Recently I was thinking about how I describe to others what our group does on a daily basis. Perhaps it’s my background with startups, but I’ve long felt that having a good elevator pitch for yourself or your company increases your ability to communicate with others. Those of us that deal with technology all the time (like me) often forget that we are talking primarily with humans, not machines.

Anyway, I realized that I tend to focus on our work with Liferay and other portal software. That’s a totally inadequate description of what we do on a daily basis. What we actually do is deliver your enterprise. We help organizations plan and deliver a view of their processes and data to internal and external customers, after repackaging and filling in the gaps. Portal software, while critical to success, is the delivery vehicle.

Delivering your enterprise means we continually learn and apply technology in different ways. One way is incorporated within portal software like Liferay itself – embedded capabilities such as content management, personalization, searching, presentation, JavaScript, workflow, web site themes, etc. A second way is technology that integrates enterprise systems with portal software as a delivery platform – more external capabilities such as authentication, databases, clustering, measurement, ESB, browsers, networking, etc. A third way is the human technology that we use to successfully deliver projects – Agile software development, risk mitigation, user interface prototyping developing wireframes, etc. And finally, let’s not forget about the experience and judgment that we use to blend these techniques, so that you’re not trying to use a dump truck when a wheelbarrow would do just fine.

So my associates and I would like to talk a bit more about how we work with you to deliver your enterprise by focusing on various ilities* and the technologies involved. By discussing the ilities, we’ll address the why of using a particular technology and less on the how – something we technologists forget is just as important.

Here are the first few topics I’d like to cover. Feel free to suggest others that you feel are important.

  • Availability, Reliability, and Scalability
  • Security
  • Usability

I’m sure we’ll expand this list as time goes on, so watch for more blogs around this topic.


* If you haven’t heard the term before, it goes way back to a paper by Boehm, Brown, and Lipow on software quality (see here for a summary of that paper and others). The list items often end in ility, hence the informal use of ilities.

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