Acquia Coverage

L.A. CTO: We Are Actively Upgrading City’s IT in the Cloud [March 23, 2015]

Submitted on
lundi, le 23 mars 2015h
American City & County

By Michael Keating

An exclusive interview with LA’s CTO reveals some of the city’s strategy

With more people employed in high-tech jobs (368,500) than any other metro region in the U.S., Los Angeles (population, 3,884,307) is an IT powerhouse. Leading the city’s team is Steve Reneker, general manager of the Information Technology Agency and Chief Technology Officer. He is spearheading several initiatives, including the development of CityLinkLA, which is a citywide initiative designed to make high-speed, high-quality broadband available in all areas of Los Angeles.

L.A.’s IT operation faces similar challenges to other city or county tech departments. For example, about 60 percent of the L.A. IT staff will reach retirement age within the next four years. More than half of the seven full-time workers at the help services desk have recently filed for their city pensions. Due to tight budgets, a lengthy hiring process and limited budget authority for hiring, Reneker is using student workers on a short-term basis to keep the city’s IT help desk staffed.

To help make its operation more efficient, the city is methodically embracing the cloud. In May, for instance, L.A. is expected to award a 10-year contract covering a new cloud-based municipal e-mail platform.

GPN spoke with Reneker recently about where the cloud fits in L.A.’s municipal IT strategy.

Government Product News: How is the city’s IT department structured?

Steve Reneker: We are very decentralized. We have 20 data centers out there, and it’s not very efficient. Our data center consolidation strategy calls for keeping three data centers for our private cloud apps, and moving everything else out into the public cloud environment. So over time, as departments need a technology refresh, the options offered to them will include various cloud environments.

GPN: Has your city department embraced the cloud?

SR: We have been moving some city IT functions to the cloud since early last fall. So I would say we have not seen any really significant changes yet. For the future, we certainly hope so.

We have probably seen a small percentage of change. For example, we just moved many of our city web pages to the Acquia cloud experience, which is a cloud-based hosting service and Drupal vendor-content management provider. We’ve seen a lot of improvement so there’s less complexity for our staff that we have to manage. We haven’t seen any reductions in staff in the process, however.

GPN: Has using the cloud helped reduce the server population in the Los Angeles city government?

SR: We’ve certainly seen some reduction in our server population, but we are still early in the process. Our IT unit is about 68 percent virtualized. We are spending a lot of time now going through upgrades on the Windows Server 2003 server operating system. The process gives us opportunities to either virtualize those environments or place them in the cloud. So we think there will be a large increase in migrations to the cloud over the next six months.


Wipro Is Accelerating Its Digital Experience Business [March 16, 2015]

Submitted on
lundi, le 16 mars 2015h
CXO Today

Digital customer experience has become a key business differentiator and application development and delivery leaders of front-office, Web, mobile, and digital development must step up to support their firm’s initiatives. A number of big organizations have offered digital experience to their customers to remain competitive.

Recently Wipro has partnered with Acquia, a digital experience company, to deliver digital experiences for its clients around the world. Wipro leverages the Acquia Platform on critical client projects that require an open and agile framework to integrate content, community and commerce.

With the Acquia Platform, Wipro brings together the open source drupal web content management framework and a suite of digital engagement services. The platform can connect a broad range of applications that optimize digital experiences for greater relevance and impact, said a company statement.

“Open source generally leads to greater choice for customers, downward price pressure and accelerated innovation as community development models upend the economics of traditional software R&D. Wipro’s innovative solutions and technology depth, combined with the robustness of the Acquia Platform and the cost benefit of offshore and open source is a winning combination for global enterprises,” said Andrew Aitken, GM & Global Open Source Practice Leader, Wipro Ltd.

“Through this joint approach, we are providing solutions to help our clients create amazing experiences for their customers. We’re helping global brands focus on the insights, interactions, integrations, and innovations that make extraordinary things happen for brands, businesses and their customers,” he added.


Wipro Partners with Acquia to Accelerate Digital Experience Delivery [March 15, 2015]

Submitted on
Dimanche, le 15 mars 2015h

Collaboration to Focus on Innovation in Financial Services, Life Sciences and Retail Sectors

New York, USA, London, UK and Bangalore, India - March 15, 2015: Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company today announced its partnership with Acquia, the digital experience company, to deliver best-in-class digital experiences for its clients around the world. Wipro leverages the Acquia Platform on critical client projects that require an open and agile framework to integrate content, community and commerce.

