Customer Driven Innovation using Liferay and SFDC (CRM)

What is Ideation Architecture?

Engaging with customers online has been one of the most effective practices followed by organizations in the last few years. These interactive communications with customers, while being highly reliable, provide a huge opportunity for an organization to promote their strongholds. By identifying the right social channels, organizations can promote their technical knowhow and educate customers about their developments.

Discussion Boards serve as one type of media for such online engagements where the parties can participate in intensive and constructive debates to explore new possibilities and even influence the road map of an organization. While an organization typically has internal private discussion boards for any closed communication, the majority of discussion boards are public that enable the customers to communicate amongst each other and with the organization in solving their problems. As part of these discussions, users can flag certain posts to be classified as new ideas which further can be voted by the community to increase that particular ideas priority, thus, helping the organization track the most important needs of the customers.

The Ideation architecture that is discussed in this blog essentially demonstrates the above business use case, where Liferay Portal users can convert posts from the Liferay Portal discussion board into ideas that show up in Salesforce.com.

The sequence of steps of converting an post in Liferay Portal to an idea on Force.com (CRM) are:

  • The community user is logged in and is participating in a discussion on Liferay Portal. The user identifies a post as a new idea and clicks on “Post Idea” icon associated with that post
  • The user is navigated to Force.com and lands on a predefined community, where he/she is presented with an ideation interface.
  • The interface has the idea data and title populated from the Liferay portal post and the user has capability to make further changes to the idea and even assign a category
  • Once the user is satisfied with the content idea, it is submitted as an idea on Force.com
  • The users can then vote on this idea

Apart from the above, the capabilities included

  • The user being able to navigate back to the Portal post using a “back” link
  • Once the user navigates back to the post upon idea creation in SFDC (CRM), the “Post Idea” icon is changed to “View Idea” icon
  • A global link is also provided on each portal community called “View Ideas”, that will enable anonymous users to navigate to the equivalent Force.com (CRM) community to see all the ideas created in that community.
  • The predefined mapping between the Liferay Portal community and the Force.com (CRM) community is done in the portal control panel.

Below are the features within the Ideation architecture

  • Single sign-on
  • Language support for labels
  • Same headers and footers
  • Encrypted message transfer
  • Automated User Registration
  • SOAP based web services
  • “Back to” Links for easier Navigation
  • Post Ideas from Portal Post Idea from Portal

    • Provide a link on a Message Board Post
  • View Ideas in SFDC (CRM)

    • Provide as link on those Portal Message board post which are already posted on SFDC (CRM)
  • Display Ideas

    • View list of ideas in SFDC (CRM)

      • Provide a link on Portal Community Page
      • Provide a link on Message Board Thread Header

The Ideation architecture involving integration of Salesforce (CRM) with Liferay have the following advantages

  • Profit from Customer Ideas
  • Engage customers through social channels
  • Receive feedback on products and services
  • Evolve the idea through collaboration
  • Involve in early decision process
  • Build trust in each other
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Conclusion :

The Ideation architecture can add significant value to Liferay customers and adds much more scope in sharing ideas and social collaboration.