17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2014 11:19 AM by pradeepgm

    Introducing externally accessible groups

    clairetaz

      I am interested to learn about customer experiences of bringing external customers and partners into private groups with the 'Externally Accessible Groups' feature. Were there any challenges regarding customer/internal profiles?... etc.. What were the scenarios/use cases?

        • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups

          Kim Nelson from Nuance might have some good insight on external groups

            • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
              kim.nelson

              We have an internal community and are using "externally accessible groups" to collaborate with our agencies, partners and customers.  As an example, we have created a few partner portals in EMEA for our healthcare business to engage, communicate and collaborate with our thriving partner network.  We wanted to create a place and experience that strengthens our joint market leadership, extends the product reach, and fuels continued growth.   We have it organized content into three sections:

               

              Partner

              • Details of our partner program
              • Our partner program is designed to offer the appropriate level of collaboration and support required to ensure mutual success.

              Learn

              • Find product training and targeted sales and marketing resources to help customers get the most from our products and services.

              Engage

              • Provide the tools to build a compelling story, design partner campaigns and let their prospects know about all the benefits
              1 person found this helpful
              • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups

                clairetaz - we leverage external contributor groups to bring in contractors, consultants, partners, etc. as needed, and collaborate with them in our internal instance. This means that the external contributors only have access to the private/secret groups which are flagged as 'external facing'.. these groups must be private or secret, and cannot be open or members only.

                 

                I think the biggest thing I would offer about these would be to have some sort of process or guidelines around when people can/should be creating external groups, and guidance for internal folks on what can be shared in these groups.

                1 person found this helpful
              • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                John Schwiller

                It's been discussed elsewhere but I wish we could extend Get Started to external contributors. They may be 'less involved' than employees, and need to get up to speed in a more self-sufficient manner. If they are a contractor we may be paying them for their time, if they are a delivery partner we want them to get on with the day job.

                 

                I've seen comments that the group owner should be doing the education but they may not have time - and that's worse if the employee is group owner of several groups. We also have created FAQ docs (like Quickstart guides but with screenshots) in a Help group for employees that are site specific but there's no way of giving external contributors access to that group. Copying all that FAQ content into each externally accessible group is not really an answer, particularly if these get updated over time as it would create a governance headache. Yes, external contributors may not read the FAQs by self-service but on an internal instance a group owner can answer a question by @mentioning an FAQ page without having to write the answer out all over again. [Yes I know you can copy paste the HTML or use Ryan's plugin but these are workarounds].

                 

                Use of Jive for Office, Jive for Outlook and Jive Anywhere will also be useful for external contributors. I've bid three systems in the last two weeks where we've offered externally accessible groups and I know that in delivery we would hit these problems and have to dream up workarounds.

                 

                I'd also like an external contributor to be able, in some cases, to be a full group owner and not just a member manager. There also places where external contributors are not indicated, for example Manage Group Members page. If a group gets large the group owners may forget who is an employee and who is an external contributor.

                  • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                    clairetaz

                    John, Max, Kim, and Tara THANK YOU - this is really useful and I appreciate you sharing your experience.

                     

                    On the training side and bringing external parties up to speed, we had in mind to create an externally accessible 'support' group to host FAQs, training materials, videos etc rather like the internal support space, but obviously an external group. I guess the challenge there is that every customer / partner / external party would have to be sent an invitation to join both groups. We could link this customer support group in each external group + bring materials into a 'help' widget using watch-a-tag (e.g. quick_tips) like we do internally.

                     

                    Regarding the governance on creation of external groups and invitation of members, we plan to remove this ability from the 'general user' and it will be by request to the central team.

                     

                    One question that came up yesterday with the business was around external/internal profiles... 'can our customers see our internal profiles, and can internal staff see external customer profiles?' There was a concern about 'following' too. Info/experience on that would be most welcome.