With the Acquia Platform, Wipro brings together the open source Drupal web content management framework and a suite of digital engagement services. The platform can connect a broad range of applications that optimize digital experiences for greater relevance and impact.

“Open source generally leads to greater choice for customers, downward price pressure and accelerated innovation as community development models upend the economics of traditional software R&D. Wipro’s innovative solutions and technology depth, combined with the robustness of the Acquia Platform and the cost benefit of offshore and open source is a winning combination for global enterprises,” said Andrew Aitken, GM & Global Open Source Practice Leader, Wipro Ltd.

He added, “Through this joint approach, we are providing solutions to help our clients create amazing experiences for their customers. We’re helping global brands focus on the insights, interactions, integrations, and innovations that make extraordinary things happen for brands, businesses and their customers.”
Wipro and Acquia will develop solutions and go-to-market strategies for its clients, initially focusing its efforts in the financial services, life sciences and retail industries.

“Together with Wipro, we’re helping global brands think ahead in how they approach customer engagement, empowering them to gain deeper insight into their customers and deliver extraordinary digital experiences,” said Joe Wykes, vice president of channel, Acquia.

The Acquia Platform helps Global 2000 brands build and deliver personalized digital customer experiences for every customer on every device. For digital marketers and other practitioners, the Acquia Platform includes tools that understand customer behavior to personalize sites and convert visitors into customers. The Platform is delivered from a resilient cloud and supports DevOps best practices, freeing brands to focus on their customers and not their data center.

Wipro has a strong advisory, consulting and delivery capabilities in the digital space that help businesses engage customers in a better way, increase their wallet share and deliver superior customer experience through a seamless experience across multiple devices and channels. Wipro helps global enterprises to navigate the complex digital landscape and help them discover their full potential in the digital space through next-generation digital solutions.

About Wipro Ltd.
Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT) is a leading Information Technology, Consulting and Business Process Services company that delivers solutions to enable its clients do business better. Wipro delivers winning business outcomes through its deep industry experience and a 360 degree view of "Business through Technology" - helping clients create successful and adaptive businesses. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, a practitioner's approach to delivering innovation, and an organization wide commitment to sustainability, Wipro has a workforce of over 150,000, serving clients in 175+ cities across 6 continents. For more information, please visit

About Acquia
Acquia is the digital experience company. Empire Life, Warner Music Group and Stanford University are among the more than 4,000 organizations that are transforming their digital businesses with Acquia’s open cloud platform. Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies and NGOs rely on Acquia to create new revenue streams, lower costs, and engage audiences more deeply through content, community, commerce and context.

Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
Certain statements in this release concerning our future growth prospects are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits, our ability to generate and manage growth, intense competition in IT services, our ability to maintain our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of fiscal governmental incentives, political instability, war, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property, and general economic conditions affecting our business and industry. Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available at We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.

Customers Want Personalised Content and Data-driven Commerce [March 12, 2015]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 12 mars 2015h

As seen in The Digital Economy 2015, Raconteur

Contextualisation to deliver personalised content and offers across all channels achieves better customer experience, says Acquia.

Digital has changed everything in today’s world of online commerce. Personalisation of digital experiences is no longer an extra, but an expectation. If a customer has visited your site once, they expect you to recognise them on subsequent visits and they expect a tailored experience.

A study by Janrain showed that the majority of consumers – 75 per cent – like it when brands personalise messaging and offers. Personalisation is a win-win; customers are presented with what they want to see, and in turn they’re more apt to have higher conversion rates and greater satisfaction.

In fact, O2’s study The Rise of Me-tail shows that adding personalisation to a shopping experience could lift sales by 7.8 per cent. In order to provide a personalised experience, businesses must leverage data from multiple sources, and apply that data to serve customers with relevant content, product recommendations and services based on intent, location and interests.

Contextualisation – knowing your customer’s interests, behaviour and content preferences across all channels – is a more thoughtful and comprehensive approach to personalisation that is quickly becoming a key component of the customer experience.


Service Call: Overhauling the Federal Customer Experience [March 10, 2015]

Submitted on
mardi, le 10 mars 2015h
Government Executive

By Camille Tuutti

The White House wants to overhaul the federal customer experience, but it won't be easy.

