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Financial Services Adapt to Challenges, Advantages of Digital Marketplace

It’s no secret that a global shift is taking place in corporate cultures due to the change in the way brands tell their stories through various digital channels. In the financial services industry, we are starting to see this shift take place in real time due to the way digital media and social are entrenching themselves into each brand. In order to keep up with this rapid change of innovation, a brand and its story needs to be visible through all platforms. This includes the ability to connect with customers across the globe. Financial Services companies can now attract and convert a new... More

Microsoft Takes a Page from Apple

Cross-posted with permission from DigitalDisruption.com Over the weekend I made an effort to evade the New England cold and pop into the mall to do some pre-holiday shopping. As I walked past the Apple store, I saw exactly what I had expected: an array iPhone 5C's and 5S's in the window, illuminated by glowing lights that formed a snowflake. I expected nothing less from the brand that truly integrates content, community and commerce. Delivering this integrated experience is what makes the Apple Store work so well. The products, the... More

Sleigh Bells Ring, Is Your Site Up? Five Last-Minute Tips

With Thanksgiving falling late this year, retailers and brands are scrambling to deal with almost a week less of shopping time between turkey day and the big day. With less time, the stakes are higher than ever to ensure your site’s uptime. There are sites that are too big to fail (e.g.... More

Forrester Report Tackles the Great Content and Commerce Divide

Imagine this: You walk into a local department store and browse until you find just what you’re looking for, but then you discover there’s no cash register in the building… you have to walk several blocks to get to the place where you can checkout. Sounds kind of crazy, right? Well, while you’d never find that situation in-store, that’s the situation that all too many digital shopping sites have created for their potential shoppers. Unfortunately many brands and retailers take consumers down disjointed research and purchase experiences, which works against the ultimate goal of conversion.... More

Content, meet Commerce

Today, .NET CMS company Sitecore acquired e-commerce vendor commerceserver.net. Chances are you've never heard of commerceserver.net. It's the product-formerly-known-as Microsoft Commerce Server, which Microsoft sold to a company called Ascentium, who then spun it off into commerceserver.net. Microsoft Commerce Server never quite took off relative to competitors like ATG, Hybris, and IBM. I was... More

Top 5 Media and Entertainment Trends: Update on Consolidation, Video

Over the next month, I’ll be revisiting some of my earlier blog posts to see how media and entertainment trends have developed. One of 2013’s major themes in the media and entertainment industry is consolidation. Back in September, I highlighted $6.78 billion dollars in 2013 mergers and acquisitions in just one media segment: companies that own local TV station affiliates. This segment seems to be the most heavily affected by consolidation this year, and the result is companies like Gannett, Sinclair and many others face complex CMS integrations or replatforming to new CMS systems.... More

5 Steps to Build a Great Drupal Team: Step 2: Define your requirements

In order to find candidates to grow your Drupal team, you need to define your requirements. How many people do you need on your team? What skills should each have? How much experience does each need? Read my previous post to lay the foundation for planning your Drupal team by getting familiar all of the various roles and skill sets on typical implementation teams of any size. In this series you can learn how to build your Drupal team in 5 steps:... More

Why Google Now is the Future of Your Website

I've been spending a lot of time with Google services lately as I explore switching from my trusty iPhone and iOS to Android, specifically the Nexus 5. It's been a surprisingly smooth transition, and I've started to prefer Android to iOS, in many ways because of the deep integration with Google Now, which gets me the right information at just the right time. When I wake up, I get a weather forecast for the city I'm currently in, and if I'm traveling, the city I'm heading to. Before my morning commute, Google Now tells me the time it will take to drive to work, and help me navigate around... More

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

It's been a week since our last roundup and there has certainly been a flock of disruptive news happening. Acquia, for example was named the fastest growing private software company in North America on Deloitte's 2013 Technology Fast 500, an annual ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecom, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. On DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption, there were several key stories that made some big headlines in the... More

5 Steps to Build a Great Drupal Team: Step 1. Teams, roles and skills

In order to successfully create a great digital experience with Drupal, you need a great Drupal team. Building a great team requires some thoughtful planning and possibly widening your net a bit. In this blog series, we'll be looking at the 5 Steps to Build a Great Drupal Team. Step 1: Understand typical teams, roles and job titles Step 2: Define your requirements... More

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

In order to create a great digital experience today, a brand must remain in step with consumer expectations and one step ahead of the competition. Constant innovation is essential to take advantage of the opportunities for successfully disrupting an established market, as well as to mount a defense against others disrupting your business. We'll be sharing a weekly roundup of some of the highlights from DigitalDisruption.com as the staff of this recently launched site follows the rapid changes that are affecting how we all do... More

Healthcare.gov & Why Enterprise IT Projects Keep Failing

You would have to be living on another planet to not to have heard about the failures of the healthcare.gov site. It seems like every day, there's another high profile failure, where the site doesn't work, or its hosting servers go down. It's been great fodder for late night comedians. Last weekend, even Saturday Night Live got in on the action. My favorite two quotes from the skit: “A lot of folks have been talking about our new healthcare enrollment site, how it’s been... More

Building websites and Mountain Climbing – views from the Summit with Drupal

In today’s information saturated marketplace, content is king. Every organization from the largest Fortune-listed to the small “mom and pop shops” need to deliver up-to-date information to their customers and employees. Like any endeavor, the right tools define how successful the process will be. It is also a team effort between business leaders working with users to understand their needs providing direction to content creators who produce relevant content and that flow back to the business leaders for publishing. Building, maintaining and utilizing are not a job for a few dedicated people... More

