Rebooting the Acquia Network: New Tools & Services, Same Commitment to Customers
by Peter Guagenti
We are very proud to announce today the launch of a revamp of the Acquia Network. The Acquia Network has been at the heart of our offerings to customers since the founding of the company. This launch is the start of a massive upgrade in the software and services Acquia provides to help our customers be successful building and maintaining Drupal sites.
Building on feedback from our customers, we have refocused the Acquia Network on providing value to our subscribers in three ways;
- knowledge and training materials to help make our customers more savvy about Drupal development and maintenance
- tools and SaaS services to extend site features and empower site owners to do more with their web experiences
- the safety net of experienced, knowledgeable Drupalists to answer questions, provide guidance, or to jump in with you at critical times to ensure your site performs as you need it to
These three pillars have always existed in the Acquia Network subscription, but this new release makes it easier to access and use these services through an improved UI, provides additional services from Acquia and our partners (all at no additional charge above the standard subscriptions), and adds more ways to reach out and get help when you need it.
The best part is that these changes are just the beginning; as we work to realize Dries’ vision for Acquia, the Acquia Network will continue to grow and evolve to be the hub for how our customers build, deploy, and maintain killer web experiences built on Drupal. Our engineering team will be continuing the redesign of the Acquia Network based on your feedback, they will be adding a raft of new features and tools to help you do more with your site, and the knowledge and training materials we offer subscribers will be growing at a rapid clip. Thanks to our agile development approach, you can expect new releases from us at least once per month for the next year!
So let’s dig in on what you now get as part of your Acquia Network subscription.
“The Acquia Network Makes Me Smarter”
One of the greatest assets available to Acquia Network subscribers is the Acquia Library; a growing collection of how-to’s, tips and tricks, and general knowledge for Drupal developers and site owners. The Acquia Library includes a knowledge base of over 500 published articles, reflecting every issue we have faced within Acquia’s support, consulting, or engineering teams. In addition, the Acquia Library provides quick access to the full collection of Acquia’s webinars, podcasts, videos, white papers, and select 3rd party content sources.
The new Acquia Network release includes a redesign of the Acquia Library to improve usability and access to content. We are actively adding new content as well, with an average of almost 50 new articles being published each month. Have a question or problem? In most cases you can turn to the Acquia Library for a quick answer.
“The Acquia Network is Tools I Can Use”
Our most valuable offering within the Acquia Network is arguably the SaaS services we bundle in at no additional charge to our subscribers. For many of our customers, the subscription to the Acquia Network is more than paid for simply by using the Mollom or Acquia Search services that have always been a part of the subscription. With comparable Google site search plans costing upwards of $750 versus an Acquia Network basic subscription at $349, I can understand why hundreds of our subscribers have signed up for access to this great service.
Starting today, we have added even more great services to the Acquia Network. Subscribers now have no charge access to three great new services from Acquia partners:
- New Relic — All subscribers get a free Bronze account with New Relic, which allows you to monitor, troubleshoot, and tune your Drupal site. We are very excited about this product and our partnership with New Relic. Our team has been working with New Relic since their PHP tools were in private beta, and they have been incredibly responsive to the needs of the Drupal community. We are actively using New Relic across all Acquia Managed Cloud customers and it has enabled us to find dramatic improvements in site performance for our customers.
- Visual Website Optimizer — We ran into this great product on a number of consulting projects, and were so impressed with it’s capability and performance that we reached out immediately to bring the service to all of our customers. Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) is the world’s easiest tool for designing, deploying, and tracking A/B and multi-variate tests. Every company has specific goals and actions they want from their web experiences (be they purchases, downloads, views, etc.). VWO enables you to use simple visual tools to create tests, set goals, modify your site (such as changing headlines, graphics, layouts, etc.), track the impact, and VWO will even pick the winner for you so that you maximize conversions as soon as a clear winner emerges! Visual Website Optimizer’s “Small Business” plan is now available free of charge to all Acquia Network Professional and Enterprise subscribers.
This is an incredible value for our customers. An Acquia Network subscription now delivers you more than $3500 worth of additional features without costing you a penny more than you were already paying for access to our world class support, Drupal tools, and the Acquia Library.
These new services are just the tip of the iceberg; we are currently in discussion with partners to bring other services to our subscribers (including video and web analytics) and will be deploying even more Acquia-developed tools over the coming months to accelerate and simplify your Drupal projects.
“The Acquia Network is My Safety Net”
Support and advice has always been at the core of the Acquia Network. Acquia has gathered some of the best and brightest Drupalists from around the world, and that team has offered 24x7, SLA-based support to thousands of developers and site owners for the past few years. Acquia has expanded our support offerings dramatically over the last few months; we have added a support center in Europe to extend our hours and reach, we began bundling remote consulting and advisement (both during site development and after launch) with all of our subscriptions, and recently added proactive site monitoring for all of our Enterprise customers. Proactive monitoring uses distributed monitors to check for outages on our customers’ Drupal sites and automatically creates a support ticket, deploying Acquia staff to evaluate and resolve the cause of the outage.
The new release of the Acquia Network improves the experience for customers engaging Acquia for support; we have redesigned the Acquia Network support forums and improved our turnaround on customer questions, we’ve deployed a new ticket system (using the commercial product Parature) that streamlines our communications with customers, and we’ve added user-managed back-ups of databases and files for our cloud hosting customers.
So what’s coming over the next year?
Acquia will be releasing a broad array of new features over the next year. Expect to see even more knowledge and training materials available with your subscription, making use of the great curriculum we offer in public and private training, as well as access to content from other training providers and partners. We will be improving the “safety net” we offer subscribers by extending back-ups to customers not running in the Acquia Cloud, and by offering new security monitoring and protection tools.
Our most exciting growth in the Acquia Network, however, will be coming from new tools and SaaS services available to subscribers. On top of new services Acquia is developing around SEO (in conjunction with our friends at Volacci) and Drupal administration, we are also developing an API to allow third-party developers and SaaS product providers to easily promote and sell their services through the Acquia Network.
We believe that the Acquia Network API will both vastly improve the value of the Network to our subscribers and help incubate an array of new Drupal-specific services to enhance and extend your web experiences. Companies with great SaaS products relevant to the Drupal community will be able to highlight their products and encourage trial through the Acquia Network. Developers with great ideas will be able to use the API to promote their service and sell directly to customers running Drupal, without having to worry about marketing, promotions, or even building a storefront to collect and manage payments! And unlike a company like Apple, we won’t ever demand exorbitant commissions or exclusivity. Our vision is to see hundreds or thousands of great services deployed through the Acquia Network, and we see that as a win-win for both developers and customers alike.
What else would you like to see from us? Acquia has an unrelenting commitment to seeing our customers succeed with Drupal, and we want your feedback on our plans and how else we can help you. Please comment below and let us know what you think.