                     

                    It is interesting to learn the two use cases you mention above for which I will summarize my understanding here:

                    1) partnership program / inviting multiple partners to access and share information (maximize partner opportunities and increase sales)

                    2) more individual external engagements with contractors/partners/agencies/customers (bringing the account team closer to the customer or external)

                     

                    Question: Do any of you use the externally accessible groups for supporting customers (multiple customers, answering their questions, getting their ideas and feedback on products etc)? (support/innovation use case)

                     

                    thanks!

                  • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                    John Schwiller

                    Another thing I've just noticed that I wasn't quite expecting was that an external contributor cannot see personal content published by an employee who also has access to their external group. They can see the employee's profile but don't seem to see their personal content, even when it is open to the whole community. They don't even see the personal content when the employee gave them author rights to it [which I suspect should not be allowed?].

                     

                    Of course I can see that this would be pretty complicated, for example if the content had replies / comments by other employees who the external contributor is not allowed to see, or if these other employees are co-authors and have edited the content (I would be tricky to hide their names and content) etc.

                     

                    clara.liang or olivia.teich  can you confirm that this is, as I suspect, by design. And please advise if you want a case raised re giving external contributor author rights to personal content.

                     

                    Edit: I note that you can explicitly give read access to one or more external contributors but that would be instead of giving access to the whole community (can't see a way to give access to the whole community and external contributors who have access to an external group with the personal content author). And then a piece of personal content with access to external contributors acts in some ways like an externally accessible group, exposing the name of of employees who are co-authors and/or who comment (showing their name, not allowing access to their profile, and showing their comments - however they were warned this was externally accessible). Bottom line is there is more flexibility than I was aware of.

                    1 person found this helpful
                      • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                        clairetaz

                        Hi John Schwiller thanks for the continued insight/experience. This is interesting.

                         

                        So, does that mean

                        1. an internal person cannot create a document or upload a file and 'specify' an external person to collaborate on it outside of a group?
                        2. to collaborate with external people, you MUST do it in the external group?
                        3. if you want to work on a doc with a single member of an external group, you need to create a new 'externally accessible' private or secret group between just the two of you?

                         

                        In a way this makes sense... to kind of put up some 'security walls' around external parties and content.

                         

                        Is there a doc or blog that explains exactly what an external person can and can't see in Jive when they have access to the externally accessible group (ie profile fields they see etc..)

                          • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                            John Schwiller

                            It looks to me as if an employee can collaborate with one or a couple of external contributors and/or other employees on personal content created by the employee but this cant be content open to the whole internal community. I assume this is by design - it seems too unlikely that this is working by accident

                             

                            I haven't seen this written up anywhere - but that doesn't mean it isn't documented.

                             

                            It feels as if the call the employee has to make is how many people do I want to see this content and do I need to control the readership/authorship. I guess the capabilities might expand as people start using external groups and finding scope for possible enhancements. But remembering back to the early design calls on this, different respondents wanted different things so Jive had to pick off core features that everyone needed. I don't remember thinking about personal content back then (no time to go back to the original requirements spreadsheets right now I'm afraid.)

                              • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups

                                clairetaz -
                                I think

                                1. Yes, this instance would work. If an internal employee wanted to collaborate with an external contributor, they could collaborate/share a document specifically with them

                                2. Outside of ^ use case, where external user is part of the "specific people" listed, yes

                                3. No, based on the #1 above.

                                 

                                John - I think you're right on the original designs front... as always, people had ten million requests for the feature, but Jive had to balance realism in and designed for what made the most folks happy and worked the best.. not including personal content was by design as this would introduce a new level of complexity.

                                 

                                All that said, Clara or Olivia can talk best to this

                                  • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                                    clairetaz

                                    Great that makes perfect sense. The two remaining concerns I have are:

                                     

                                    1. is it ok to use 'externally accessible groups' for the 'supporting customers / multiple customers in a group' type of use case (I sense that these externally accessible groups are more used for consulting type engagements or partner groups, and the external instance is more used for the support use case). I want to know what if any are the drawbacks of using the externally accessible group for that support scenario.