See What's Trending on Acquia.com; It May Surprise You

Having run websites for more than a few years, it’s always interesting to see what content is trending on your website. As marketers, we tend to get stuck on what’s coming next. If something has been out there for a few weeks or months, it’s old and we forget about it. This isn’t always the case for our end users and content readers, or for how our content is served on search engines. Seeing what is trending will tell you what is relevant and trending doesn’t always equal your most recent posts. Recorded webinars for Acquia are videos on-demand of our thought leadership content. We create... More

To Succeed in the Digital Wilds, Beware of the Zombies

The zombies are running faster. It's true. If you look at the speed at which zombies run in TV and movies over the past 20 years, they're getting faster. And according to Tim Walters and Robert Rose, the speed at which consumers demand information is increasing at the same rate as the speed of the zombies. Walters and Rose used this fantastic analogy at last week's Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston during their keynote, titled, “World War C: How to Survive and Thrive in a World of Fast Moving Consumers." I’ve been inspired to build on this comparison. Even though I don’t have the slides of... More

Using Drupal to Increase Student Engagement at IES Abroad

IES Abroad is one of the largest and most notable operators of study abroad programs in the world. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Richard Bartecki, EVP of Marketing, to better understand how their Drupal strategy is helping support their business growth. What I learned was that, like many of Acquia's college and university partners, IES Abroad has been able to increase its online effectiveness with students all over the world by harnessing the power of Drupal for mobile delivery, SEO, and for overall online storytelling.... More

Inbound Marketing Summit Boston Day 1 Recap

After 19 presentations and a keynote by Razorfish CTO Ray Velez, day 1 of Inbound Marketing Summit Boston is complete. Personalization, omnichannel marketing and social were hot topics today, but I want to discuss some of the presentations that impressed me the most. Right off the bat, Velez urged the crowd to really think about effective content marketing and to remember that a good marketer no longer is in the business of selling stuff, but instead should be focusing on the needs of the customer. But what really made his... More

Oracle's Love/Hate Relationship with Open Source

Matt Asay, a long time open source evangelist with over a decade of experience at companies like MongoDB, Canonical, and Alfresco, posted a great article in response to a new white paper on Open Source published by Oracle. (By the way, do people still read whitepapers?) Oracle wrote this whitepaper for the US Department of Defense, and... More

Don’t Let Your Best Day Be Your Worst Day

The launch of healthcare.gov has brought a tidal wave of criticism. Some say the code was buggy, others blame the servers, and still others blame the user experience. While we may not be able to pinpoint exactly what went wrong in this build, one thing is certain: What should have been a great day for many Americans became the worst day for the technology providers behind healthcare.gov. In the past week, I’ve been asked a few times if the site is built in Drupal (no), if Acquia was involved (no), and what could have been done to avoid this situation. The latter question is one that requires... More

Acquia Cloud is the CMS Critic 2013 Winner for Best Cloud CMS

Today, Acquia was named the 2013 People's Choice Winner for Best Cloud CMS by CMS Critic. Cloud CMS was a new category added in 2013, to recognize the momentum of the modern, cloud-native CMS, like Acquia Cloud. From the announcement: For a cloud CMS to be effective, the services need to be managed well, offer regular updates and security maintenance, have excellent technical support and high availability. These are separate from the typical requirements of a standard CMS and... More

Understanding Your Goal Is First Step to a Great Learning Experience

A lot of us have “ideas” as to what we need when seeking education. This goes back all the way to high school where you’re first asked, “What do you want to do when you get older?” Our answer to that question was, “I want to be a lawyer,” or “I want to be a mechanic.” We pinned ourselves to this broad thinking since each field has so many sub fields. I’m a lawyer, but not a trial lawyer; I’m a corporate lawyer. I’m a robotics mechanic not a garage mechanic. If we knew exactly where we were going in life and with our careers, we would have an easier time deciding our learning paths. Often,... More

Great Brands are Built on Great Stories

Storytelling dates back to the Stone Age, when cave paintings were used to communicate and pass down tales between tribes and families. Fast-forward to today, and storytelling has evolved past print to digital communications. In the world of digital marking, the success of a brand revolves around the quality of the story being told. This blog will explore three brands that have great stories to tell. Burberry With over 150 years of history, Burberry has transformed a retail brand into a massive disruptive resource. Founded by a 21-year old dressmaker, Thomas Burberry, the brand is rich in... More

Why Content is the Hub of Brand Engagement

For more years than I care to remember, we have been told that content is King. Brands have been merrily developing ‘must-have’ content, without realising that one-way conversations are really quite boring. Customer collaboration and engagement are the holy grail of content marketing. Yes, the content needs to be compelling but you don’t get the right content without that interaction. The perfect brand engagement scenario is getting the right content to the right people on the right device at the right time. Technology has enabled this revolution. Brands now have the power to plan, map and... More

Drupal Modules Take Site Personalization to the Next Level

If you’ve already taken advantage of Drupal taxonomy terms to increase engagement on your website, you may be ready for the next step of more advanced targeting and segmentation using personalization modules. In this blog, I’d like to discuss two examples of how large organizations have used Drupal modules to identify “like” users and then present them with targeted content. These customers have also integrated with best of breed technologies such as Google Analytics for web tracking and email... More

A Few Tips Toward Successful Enterprise Software Implementations

Throughout my career I've enjoyed implementing software/solutions at the enterprise level for organizations ranging from Fortune 25 giants to boutique eRetailers. There's much to be gained from each implementation as few are ever alike. This post isn't going to speak to how Drupal saved the Universe (it did and continues to do so), but rather how a recent implementation has enlightened me to a few keys to success for which any implementation team may employ. Not so long ago I had the pleasure of leading an implementation team through one of the most complex, exposed, and aggressive... More

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