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Next Great Digital Experience Adds Reality as Channel

The Internet dealt a staggering blow to business-as-usual. The digital disruption of connecting buyers and sellers through the World Wide Web changed everything, posing a serious threat to the brick-and-mortar retailer. But that was only the beginning. While digital has been so successful in the early rounds of this battle due to lower pricing, convenience is now the high ground to be taken and has pulled the physical retailers back into the picture. Reality, as it turns out, is the next digital channel. One of the early signs of the inter-reliance of digital and physical retailing was... More

Open Data - A new birth of Freedom

Whether FOIA, or local equivalent (we call it OPRA here in New Jersey), the demand for public access to information from our government - that should be in theory if not in practice "of the people, by the people, for the people" - remains stronger than ever before. In fact, various Open Data initiatives affirm this. Transparency in all aspects is crucial for effective governance, and ultimately, accountability. Classified material aside:... More

Real-Time Marketing is the Next Marketing Evolution

Website marketing is undergoing an evolution, just as it did several years ago when marketers realized the benefits of creating and promoting valuable content. The advent of inbound marketing saw websites move from digital brochures to content producing machines. This opened the top of the funnel, enabling marketers to draw in more and more traffic. However, strategies for converting this newfound traffic haven’t really changed, and this is where the next evolution, real-time marketing, is going change the game. To understand how real-time marketing will increase conversions, first you... More

For Bezos, Fixing the News Industry is All About Content

Most of my career has taken place at the nexus of news and technology. Before joining Acquia to oversee content and communications, I spent a number of years at The Boston Globe where I helped digitize the print publishing process, transitioned the newsroom to digital tools, and then advocated to move the content to tablets and eReaders. And so I am watching with great interest as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, takes control of The Washington Post, wondering if this digital visionary can successfully create a business model to once again ensure a healthy news industry in the face of digital... More

Drupal 8, iOS 7, and Disruptive Innovation

I was recently struck by a story told to me by Tom Bogan, one of Acquia's board members and the board chairman at Citrix. Citrix has risen to become one of the most successful technology companies in the world. Tom says that the key to Citrix long term success has been its willingness to look for ways to "disrupt itself". Citrix often takes a critical look at its business, and looks for ways to innovate fast like a startup. This process is called disruptive innovation... More

Building a Great (and Social) Alumni Platform

Over the past several weeks I’ve had more conversations with schools about alumni sites and alumni portals than I can even count. Big schools and small, public and private, are exploring and evaluating options for their next (or in some cases, their first) digital platform. And for the most part they are all looking for similar things: an infrastructure for social integration and community building, back-end interoperability, and of course the right tools to deliver an amazing online experience for their alums that will keep them engaged and coming back again and again. There are several... More

Personalizing the Digital Experience Using Simple Taxonomy

(Part 2 of the Exploring Personalization Blog Series) There aren’t a shortage of tools and techniques surrounding successful personalization as I discussed in my last blog post. But with that being said, executing through precise, innovative taxonomy needs to be done effectively in order to turn viewers into returning visitors. President Obama’s donation page surrounding his presidential campaign last fall is a great example of this. This page was able to tell if you had been to the site... More

Responsive Design in Higher Education: How Do We Do It Better?

At our higher education Meetup last week in Atlanta (http://higheredmeetupatlanta.drupalgardens.com/#), Savannah College of Art and Design (our host school) presented their new Drupal web site and talked about how it’s impacting their overall business. The assembled group was impressed with what they saw. www.scad.edu not only adheres to the sleek and progressive design standards that one would expect from such an institution, but it is fully responsive at its core... More

Open Source CMS Drupal Provides Better Value for the Australian government

Last week, I came across an article on ZDNet entitled "Australian government can't recruit fast enough for open source". Drupal is having so much success in Australia that they can't hire fast enough to staff all the projects. Most interesting to me is why Drupal is beating the proprietary, legacy CMS systems of the past. According to John Sheridan, the CTO for the Australian government, Drupal's success is all about value: "The proprietary solutions require an increasing fees,... More

