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Step Aside Coding, It's Time to Embrace the Assembled Web [Dec. 9, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, December 9, 2013
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Forbes

By Dries Buytaert

To "assemble" means to build. Assembling also means that we come together. Sometimes, both aspects are true. When that happens and we work together to build, we are better off for it.

The open source community is a perfect example of this. When Linux creator Linus Torvalds spoke about how it felt to get contributions from a worldwide network of people, he remarked "I had hoisted myself up on the shoulders of giants". I'm lucky enough to feel the same way.

The Internet has created a culture of sharing, letting people connect and collaborate on areas of common interest. When I started developing Drupal in 2000 from my university dormitory in Antwerp, I never imagined I'd build a network of people who were interested in building a content management system with me. Yet word of my project spread, and before I knew it, I was getting contributions to my project from around the world. Soon I also was standing on the shoulders of giants.

5 Experiences Commerce Websites Should Replicate from the Apple Store [Dec. 6, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, December 30, 2013
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The Next Web

By Tom Wentworth, Acquia CMO

Whether you’re an Android or iOS user, we’ve all probably made our way into an Apple store at some point. After pushing past the suspiciously friendly blue-shirted door greeters, the in-store experience is actually quite pleasant. It’s a far cry from what you’d expect from a massive consumer goods retailer; people actually seem to be enjoying themselves in the stores and are eager to come back.

Unlike big-box retailers who couldn’t care less about which products you buy (as long as you buy something), Apple controls its brand message and experience within its stores. The result is a unique brand engagement that’s a win for both the Apple name and the consumer. This is exactly the experience Apple intends.

Apple has largely been successful in creating an in-store shopping experience that’s as simple, dynamic, and stress-free as a visit to its online store. While brick-and-mortar retailers are seemingly shutting their doors left and right, Apple stores seem to keep popping up around the world.

That got us thinking: what tactics did Apple implement in some of its physical stores that every retailer and brand can adopt? Here’s a list of five

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Breaking Bad Habits in IT: Avoid the Suite Trap [Dec. 2, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, December 2, 2013
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CMSWire

By Tom Wentworth

It’s time to break some bad habits. Fifteen years ago, CIOs bought into expensive technology suites that offered a “one stop shop” for every digital project on their agenda. These suites consolidated a range of applications into one package, offered by a large vendor like Oracle, SAP or IBM. But these “one stop shops” proved to be a bad investment. Individual applications rolled into suites became old news, and CIOs found themselves locked into their investments while companies like Salesforce.com and Workday took a majority of the market share away from applications in suites.

And now history is repeating itself …

CIO budgets are shifting toward the CMO, encouraging large marketing technology providers to recreate the types of suites big tech companies introduced years ago, targeted specifically to CMOs. These large packages pieced together from individual applications that guide every process of planning, creating and implementing marketing campaigns do not offer the dynamic solution marketers need in today’s digital age.

America's Fastest Growing Enterprise Software Companies of 2013 [Nov. 30, 2013]

Submitted on
Saturday, November 30, 2013
,
Forbes

By Louis Columbus

Earlier this month Deloitte published the 2013 Technology Fast 500™, their annual ranking of the fastest growing life sciences, media, software, technology, telecommunications and clean technology companies in North America. The winners are selected based on the percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2008 to 2012, and for the eighteenth consecutive year, software is leading all industries.

To review the 2013 Technology Fast 500™ eligibility requirements and methodology please see this document. You can find a copy of the Winner’s Brochure here and the complete list here. The following infographic also summary of the key findings of the 2013 Technology Fast 500 Rankings.

Reason To Be Thankful: Being Named A Fast-Growing Tech Company [Nov. 27, 2013]

Submitted on
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
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SemanticWeb.com

By Jennifer Zaino

It’s got to be a happy Thanksgiving for a number of tech companies that made their way to Deloitte’s recently-released Technology Fast 500. The 2013 ranking of the fastest-growing tech companies based in North America also has something to show for anyone who’s doubted that there’s money to be made taking advantage of semantic and other Web 3.0 concepts, a look at the list should show it’s time for the doubting to stop.

Have a look at some of the winners with their overall rankings:

#2 Acquia. Drupal claims the title of being the first mainstream content management system to support semantic web technology in its core. The Drupal-powered project Acquia was co-founded by Drupal creator Dries Buytaert to provide cloud, SaaS, and other services to organizations building websites on Drupal – and has on staff software engineer Stéphane Corlosquet, who had a big hand in bringing those semantic capabilities to Drupal’s core. In fact, Corlosquet spoke at the most recent SemTechBiz about Acquia as an example of a Drupal-powered project managing its content as Linked Data.

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How A Dorm Room Project Became Acquia, the Web's Go-To Content Management System [Nov. 25, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, November 25, 2013
,
Inc. Magazine

By Doug Cantor

As a grad student in computer science at the University of Antwerp in the early 2000s, Dries Buytaert began fiddling with what he thought was a fun side project: an open-source software platform that could support all kinds of websites. He called the system Drupal--Dutch for "droplet"--and figured no more than a dozen people ever would use it.

Buytaert graduated in 2007. But unlike his fellow grads, he didn’t have to look for a job. It turned out that his modest side project had captured enough users and buzz to be the basis of a business.

