Acquia Partner Strategy
by Tom Erickson
When I joined Acquia 18 months ago, one of our top priorities was communicating our partner strategy. As a priority, it’s still right up there, an indication that, while we have made progress, we need to be more transparent, more communicative than we have been.
Having a strong and diverse ecosystem around Drupal is vital for the continued health and growth of Drupal. Code contributors are key of course, but so are other roles from documentation to marketing to organization of conferences and camps. Acquia has an express goal of facilitating and growing this ecosystem, through sponsorships, internal initiatives, and partnerships.
We’ve been doing a lot of sponsoring, including dozens of Drupal Camps and meet ups, and premier sponsorships for Drupalcon and Lullabot’s Do It With Drupal. In addition to our team’s contributions to Drupal code, we’ve also hosted and sponsored several code sprints.
In more non-technical efforts, we have individuals like Kieran Lal, aka Amazon, who spend a considerable amount of their day evangelizing Drupal and working as part of the Drupal Association on conferences and major projects, including spearheading the recent drupal.org redesign. One of the lesser known Acquia initiatives is marketing, where we have created, and will be augmenting, marketing materials that can be used by the entire Drupal community.
Front and center to everything we do though, is our partner program, which remains perhaps the least understood element of our plans to foster the Drupal ecosystem. Designed to expand and grow our partners’ businesses while expanding Drupal’s presence and reputation in the enterprise, the Acquia partner program borrows from other successful partner programs in the open source and enterprise software world. Our leadership team has been involved in building some very successful programs, from Lotus to Baan, Documentum to Watermark Software. To enhance our ability to understand partner "thinking", we brought in Peter Guagenti from Razorfish.
The Acquia partner program has several elements that benefit partner organizations. A partial list from our Services & Training Partner programs:
- Partner delivered Drupal training, Acquia supplied curriculum
- Joint webinars (we've done 23 with partners, averaging 500 registrations each)
- Joint proposals
- Engagement referrals
- RFP response templates
- Drupal marketing materials
- Acquia Network Knowledge Base
- Complimentary Acquia Network subscriptions
- Referral fees for subscriptions
- Referral fees for our managed Drupal hosting
Of course the proof is always in the pudding, and we’re pleased to have lots of great examples where Acquia is growing our partner’s business while expanding the adoption of Drupal:
- Palantir was brought in by Acquia to build opensource.com
- Forum One, Navigation Arts and Siteworx are implementing a significant project for a large US defense agency with 17 Drupal sites. Cyrve and Four Kitchens are playing an important role in this project as well.
- VML, Forum One and Cyrve are building a next generation collaboration site for one of the world's highest profile non-profit foundations
- Top Notch Themes has worked with Acquia to create Acquia Marina and Acquia Slate, the base theme for Drupal Commons, and the theme for a prominent soon to be released developer community site.
- Chapter Three has delivered many Acquia training classes
- Mediacurrent is engaged by Acquia to migrate a large public company’s intranet to Drupal
- Dynamite Heads is upgrading the Acquia web site, with Ping Vision having performed the first phase of the work in 2009
The examples continue, but hopefully you get the idea. We’re committed to helping to grow and sustain the Drupal ecosystem, it’s the only way that Drupal will prosper, which itself is a precondition for Acquia’s success. We hope to maintain complete transparency on our program and are endeavoring to do more communications. Matt Ackley has recently assumed the mantle to manage our service partner program, if you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact him, or for that matter me or any of your other favorite Acquians.