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One Login Across Dell.com and Community

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I recently published a post about registration coming to blogs, since it was functionality we never had when we launched the blog in July 2006. Today, we’re taking that a step further to allow tighter integration between community and Dell.com.

For a lot of big companies, the web is about e-commerce. Today, even though more companies are engaging customers through social media, community tends to be on one side, while e-commerce is on the other. Lots of folks within Dell don’t think it should be that way… and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been a big proponent of Jeremiah Owyang’s concept of the Irrelevant Corporate Website.

Feedback from the community like this idea from IdeaStorm user winoffice makes it pretty clear: people hate maintaining multiple logins. That’s a core reason why we’re implementing something called single sign on. At its core, it’s a pretty simple thing: your Dell.com account and your Dell Community account become one. This linkage means you can navigate seamlessly between Dell.com and the Dell community site.

Right now, single sign on applies to content on the new Dell Community site (blogs, forums, wikis, groups and galleries) and Dell.com. It’s also worth noting that both IdeaStorm and OpenID integration is on the roadmap.

So, here’s how the process works: if you have an existing My Account for Dell.com and an existing community account, you’ll need to associate them together. If you only have one or neither, don’t worry. The process should be pretty easy and take less than a minute.

Update: Community member PudgyOne recently let me know that some customers were using their e-mail address as their community user name. Please do not do this. Please choose a unique user name that is different from your e-mail address. This is important because whatever you choose as your user name will be viewable to the public. This also means that you may be susceptible to spam.

 Note: While we are introducing the technology to Dell's website, there will be about a four to six hour window where customers cannot create a new account. Click on the image below to see a larger version of the image.

Single Sign On Screen

Once your accounts are associated, you’re good to go and will use your e-mail address to login into community from now on. Your user name will be displayed when you post or comment anywhere on the Dell Community.

For more details, take a look at this wiki article. If you have questions or issues with the process, please let me know in the comments section.

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