Periodically, we like to interview the experts among us to share their insights – as well as a little bit more about them. Throughout Americaneagle.com, there are 650+ talented and experienced professionals. They are real people, not holograms! They consistently contribute to client success. We hope you enjoy these interviews.
This regularly-featured interview series is called “Through the Lens of an Expert.” Today, we hear from Chris Freund, Liferay Technical Director at Americaneagle.com. Liferay is one of the platform solutions that our digital teams implement, integrate, maximize and maintain for some of the world’s most recognized brands.
How did Liferay evolve into a primary focus of your tech career?
Prior to accepting this position with Americaneagle.com, I invested nearly a decade of my career in providing client solutions with another agency. My expertise going into that work included open-source Java development. Liferay, from its initial development in 2004 through today, is an open-source Java web platform solution.
What were the primary considerations that led to your clients selecting Liferay as their Digital Experience Platform (DXP) of choice?
I would have to say that list is as long, and as varied, as the list of industries and clients with whom I have collaborated. For one common industry example and consideration, I would lean toward government agencies. For the government agencies and service websites that I have played a significant role in developing, security was their highest prioritized consideration. Likewise, security is at the forefront of Liferay’s ongoing development, to the point that over the years they have developed a trusted reputation as a leader in providing secure DXP solutions.
Another Liferay strength that has been key to particular brands is the platform’s multi-site, multi-language solutions. With a major financial service brand, as they went through an extensive rebranding effort, we rolled out their redeveloped U.S. websites using Liferay. They were so happy with the results, brand consistency, and versatility in sharing assets across domains, that they decided to bring their global websites onto the Liferay platform in order to unify their worldwide brand and marketing strategy.
Is Liferay primarily a portal platform for company intranets and logged-in access?
Throughout my experience with Liferay, we have indeed found great success building out company intranets and customer portals within the platform. Liferay provides several tools out of the box, including a robust content management system and document library, that are essential for any portal to be successful. Liferay also provides several features, such as workflows, forms, and social collaboration plugins that are impactful for engaging with employees and users as well.
While Liferay has a rich heritage of being a successful portal platform, I have also found consistent success using the platform for many other solutions. Since the platform is open source and very flexible, we have been able to customize it to fit any customer’s needs. I have used the Liferay platform to deliver custom web applications to address many unique business requirements within Liferay’s enterprise edition.
You just mentioned “Enterprise Edition,” what is that?
One of the biggest draws to Liferay is its Enterprise Edition subscription. As I’ve mentioned several times, Liferay is an open-source platform and has an active community that likes to play with the newest features that it rolls out, as well as develop new features for the platform. Liferay is actively involved in this community engagement and continuously improves upon its platform. The Enterprise Edition is a tested, verified, and secure version of the platform that includes the very best of consistent community enhancements.
The Enterprise Edition is ideal for demanding production environments as it provides a very secure and stable platform with regular security releases and technical support. Liferay provides its enterprise customers with a well-supported ticketing system. If there is ever an issue, Liferay will respond in a timely fashion as well as provide hotfixes that can be deployed to your Liferay instance.
What was it about Americaneagle.com that gave you the confidence that this was the right place to continue leading client solutions within Liferay?
There are really two answers to that question. One, Americaneagle.com is, of course, a global leader in providing digital solutions and has been successfully doing this for as long as anyone. The pride of wearing this eagle, representing it each day, and contributing alongside inspiring teams here, that all means a lot to me. Secondly, and more personally, I grew up in a family-owned business. For me, it was the family-owned Little Chef Restaurant that was opened by my grandma in McHenry, Illinois in 1958. Today, it is still operated by my mom. For the Svanascini family, this business began in Norb and Charlene’s basement and their sons, Tony and Mike have grown it with great care and continue to treat all of us at Americaneagle.com like family today.
We appreciate the opportunity to share a bit more about our colleague, Chris Feund, and the Liferay solutions he contributes toward. We also thank you for your interest in Americaneagle.com and the digital solutions we provide. If you would like more information regarding any of our global services, please contact us today.