.   

4. A Forum for Creativity, and an Information Hub   

By giving some ownership of the space to employees and empowering them to utilize it, an intranet can strengthen the creative bonds between people and teams and ultimately improve the collective performance of the company.  The intranet can host a range of staff-led endeavors, ranging from discussion forums on industry-specific topics to informal spaces for brainstorming the next staff retreat. It can also be a hub of information, where relevant articles, podcasts and videos can be shared and debated.   

If employees feel plugged in and connected not just to the specific work they do but to a larger web of people and information, they will be happier and more productive in their job.  There are endless ways of sparking this type of engaged community on an intranet.   

5. A Convenient Space for Company Policies and Procedures  

We’ve all gotten the massively daunting PDF of the staff handbook filled with processes that are probably outdated by years.  It sits somewhere collecting dust, a sad reminder of a tree groove that is no more.   

An intranet network can be the digital repository that weaves together the procedures and policies of a company and can be easily accessed and updated as needed.  It can also be the centralized place where employees can access the HR benefits hub, and grab the forms they need, for things such as leave, expensesor travel.   

While your company intranet might not get its moment on center stage in a roomful of mass appreciation, it is often the backbone to a functional and successful organization. If it’s set up well, and actively used, it becomes almost an invisible part of a functional workday. And if it drives the engagement and productivity your teams and employees need, it helps you reach better business outcomes faster.  

For more information on how HCL’s Digital Experience can boost staff engagement and productivity click here.   

1Gallup Study, “Employee Engagement on the Rise in the US,” August 26, 2018.  

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