Nokia: A salutatory lesson in the perils of ignoring digital disruption

My first three phones were Nokias and I loved them. That was in the days when battery life was the phone "feature" we cared most about. However, the switch to an iPhone was a no-brainer. Can you imagine what the Nokia R&D team felt like when they first saw the iPhone? Their market had just witnessed one of the biggest disruptions of the digital era. The cell/mobile phone market changed overnight - perhaps "evolved" would be more appropriate. It is sad to see a former European tech powerhouse pay the price for failing to respond effectively to such market disruption. The sale of Nokia'... More

How is Acquia's blog being disruptive?

Have you heard of the concept “digital disruption?” I think I know what it means, but I also feel like it’s bigger than what I think. If you’re reading this post then you are already “digital.” What about disruption? Can we get ahead of it? I think we need to start by catching up with digital disruption and making sure we understand it, then try to get ahead of it. With the new release of the updated blog on acquia.com, we are catching up with digital disruption. As a data driven marketer, I’m constantly watching... More

For the Drupal Community, New “Sharing Economy” is an Old Idea

If you share it, they will come….. Many of you have already heard about the “sharing economy.” It’s not a new concept, in fact folks have been talking about it for the last couple of years in the B2C space. At the surface, the sharing economy represents a tectonic shift of digital disruption that is coming like a freight train towards every business and consumer across the globe. I believe those that embrace it will flourish, while those that try to fight it will go the way of the music industry over the last decade…. One of the primary shifts in the sharing economy revolution is the tendency... More

The Case Against the Marketing Cloud

The Marketing Cloud. A one-stop-shop for CMOs. Everything you need to create, manage, and execute marketing campaigns. Web. Social. Email. Mobile. Analytics. Targeting. From a single vendor. All in one easy-to-buy package. Adobe’s got one: “Adobe Marketing Cloud. All the solutions marketers need. All from Adobe.” So does Salesforce.com: “Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive solution that takes social marketing to the next level. Oracle has one: “Execute consistent, integrated social marketing strategies across your global brands” Even HP/Autonomy has one: “Autonomy Marketing Cloud,... More

What are Your 5 Guiding IT Principles?

Higher education IT organizations today face two major challenges: They must manage through day-to-day hurdles while also preparing for the technology challenges – and opportunities – of tomorrow. At our EDU Meetup earlier this month in Washington D.C. (http://higheredmeetupdc.drupalgardens.com/#), Georgetown University not only played the role of gracious host but also opened up the forum by highlighting the five guiding principles by which it manages its technology strategy to meet these dual challenges. “Open Source” is... More

Acquia a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management

Last week, Gartner unveiled the 2013 edition of its yearly Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Gartner Magic Quadrants are evaluations of vendors in a specific market. As a refresher, Gartner looks at WCM vendors against two sets of criteria: Ability to Execute measures how well a vendor sells and supports its WCM products and services globally. Completeness of Vision focuses on the vendor's potential and points to its future chance of success. Gartner continues to evaluate this market based on the vendor’s ability to meet the changing needs of companies... More

Ask not what open source can do for you,ask what you can do for open source

We've all used "closed source" products where various fees are paid to cover the cost of producing functionality, upgrades, and fixes. We wait with bated breath for the latest roadmap and complain when OUR desired features are not on it. We consistently "ask" the product to do more for us, earning that right because we paid good money for it. Ultimately though, this ties our individual rate of innovation to the vendor's. We either have to wait (behind customers who have paid more money), or accept risk by moving now and making customizations (which the vendor will not support). This... More

Open Source lies: Confessions of a former Commercial CMS Salesperson

I’m embarrassed. I believed what they told me. I echoed the lies about Open Source CMS Software that my proprietary solutions cohorts tell all their prospects. I guess I can’t blame them. The truth about Open Source CMS proves to be quite scary to the commercial world. It threatens their business. It pokes holes into all of the things that they hold sacred – their proprietary solutions, their product development roadmaps, their maintenance and support contracts, and so on. I'm here to set the record straight on my path to contrition. I need to dispel the lies that I told and evangelize the... More

Ok. We’re Responsive... Now What?

