Drupal Software Publishing
by Tom Erickson
Acquia announced a new program at Drupalcon last week, Drupal Software Publishing. I thought it might be useful to provide some of the thinking that went into establishing this program.
Acquia’s core mission is to establish Drupal as the dominant social publishing platform. If we’re successful at this, there will be a thriving ecosystem around Drupal offering a broad variety of services and solutions.
As a part of this, we continually think about how we can create more win-win opportunities for Acquia and our partners. Acquia has frequent discussions with our customers and partners, and had heard how some of them were producing packaged applications, called distributions, based on Drupal. At the same time, several of these organizations were struggling with their go to market plans. They lack some or all of the go to market infrastructure that’s necessary to market, sell and support these applications.
It occurred to us that Acquia might be able to complement their application development focused activities. We already have a 24x7 service level agreement (SLA) based help desk, and a marketing and sales organization that has refined lead generation; lead nurturing and inside sales based processes.
The notion of cooperation between a “producer” of an application and a “publisher” is not a new one. In the early days of personal computing, small development shops created programs, and software publishers took them to market. This model also hit the enterprise software world. The former Iris Associates, led by current Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie, produced a product called Notes, which was published by Lotus. The model is alive and well in the gaming world today, where companies like Rebellion Developments (Aliens vs Predators) and Bungie (Halo 3) produce video games for distributors and game console manufacturers.
We began discussing a potential program with a couple of firms a few weeks ago, and were pleased to announce the first partnerships last week. We’re excited by the possibilities, which will offer pre-configured, proven applications based on Drupal to end users. It’s one additional way that will make Drupal easier to adopt.
The model is fairly straightforward. The producer is responsible for developing and maintaining the distribution. Acquia will market and sell the offering, and provide 24x7 support. Acquia and the producer will work together to tackle bugs and build roadmaps for future versions.
Our first formal producer is Phase2 Technology with their Open Publish product. We’ve worked together with Phase2 on several customer projects already, so we’ll be leveraging a strong existing relationship. Learn more about the partnership here.
Dries also announced at Drupalcon that Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), has produced a distribution that will be marketed through this program. The distribution offers higher education faculty members an easy way to publish information on their projects.
Acquia will be creating cloud based, hosted offerings of every distribution we publish, easing the on-ramp for new users. With these distributions and more that we have in the pipeline, we’re confident that many more organizations will be excited about getting familiar with Drupal!