Let’s be honest: The federal government isn’t exactly known for its five-star customer experience. Whether applying for student loans or Social Security benefits, paying taxes or seeking health care information, Americans have a multitude of complaints about the difficulty of interacting with federal agencies. Even President Obama took notice and directed agencies in April 2011 to improve the way they serve citizens.

The push to plug the weak spots in federal customer experience gained momentum in 2014 with the launch of two new organizations—18F, a General Services Administration office created to help agencies improve online operations, and the U.S. Digital Service, a White House office that aims to untangle gnarly technology projects and make them successful. Illustrating the importance of customer experience—or CX in techspeak—USDS highlighted the issue in its Digital Services Playbook.

Despite these efforts, federal CX has been a bit of a bust.


A November 2014 study by Forrester Research went as far as calling federal customer service “disastrously weak.” The CX Index, which measures how customers perceive their interactions with organizations in terms of the ease, effectiveness and emotion of an experience, found that agencies earned an average ranking of “very poor.” Even more troubling for the government is that even the highest-rated agency still scored lower than the worst private sector organization Forrester examined. “Compared with dozens of auto, banking, retail and e-tail companies we also ranked, federal CX looks downright bleak,” wrote the report’s author, Rick Parrish.


Forum One and Acquia Launch Digital Government Accelerator [March 11, 2015]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 11 mars 2015h

By Bailey McCann

Forum one and Acquia have partnered to launch a digital government accelerator with the goal of improving collaboration between knowledge workers in government, think tanks, foundations and NGOs. The accelerator will allow these groups to build knowledge hubs and work through problems surrounding procurement and technical questions.

The solution will work on Acquia’s open cloud platform for public sector. The accelerator was built with Drupal Commons and includes a range of services for strategic planning, governance, member management, metrics sharing, and training. It is also FISMA compliant.


Forum One Launches Collaboration Accelerator for Digital Government [March 11, 2015]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 11 mars 2015h
Forum One

Alexandria, VA - March 11, 2015 - Forum One, a digital agency working with the world’s most influential problem-solvers, is launching the Collaboration Accelerator to streamline collaboration between knowledge workers in government, think tanks, foundations, and NGOs, by easing the technical, procurement, and security barriers that typically plague online collaboration in government and the NGO community. For the first time, digital teams will be able to quickly build online communities of practice or knowledge hubs and collaborate with other governmental and NGO organizations.

Building on the success of this solution within the private sector, Forum One is bringing this solution to market in partnership with Acquia – which provides an open cloud platform for integrated digital experiences. Acquia and Forum One have collaborated on many engagements over the years, including work for the American Red Cross and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“As transparency and open data initiatives gain momentum, we’re seeing more collaboration between government agencies and non-governmental organizations,” said Kurt Voelker, Chief Technology Officer at Forum One. “In fact, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a global partnership housed at the World Bank that seeks to advance financial inclusion, has successfully used this platform to communicate and interact with constituents to support development around the world.”

Oxfam, an organization dedicated to fighting global poverty and advancing human rights, relies on the Collaboration Accelerator to improve transparency and communication and enhance the impact of its services. Neal McCarthy, Oxfam America’s Senior Manager of Shared Services Applications, says, "At Oxfam, breaking down organizational silos so that the right people can easily connect and share across all 17 of our international affiliate organizations is a big deal. The Collaboration Accelerator is helping us do just that.”

Built with Drupal Commons, the Collaboration Accelerator helps team members manage groups, share resources and track projects from start to finish using their desktop or mobile device. The accelerator also includes a range of services designed to keep the community active and engaged, namely: strategic planning, governance, member management, metric setting, and training.

Delivered on the Acquia Platform, the Collaboration Accelerator is designed to support U.S. government agencies in achieving and sustaining compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). The Acquia Platform has helped federal agencies deploy government data and applications in the cloud and comply with rigorous security requirements.

“Agencies that work together effectively are best positioned to impact people’s lives and improve the performance of digital government,” said Todd Akers, vice president of public sector at Acquia. “The Collaboration Accelerator addresses three primary requirements for government and NGO collaboration platforms: support for robust security, flexibility to customize the solution for different working groups, and services to make sure that the community lives on until its work is done.”

For more information go to

About Forum One
Forum One is a digital agency that combines tech savvy, issue sophistication, and design execution to help influential organizations craft solutions for the world’s most pressing problems. Since 1996, Forum One has been passionately committed to helping its clients extend their influence.