So Buytaert partnered with Jay Batson, a Boston tech entrepreneur he'd met at a conference, and founded founded Acquia, which provides service and support for websites built on the Drupal content-management system. They set up shop in Burlington, Massachusetts, the better to tap into Boston's deep well of tech talent. Tom Erickson, a former executive at the digital mapping company Tele-Atlas, joined the business as a board member in the first year and now serves as CEO, while Buytaert keeps his focus squarely on the technology.

Five years later, Acquia has clients in 25 countries, and has built websites for clients including Twitter and Intel. It’s appeared on the Inc. 500 list two years in a row, landing at No. 109 in 2013; 2012 revenue hit $45.4 million.) It now has more than 400 employees, offices in Germany, Sweden, Belgium, and Singapore, and investors like Goldman Sachs, Accolade Partners, and Investor Growth Capital.

A more astonishing fact: Drupal now provides the backbone for more than 2 percent of all of the sites on the Internet. For that reason alone, Inc. considered the founders of Acquia are strong candidates for 2013's entrepreneur of the year.

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5 Reasons for the Boston Tech/Innovation Community To Be Thankful This Week [Nov. 25, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, November 25, 2013
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VentureFizz

By Dennis Keohane

There is so much to be thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches this Thursday, especially as the robust tech ecosystem in Boston continues to trend upwards. Here is our list of a few specific things to appreciate as part of Boston's startup/innovation community this week.

Things are Going Great in Boston

The Startup Community should be really excited about what is going on these days in town. Not only because there seems to be more and more (sometimes surprising) funding announcements; not only because some "pillar" companies are stepping into the "public" consciousness and leading the next wave of Boston companies by sharing their experience and re-investing their dollars; not only because some of Boston's mobile app and e-commerce companies are expanding rapidly; but, because there is an almost palpable spirit of cooperation, widespread mentorship, and "all-in", familial mentality that is coursing through the city like never before.

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Top 5 Ways To Boost Holiday Sales By Leveraging The Web Site [Nov. 11, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, November 11, 2013
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Retail TouchPoints

By Kelly O'Neill

It’s that time of year again when brands and retailers work to find the best way to market a product to drive the greatest amount of sales during the holiday season. But this year is different: limited retail floor space combined with consumers’ demand for more information in real-time has presented an opportunity for brands to create a direct-to-consumer connection, one that can inspire greater brand loyalty and drive more sales.

But how can this be done? With their web sites.

Believe it or not, a brand’s web site has greater influence on sales and brand loyalty than most people think. When the web site is designed correctly — delivering a seamless integration of content, social interaction and commerce opportunities that customers look for — the potential to inspire greater loyalty, engagement and sales increases significantly.

Here are the top five ways brands can better leverage their web sites this holiday season to drive sales and increase the direct-to-consumer relationship.

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Tech Sector Throws Lunchtime Dance Party [Nov. 7, 2013]

Submitted on
Thursday, November 7, 2013
,
The Boston Globe

By Callum Borchers

It’s lunch time in the Innovation District, so of course it’s time to paper over the windows, hang the strobe lights, and crank up the music.

Welcome to the new power lunch in Boston, about as far as you can get from the cushy banquettes of the downtown dining salons, where a buttoned-down waiter recommends the baked scrod and two guys in suits discuss weekend golf.

Instead, Lunch Beat Boston style is an amped-up dance hour, where the Seaport’s District Hall is turned into a darkened disco, and techies groove to thumping electronica so loud that networking becomes, by necessity, a wordless bounce to the beat with your neighbor.

Lunch Beat — a global franchise that started three years ago in the electronic dance music hub of Stockholm — is a noontime rave intended to break up the work routine with a midday jolt of techno tunes. Organizers in Greater Boston held their fourth such rave Wednesday at District Hall, the newly erected center of the city’s budding Innovation District.

“A lot of young people don’t want to just work and go home,” said Dries Buytaert, cofounder of Acquia, a software company that cosponsored the event. “They want to be part of something. They want to have an experience, so having some fun matters. It matters because it gives you a sense of purpose and makes work not just work.

“Technology people often come across as reserved, but I think they’re the first ones to drop their guards in an atmosphere like this,” Buytaert added.

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Ready for Launch: Five Steps for a Successful Go-Live [Nov. 4, 2013]

Submitted on
Monday, November 4, 2013
,
IT Business Edge

By Kim Wright

The launch of healthcare.gov has brought a tidal wave of criticism. Some say the code was buggy, others blame the servers, and still others blame the user experience. While we may not be able to pinpoint exactly what went wrong, one thing is certain: What should have been a great day for many Americans became the worst day for the technology providers behind healthcare.gov.

But healthcare.gov isn’t the only site to experience a bad launch day; it just happens to be the latest example of how a site that goes live before it’s ready can cause more harm than good. When we only look at technology projects in terms of code and hardware, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Technology projects should support the people, the projects, and the objectives of the mission they are being built to support.

With that in mind, Jessica Richmond, senior director of Government Professional Services at Acquia, has put together some tips for site developers to ensure that when a site gets the green light to go live, it’s ready for peak performance, regardless of the amount of traffic it may experience.

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