I was a little surprised at how dominant the topic of responsive design was at last week’s EduWeb Conference in Boston. By all accounts, it was a great conference. A wide breadth of institutions provided many perspectives and the quality of the presentations and interactions was as good as any other higher education conference that I have been to. But still, talk of responsive design – of what it is and how to achieve it - was everywhere. In fact, it was so prevalent throughout presentations and discussions that I was caught a... More

Why are Mid-Market Companies Still Looking at Adobe CQ?

Since joining Acquia, I’ve been taking a close look at opportunities where Drupal is competing against proprietary content management systems, often Adobe CQ (aka Experience Manager) and sometimes Sitecore. While Acquia competes with Adobe and Sitecore across a variety of companies - from the largest in the world to smaller higher education institutions and non-profits - I’m most surprised when I see so-called “mid-market” prospects looking at Adobe CQ. Defining mid-market is a bit tricky, but I’ll default to Wikipedia, which... More

Why did we redesign the blog on Acquia.com?

As the business grows your site should grow with you. We recently redesigned the homepage of acquia.com and now it was time to update our blog section. Our old design had a featured blog section that highlighted 3 blog posts. Sometimes the same post showed in 2 of the 3 spots and this featured section showed on every page of the blog. It was hard to find anything other than the featured articles. We decided with the new blog we would keep the 3 featured spots but make sure you... More

The Future of Marketing: It’s All in the Numbers

I heard the number over my morning latte: $35.1 billion. Billion. Big number? Sort of. That’s the value of the merger between advertising mega-agencies Omnicom and Publicis announced Sunday. It’s the total valuation of the two companies. Sounds big, doesn’t it. Now consider this: In a single year, Google brought in $50 billion in advertising revenue. By contrast, the two agencies only brought in a combined total of $22.7... More

A Site Factory that’s Perfect for the Media Biz

What do funk musician George Clinton and communications giant Clear Channel have in common? Well, for one thing, me. I’ve worked for both, and while the experiences were very different, the work gave me good insight into what it takes to be successful in the world of media and entertainment. Before coming to Acquia as director of media, entertainment and publishing, I spent several years in content production, developing broadcast programming for Clear Channel, CNET, and The Wall Street Journal. I’ve spent time in my career as a musician and digital marketer for George Clinton, and I also... More

Few things to consider when redesigning a B2B website

Everyone who is in the web business has dealt with a site redesign before. Sometimes they are long drawn out projects, and sometimes they go a bit faster. Sometimes they take years and millions of dollars. I’ve been a part of each of those scenarios. Our recent website redesign went pretty smoothly, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned over the years. Make sure you know why you are redesigning your website. Set Goals. When we started redesigning Acquia.com we listed out these main goal: Increase Leads Improve Messaging More Relevant Content Once you have your goals set and ideas of how... More

"Retirement Tsunami" of CIO's in Higher Education. What Comes Next?

I remember being at Gartner Symposium in Orlando years ago and sitting in one of Mike Zastrocky’s presentations and listening him talk about the issue of an aging IT demographic bearing down on colleges and universities. Mike’s warning was meant to serve as a call to action to the industry: Colleges and universities need to actively work on transferring technological skills and knowledge, cultivating a new generation of IT leaders... More

Digital Clarity Group: The Latest Marketing Gimmick? Truly Useful Content

This is a guest blog post written by Robert Rose, Senior Analyst at Digital Clarity Group (DCG). Along side his work with DCG, he is also the Strategist in Residence and brand advisor for the Content Marketing Institute, a featured writer and guest blogger for iMedia Connection, CMSWire and Fierce Content Management. Robert also maintains his own blog at The Mythic Marketer. When you’re surfing the channels on television – you’re looking for great content. You may first try your “tried and true” channels. But you’ll ultimately land (and stay) on a channel because of the content, and not... More

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