For more information visit or email

About Acquia
Acquia is the digital experience company. Empire Life, Warner Music Group and Stanford University are among the more than 4,000 organizations that are transforming their digital businesses with Acquia’s open cloud platform. Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies and NGOs rely on Acquia to create new revenue streams, lower costs, and engage audiences more deeply through content, community, commerce and context.

govCMS Rolls out Digital Welcome Mat to the ‘Little Guys’ [March 9, 2015]

Submitted on
lundi, le 9 mars 2015h

Smaller agencies in all tiers of government will be catered for as the next phase of Australia’s public sector digital revolution is rolled out. One mandarin says signing up has helped them stay a digital leader in government.

Less than a year after its initial feasibility assessment, the Commonwealth’s open source website platform for public agencies has “come to fruition” says the federal government’s chief technology officer John Sheridan.

Sheridan wrote Friday on his Department of Finance blog:

“The release of the govCMS website today marks the availability of govCMS to all government entities to create and manage cost effective websites, based on best practice, that are compliant with Australian Government standards.”

Flagship websites and early adopters used to test the Drupal-based offering included — which went live in November as the first showcase of the technology — as well as the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the Department of Communications, the Department of Social Services, and Finance’s own site. Sheridan said that the feedback from those agencies has been very positive:

“Drew Clarke, Secretary of the Department of Communications commented that ‘by developing our departmental website in govCMS we are gaining the benefits of a cloud hosting solution and we will be able to share new modules designed to enhance policy consultation and engagement, with other members of the govCMS community. It supports our aim as an organisation to be a digital leader in government’.”

Now, the doors have been opened to agencies of any size, in any tier of government. A Getting Started form is found on the govCMS website.

Sheridan said that awareness of the rapidly developed platform has continued to grow throughout Australian jurisdictions since the official launch last month. In selling the platform to agencies, across all tiers of government, Sheridan has highlighted an early design decision to “cater for the little guys”, with larger high-demand agencies subsidising the smaller ones in such a way as to not jeopardise the viability of the service as a whole.

Low cost for agencies, and sustainability of the platform for Finance was a key element in getting it ready for Friday’s announcement.

Acquia, a US-headquartered cloud hosting company with offices in Brisbane and Canberra, has been chosen as the hosting provider, boasting local clients such as Flight Centre, Foxtel, TransLink and Earth Hour.


Finance Declares govCMS Production Ready [March 9, 2015]

Submitted on
lundi, le 9 mars 2015h
iT News

By Juha Saarinen

Offers comprehensive, cost-effective packages for agencies.

The Department of Finance has officially declared the govCMS website content management system and hosting platform as production ready after completing an early adopter trial.

govCMS is built on the open-source Drupal platform, and aims to provide agencies with a comprehensive services bundle that enables them to benefit from economies of scale and simpler and faster procurement, a Finance spokesperson told iTnews.

Government agencies can expect to save money by using govCMS, but Finance would not be drawn on figures comparing its offering with existing CMS and web hosting deals.

"The relative benefit for individual agencies will depend on their current circumstances and is a matter for the responsible delegates," the spokesperson said.

" has benefited from a significant reduction in hosting and related costs as a consequence of moving to govCMS. Further benefits are expected as maintenance and support advantages are exercised."

Finance contracted Drupal founder Dries Buytaert's company Acquia to host and support govCMS.

Acquia in turn partnered with Amazon Web Services for the public cloud platform for govCMS, which features high-availability hosting, disaster recovery, distributed denial of service protection and extensive monitoring and analytics capabilities.

Under the arrangement, government agencies get a managed Drupal application as well as unlimited, 24x7 technical support.

Finance said govCMS solved the problem of costly hosting for agencies through the use of AWS public cloud infrastructure as a shared platform for all websites under its management, with prices falling as economies of scale kick in.

Use of the Drupal open source platform means no software license or maintenance fees.

Having a standardised platform like govCMS means agencies can also share code, and not have to train people on differing systems, something Finance believes will result in further cost savings.

Improved compliance with Australian government standards for design, accessibility, security and information and record management is another benefit of govCMS, Finance said.


Australian Government Cloud Services Panel Sees New Additions [March 6, 2015]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 6 mars 2015h

By Leon Spencer

Friday also saw the release of the government's Drupal-based Government Content Management System, GovCMS, which is aimed at providing a content management and website hosting solution to Commonwealth entities

"GovCMS will provide entities with the opportunity to create and manage websites, based on best practice and compliant with Australian government standards, including security and accessibility," said Sheridan in September, when it was announced that the website would be implemented in partnership with Acquia.

