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2009 Perspective

It was a very good year

As we’re just a few days away from 2010, I’ve been reflecting on the momentum Acquia has built over the last year. Based on our reception by the market, and the steady rise in enterprise acceptance of social computing, it’s clear 2010 will be a significant year both for our company and Drupal.

Fueled in part by the economic crisis, open source software was one of the big winners in 2009 and Drupal was no exception. Many more businesses were looking at open source as a viable technology platform to replace legacy, proprietary software. On the web content management front, large organizations started to realize that in order for their companies to truly participate in social business, they needed to reevaluate the software that powers their sites. People are used to a more engaging experience now, and flat company sites (in their minds, anyway) drive a negative perception. So, we started getting more, and more important questions like how is social being incorporated, and is collaboration an integral part of the customer experience? It was exciting to hear Drupal brought into these discussions. As a result, we saw a record adoption of the platform which translated into a strong year for our Drupal services.

In the last twelve months we’ve hit record numbers and significant milestones on so many levels. A few of the highlights include:

- Customer growth: Not only in number (we’ve signed 100 new customers in Q4 alone), but the size and type of business we’re servicing has significantly evolved. 2009 was definitely a turning point for enterprise Drupal adoption. We’ve seen more and larger organizations- public and private- across a range of verticals- retail, media, government, etc.- turning to Drupal as the foundation of their external and internal sites. The platform’s ability to seamlessly support collaboration among customers and employees has a cost-benefit for organizations, lets them tap into today’s social media tools, and be nimble enough to innovate quickly to support future applications.

- Partner growth:
What makes Acquia so attractive to enterprises is the extensive partner network that is there to help guide businesses through the process of building a Drupal site. Whether an organization is new to Drupal or well-versed in Drupal builds, we’ve been able to address their needs with our diverse and deep partner network, now 140 strong. From design agencies in the U.S. and Europe to technology partners such as Red Hat and IBM, 2009 was a great year for partner growth and collaboration with the broader Drupal community. I hope 2010 will be another year of building in this important area.

- Government Momentum:
I mentioned briefly above that Drupal adoption has surged in the public and private sectors, however a 2009 retrospective would not be complete if I didn’t mention what we consider to be one of the most significant moments for Drupal this year: the launch of whitehouse.gov. Not only was it perhaps the most high profile installation of Drupal to date, it was also an important turning point for Drupal within the government sector. Early 2010 will be important for government agencies and departments at all levels as they try to meet the specific requirements of the Open Government Directive, and the White House installation has shown that Drupal can be a platform that helps departments meet these requirements with a level of security and reliability necessary at the government level. Stay tuned for more movement in this area very soon.

- Investor Confidence: Supporting all of the customer, partner and vertical growth this year has been our investors. In July we announced another round of funding; a significant moment for Acquia as it capped a strong first half of the year and put us in a great position to close out Q3 and Q4 with record numbers of customer wins and partnerships. It also underscored the market’s continued confidence in our model, Drupal as an enterprise platform and its near and long term potential. Thanks to the support of our board and the loyalty of our current customers, we are in a great position moving into 2010.

I’ll be blogging more about my vision for 2010 soon and as I mentioned above, we’re going to be hitting the ground running with some major announcements.

Thanks to everyone here at Acquia for a great 2009 and what I know will be an even better 2010. Your hard work alongside the global Drupal community, which has contributed a great product to the market, has made the difference!

Happy New Year!