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Driving Social and Web Experience Conversion: Acquia and Drupal rated as Visionary in latest Magic Quadrants
by John Carione
Over the past month, Gartner has released new 2012 versions of the Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WCM) and for Social Software in the Workplace (SSW). We are pleased to announce that Acquia / Drupal has been rated VISIONARY in both Quadrants. This is an important and exciting milestone for both Acquia and Drupal. Drupal now commands a unique position as the only platform cited as a leader in both the Social Software in the Workspace and Web Content Management Magic Quadrants. Accordingly, by leading the convergence of Digital Marketing in the WCM and Social Business market segments, we are the first and only solution provider to offer business users the ability to collaborate seamlessly (with both internal and external stakeholders) and then publish content to the web within a single, unified system.
It’s now becoming clearer to customers and analysts that building social communities and web experiences with deep connections are uniquely at the core of Digital Marketing. Web Experience Management and Social Business Software, along with the delivery of rich shopping experiences form a powerful trio of capabilities that should never be bolted on as a disjointed start/stop customer experience along the customer journey. Drupal as a broad, infinitely flexible platform, offers integrated experiences for both Digital Marketers and Community Managers that translates into more immersive customer experiences downstream.
With this in mind, here are the some of highlights of the strengths cited by Gartner specifically for Acquia as a vendor in the 2012 versions of the WCM and Social Software in the Workplace Magic Quadrants.
Gartner begins saying “Acquia provides well-received services in the market around one of the most popular OSS WCM platforms. Feedback from multiple sources, including customers, partners and developers who have been working with Acquia has been overall very positive.” I’d highlight here that Acquia has over 2400 customers today, which underscores this ability to ensure customer success with open source Drupal. Gartner then goes on to suggest, “Their management team consists of OSS visionaries as well as those with a long tenure in the WCM market. Therefore, they understand enterprise requirements and at the same time ensure excellent relations with the broader Drupal community.” Gartner also highlights, “The combination of their social software capabilities with their WCM offering provides Acquia with a unique opportunity to help enterprises with their broader online channel strategy. While enterprises struggle to conceive- and implement a social strategy, Acquia can claim a success based on a social culture indigenous to both their community and their social offering and provide unique guidance in this respect.” It was great to hear some of our hypotheses confirmed by Gartner after some of our recent customer meetings on the same subject.
Other partial highlights for Acquia and Drupal include:
Ecosystem: Drupal is proven in large, high-profile deployments. It has an active 600,000-member developer community, a track record of community support and a growing ecosystem of service providers.
Viability: Acquia partners with about 500 consulting and development organizations to provide a range of services, including community strategy, Web strategy, design, implementation, development and performance tuning.
Platform: Drupal is a rich and extensible platform for social publishing that provides a lot more control for content layout and editorial workflow than typical enterprise social networking products.
Gartner also provided certain cautions around Acquia and Drupal. These are a fair assessment of the current state of the company and the community, and represent areas that we are currently acting aggressively to improve upon. Specifically, Gartner stated “Currently Acquia lag the WCM market in deep marketing-oriented capabilities. While providing a good foundation, they have only relatively recently directed their roadmap more aggressively towards the needs and ambitions of OCO (Online Channel Optimization).“ Gartner then goes on to say “To maintain and expand on their differentiation they will need to push this envelope further and inspire the Drupal community to help build on such a vision. Currently, they compare themselves favorably with other OSS communities, rather than raising the bar for both themselves and the aspirations of their target audiences.”
As Gartner correctly notes, we are aggressively pivoting our Go-To-Market and roadmap plans to service the emerging Digital Marketing audience. An important first step in this direction was announced last month at DrupalCon in Munich where we introduced Spark as the new flagship agile content creator experience for Drupal. Even more exciting is the advanced responsive design experience in Spark which allows developers to tee up smartphone, tablet, and desktop breakpoints for agile mobile development, preview, and optimization. This is leading edge technology when compared to many traditional proprietary solutions that rely on mobile device detection techniques that are difficult to scale.
Gartner’s second point alludes to the fact Acquia needs to step up further and compete more effectively against the larger proprietary vendors cited in their MQs. The good news on this front is that we already are competing for the hearts and minds of Digital Marketers with the likes of Oracle, Sitecore, SDL-Tridion and Adobe in Web Experience Management and Llithium, Jive, Microsoft/Yammer, and Telligent in Social Business Software. As we continue to build out our sales infrastructure across the globe and participate as a trusted advisor to Digital Marketing leaders, we will further highlight our unique value propositions for Content, Community. and Commerce at the world’s largest organizations such as Pfizer, WholeFoods, Warner Music, NBC Universal, and many others.
Overall, we are very excited to be recognized for the first time as a Visionary in the WCM Magic Quadrant and as a great choice for vendors looking to capitalize on the convergence of Social Business and Web Experience within a single seamless solution. We also look forward to addressing some of the areas of improvement in the second half of 2012 and beyond.
Important Note: Acquia (sans Drupal) is specifically cited throughout these reports as Gartner will only evaluate commercial companies and not specific products/platforms. However, our rating and ranking is inextricably linked to Drupal’s ongoing success and a true reflection of the strength of the platform and broader community at large.