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How could SSO change our Community?

I'm looking at progressing switching on SSO for our community and an interested in hearing how other Lithium customers have found this affected their Community.  Would be great to hear any experiences anyone has had, particularly anyone who went from having an established non-SSO community to then switching SSO on mid-life. 

I have a number of assumptions, some of which maybe right and some may be completely wrong, feel free to correct or comment:


  1. SSO will help streamline/unify our registration and login journeys (since we'll move to having one login for both our main website and community)
  2. SSO will make it easier to increase active membership - we'll know more about our members and therefore be able to produce more tailored and interesting content, stimulate logins  
  3. SSO will make it easier to provide effective 1:1 support in community, where needed (Since customers will authenticate using their main website login we'll be able to validate their customer ID and give them personalised support via PM without having to ask for tons of authentication details first - I have a BIG question mark about this, as not sure what info is actually available via Lithium in terms of their customer ID etc)
  4. SSO will give us better insight into our membership ( we'll be able to understand what proportion of our membership are actual customers and what products they have etc since each community user will be tied to a customer account - again big question mark here)
  5. The first few weeks/months after switch on could give us some tetchy members - depending on how slick the switch on process is

I appreciate a number of these will depend on the way we set things up and the capabilities we have to take advantage of SSO down the line eg tying together data sets for more insight, capacity to produce and feed members tailored content. But I'm interested in what opportunities the technical capability of SSO will give us that we didn't really have before, assuming we can pull the required resource and expertise together.


Would love to hear peoples thoughts even if it's just what they found best/worst/most tricky about SSO.

Thanks in advance!


3 Replies 3

We use SSO for a couple of reasons:

  • So our customers have a single user ID/ PW in our communities, in support, in product licensing, product downloads, etc.  It would be a royal PITA if they had to create and maintain an ID/PW for each of those areas.
  • Since we know who paying customers are (an automated process to entitle them in the community based on their sso credentials), in the community we put an icon next to threads they start that only employees can see so paying customers are.
  • Our support and marketing organization can gather analytics on usage in the community and compare that to data from our support and marketing databases.
  • We can target messages at various community member types, coordinated with support and marketing.
Community manager in the Micro Focus Community. My computer always used to beat me at chess, but it is no match for me now I changed the competition to kick boxing.

@kgroneman thanks, this is exactly the sort of stuff I wanted to hear was possible. 

Aside from the icon you mentioned that employees can see - are staff (or admins) on your community able to see from a community members profile anything that tells you not just if they are a customer, but which customer? 

I'm trying to understand to what extent SSO might let us shortcut the current manual authentication processes we have to go through in private with community members in order to help them with account specific issues.

We can't see it from their profile, but it does tell us they are a customer and their user ID/Email along with their SSO id so it's easy to take that info and look them up in our customer database.   Not seamless, but it works well enough. 

The good thing about SSO is if they do have account issues, we deal with it once and it's done for all applications they interact with. 

I also manage a Telligent community site that doesn't have SSO and it's a PITA when we have to deal with their customer accounts as they often use a different ID and email address on that community than we have in our customer support database so we usually have to take extra time to ask them what their accounts are in our other systems and wait for them to respond.   That's an issue if what we're dealing with is time sensitive.   We also have no way of telling if an account in our Telligent community is a customer or not. 

FYI the SSO solution we use is this: 

Community manager in the Micro Focus Community. My computer always used to beat me at chess, but it is no match for me now I changed the competition to kick boxing.

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