Time flies when you are having fun! Year 2014 has been an epitome of that saying. It has been a whirlwind of activity for me, working on various projects for different types of clients, helping out in the pre-sales efforts to procure new projects, and being part of the thought leadership team participating in efforts to better ourselves as part of the ongoing drive to improve!
2014 brought along a series of opportunities in the form of new projects, new clients and new responsibilities along with continuing on with some of the existing projects from the previous year.
My first client for the year was one of the world’s leading not-for-profit professional association which required help in determining and defining their portal strategy to target their 2.5+ million members with the right content. One of the most satisfying aspect of my job is when you get a chance to work with a client to help them determine their future strategy and set the direction the organization is going to take. Working closely with the client stakeholders, my team and I were able to define their immediate needs, outline their future growth and line up the next steps for improving their digital presence.
One of my existing clients from 2013 was a big USA federal agency which has interests all over the world. XTIVIA was engaged on a project with this agency along with two other firms – a Fortune 500 company and a prestigious research university based out of east coast. My team was brought in to mentor the team members from the other two organizations in the field of Liferay and provide strategic advice for the betterment of their portal product. Our efforts on the project were centered around ensuring that Liferay’s features were used optimally, and the team built a product that would be easily maintained across the different installations around the world. We successfully wound up our efforts for this project in the later part of the year.
I also had the primary responsibility to manage my direct reports providing them with the tools and support to succeed in their project endeavors. I take great pride in the mentorship of these team members and find great satisfaction when I am successful in giving them the help they need. Providing critical feedback at the right time, helping out the team members in the issues they face at work or sometimes beyond work, giving them opportunities to grow as well as ensuring that they have the motivation to push themselves to greater heights in their professional career, or sometimes just be a sounding board for them giving them the opportunity to vent and express their thoughts.
A key area where I wanted to improve my own abilities in the year 2014 was in the pre-sales and client RFP process. I had exposure in my past job on the other side of the fence where I was involved in the buy-side of the projects. XTIVIA and specifically my portal leadership team provided me with the opportunity to grow in the area of pre-sales responses which included writing responses to RFP requests from various potential clients, being involved in the process of creating POCs and demos for these potential clients when opportunities presented themselves.
In 2014 I got the opportunity to visit one of my existing clients in Angola, West Africa. This client has been working with XTIVIA for a long time, and I took over the account in 2013. Our team is engaged in bringing their existing portal sites to a new platform in line with their corporate strategy. It was an absolute pleasure to meet all the different stakeholders that I had been interacting with all these months over the phone or email. Our team successfully went live with two multi-lingual implementations in the year with no issues to report to date.
Let me tell you about another exciting client I had for 2014. This particular non-profit church organization was incorporated in 1921, has over 540 parishes and over 1.5 million faithful followers. XTIVIA was engaged to help them bring Liferay to forefront in their organization. Liferay provided this organization the perfect platform to host their multiple websites and XTIVIA was their partner of choice. My team worked very closely with the team members of this organization in building out widgets that could be used across multiple sites, providing them with Liferay knowledge and expertise when the situation demanded, and supporting them during critical events.
2014 was probably the year of non-profit clients for me. Yet another client of mine is a non-profit organization working on bringing life transformation to every person in Haiti. Working with this particular client on the project has been a very satisfying journey. Liferay was chosen by this organization as the platform of choice. XTIVIA was brought in to help them in the implementation of their dream project, building out a web platform that would bring various organizations together to work for the people of Haiti. The project work was very demanding and provided the utmost satisfaction to me and my team members. I had the opportunity to be in Haiti when the platform was launched in the presence of the member organizations. They really appreciated the tools that the platform provided.
During the later part of the year, I was asked to take over a client which had been with XTIVIA for over a year. This particular client is ranked in top 50 in Fortune Global 500 with over 130K employees in 100+ countries. XTIVIA was selected by the e-commerce department of this organization to work as a partner in the Liferay-based development of a critical web asset. The department was building out a search-centric portal that would be used by its employees and field agents to search and retrieve digital assets. Working in tandem with the client stakeholders, the XTIVIA team delivered a solution that provided easy access to the portal user of over 20K digital assets. The ability to search these assets based on keywords, as well as the capability to further filter based on different categories, gave the users the functionality they had been looking for a long time.
The icing on such a productive year was the recognition of XTIVIA at the Liferay Symposium in Boston, MA. XTIVIA was selected as the Liferay North America Partner of the year, a recognition that XTIVIA has earned three years in a row for our commitment to excellence in the delivery of Liferay based projects. XTIVIA was also awarded the Community Excellence Award.
Looking back, 2014 was a busy and satisfying year. I know that I am really excited about 2015 and all the possibilities that exist for me and the application team in XTIVIA.