                                     

                                    2. mixing 'customer profiles' with internal. I sense there may be an issue with this somehow.

                                     

                                    I really appreciate this collaboration. This Jive customer community is proving to be SO useful to me. Thank you all again.

                            • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                              miketinio

                              This thread is useful, thanks for it. Does anyone have experience with implementing externally accessible groups in an SSO environment? We've implemented SSO to simplify our internal users' experience but in our tests, it seems that when trying to access our community, EVERY user is prompted to identify themselves as either an Employee or a Non-Employee which obviously hinders the SSO experience:

                               

                              external login.PNG.png

                              Is there a way to configure it so that internal users are automatically logged in via SSO but external users are prompted to enter credentials?

                               

                              Thanks in advance for your help.

                                • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups

                                  mike.westlund/Jussi Heikkola might be able to talk to our SSO config and their experience with it. Otherwise, clara.liang - looking at Mike's question, is there anyway to have certain users passed through, and other users filtered out?

                                  Is there a way to configure it so that internal users are automatically logged in via SSO but external users are prompted to enter credentials?

                                   

                                  Mike, just to make sure I'm reading right.. are your internal users having to re-log in every time they visit the community, or you want them to not see this page at all?

                                   

                                  - - - - -

                                  clairetaz --

                                  Sorry, no idea how I missed this!

                                   

                                  You can if you do not have an external instance, definitely. The only guidance I would offer here is that if you do go this path, definitely come up with a tagging structure for tracking these groups and make them private so that they are discoverable. If all of these groups are secret, then tracking them can become a pain.

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                    • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                                      thebryceswrite

                                      Hey Mike Tinio and Max Calderon...was there ever an answer posted to this question from Mike about enabling the Externally Accessble Group feature WITHOUT causing your internal users to have to go through the extra "Employee Login" selection page? Or has anyone figured out how to do it?

                                       

                                      I'd love to make use of this feature, but I don't want to add a step to the authentication process (particularly SSO) for our users to make it work.

                                       

                                      Thanks!

                                        • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                                          pradeepgm

                                          Hi Bryce Williams

                                           

                                          When a user first attempt to access the instance URL, the system doesn't know whether he/she is an internal or external user hence it just prompt that user to identify themselves. Once identified the system persist that info in a cookie and use it for subsequent access. The login page will be prompted only once and persisted for later use.

                                           

                                          We tried to customize it (through the email white listed domains) but the first time access is always a challenge. The email domain can be identified only for an invited user, if a user simply access the url there is no way we can identify them.

                                           

                                          Pradeep GM

                                            • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                                              thebryceswrite

                                              Hey Pradeep! Thanks for chiming in here. Got it.

                                               

                                              I still think that's going to cause a pretty consistent issue as my testing (at least in our environment) demonstrates that the cookies are regularly getting cleared through browser closing / PC restart. So people would fairly regularly have to go through that screen. I'll keep evaluating how it works. But I think it would be pretty disrupting for more users as only a small percentage would even be leveraging the external groups at this point. Thus the potential for confusion and inconvenience for those not impacted by the enablement of that feature.

                                               

                                              But I'll keep looking at it with more scenarios. Thanks for the help!

                                                • Re: Introducing externally accessible groups
                                                  pradeepgm

                                                  But I think it would be pretty disrupting for more users as only a small percentage would even be leveraging the external groups at this point. Thus the potential for confusion and inconvenience for those not impacted by the enablement of that feature

                                                  Agree.

                                                   

                                                  Cookie life time - It is set to 30 days by default. That said it is refreshed to 30 days whenever you access the application. The cookie is per browser based hence you need to identify yourself on each browsers. I haven't seen it reset on PC restart but if you clear the browser cache then it is reset.

                                                   

                                                  Pradeep GM