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Expanding Acquia's Partner Program in Europe

2010 has been an inflection point for the Acquia partner program. We are doing more business than ever with partners, including case studies with Palantir.net, Blink Reaction, and IBM Global Services. Earlier this year, we made a number of changes to simplify the program structure and introduced new partner levels including Global System Integrators, Technology partners, ISV partners and Training partners.

Last week, Drupalcon Copenhagen was an opportunity to really see the program's evolution first hand. The launch of Cap Gemini's Immediate offering is exciting - "the elephants" have arrived, as Dries said during his keynote - and it extends the reach of Drupal into new application categories. Immediate is more than just a web CMS, it positions Drupal as a key component within a best-of-breed Social CRM offering, potentially catapulting Drupal into another Gartner Magic Quadrant market evaluation. Just as we have seen with Drupal Commons, Drupal can run circles around comparable proprietary "Social CRM" offerings - but the Cap Gemini brand gives Drupal a new level of credibility with enterprise buyers. Drupal is evolving beyond a web CMS or even social publishing into a Web operating system - powering web applications across the enterprise.

We sponsored a party Wednesday night with Enterprise Select and Training partner Dataflow - including a volatile combination of awesome sauce and aquavit - and learned more about how they are bring Drupal to some of the largest corporations in Belgium. The opportunity to spend face time with partners new and old from around the globe makes Drupalcon a incredibly valuable experience for me personally. To that end, I host a partner meeting at every Drupalcon to update partners on our product offerings and discuss how we can work better together.

Held on Monday afternoon, a room full of partners joined Peter Guagenti, Tim Bertrand and myself to discuss how we can grow our businesses together. One example is the Software Publisher program - we've built a model with OpenPublish and OpenScholar that coincides with the increasing momentum our partners are putting into building solution-oriented Drupal distributions. There's no denying that business buyers prefer solutions to technology platforms and the combination of partner distributions and our software publisher program gives enterprises the speed to deployment and reliability they demand.

We announced plans to open a business development and support office in Europe, which was received with much enthusiasm from our partners. Our go-to-market strategy in Europe will be channel driven. This, combined with Acquia Hosting in Europe and better time zone support, will create new business opportunities across our partner channel.

I spoke to dozens of firms who want to join the partner program and I hope to replicate the success we have seen in the US this past year. We've published partner case studies with North American partners this year, with many more in the pipeline. I hope to have a number o case studies with European partners to share at next year's European Drupalcon to demonstrate how we are growing the program worldwide. If you are an Acquia partner today, please let me know if you ideas for case studies we can begin working on asap. I can't wait.

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