"I'm pleased to see GovCMS come to fruition from a journey that began with a Feasibility Study in April 2014, which identified GovCMS as an important service offering for Australian government entities," said Sheridan in a statement on Friday. "The GovCMS website provides quick and intuitive access to key information about the full GovCMS offering."


Federal Government's Drupal-based Web Platform Goes Live [March 6, 2015]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 6 mars 2015h

By Rohan Pearce

The gates to the federal government's cloud-hosted content-management system, govCMS, have been thrown open.

Acquia, which hosts the platform, and the Department of Finance announced today that govCMS has officially gone live.

The contract is worth up to $24 million over four years to Acquia, depending on how many agencies shift to the platform.

govCMS is based on the open source Drupal Web platform.

As part of an early adopter program, a number of federal government agencies have already begun migrating to the platform, which from today will also be open to local and state government entities.

Along with the Department of Finance, early adopters included the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the Department of Communications, and the Department of Social Services. was the first site to go live on the new CMS, followed by

govCMS is available an as-a-service option for agencies. Migration to the platform is not mandatory.


Acquia Wins Two Stevie Awards in 2015 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service [Feb. 28, 2015]

Submitted on
Samedi, le 28 février 2015h
Stevie Awards

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – February 28, 2015 – Acquia, the digital experience company, was presented with two Stevie Awards in the ninth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Acquia’s Tim Bertrand won a silver Stevie Award for Worldwide Sales Executive of the Year, while Acquia’s customer service team won a bronze Stevie Award for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year in Technology Industries.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top sales awards, business development awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. The Stevie Awards organizes several of the world’s leading business awards shows including the prestigious American Business Awards℠ and International Business Awards℠.

The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. More than 500 executives from the U.S.A. and several other nations attended. More than 1,900 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Entries were considered in 54 categories for customer service and contact center achievements.

As Acquia’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Bertrand is responsible for overseeing the company’s global sales operations. Under his leadership, the company has grown its annual revenue to more than $100 million. As a result, Acquia was named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ list of fastest growing companies for the second consecutive year. Acquia’s customer service team is available to answer questions, share best practices, and help customers solve problems quickly. The team is available to respond to critical issues around the clock to ensure customers can meet their business’ needs.

“Entries to the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service awards have more than doubled over the past three years,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. “The widespread support of this program illustrates the importance of the functions it recognizes to business success. This year’s Stevie Award winners are the highest rated in the history of the awards, and we congratulate all of the winners on their commitment to excellence and innovation.”

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at

A Closer Look at Native Advertising [Feb. 27, 2015]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 27 février 2015h

By Tom Wentworth

Native advertising hit its stride last year. “Paid posts,” which gained popularity on new media platforms like Buzzfeed and Business Insider, started popping up in venerable publishers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And big brands have jumped on these sponsored content opportunities, including Dell and Shell, who have both invested in the creation of native advertising units within The New York Times.

While some brands find that native advertising “works,” as measured by clicks, it doesn’t always prove to be a valuable way to build and develop an audience. Many consumers question the credibility of sponsored posts, and will navigate away from pages that contain the dreaded “sponsored by” message.

In order to prevent this negative reaction from consumers, brands need to integrate native advertising efforts into a larger content marketing strategy. Brands today have essentially become publishers — from beefing up their corporate blog, to integrating content into product marketing campaigns. By creating a more comprehensive content strategy among all of their branded platforms, brands will find more success with third-party content campaigns like native advertising.

Some tips to get started:

1. Create Regular Content
Brands need to become a source of content that educates, entertains and inspires audiences, not “advertises” to them. In order to shift consumer perception from brand to publisher, brands need to establish a steady cadence of content creation on their own website’s blog or in other marketing materials before embarking on a native advertising campaign.

Once a brand builds a fan following for their internally generated content, consumers will be more open to seeing them post content on third-party publishers, like news sites. Chipotle is a prime example of a publisher-brand who has created a stream of valuable, interesting content that fans have come to know and love. They’ve experimented with content in a variety of places — from their tumblr page full of beautiful visuals, to a four-part satirical TV series on Hulu about the agricultural industry and how food is raised. The Hulu series was a way to shed light on the importance of eating food with integrity — selections with ingredients like those served at Chipotle.

The series, and other content streams hosted on their own site, established Chipotle as a source of information about agriculture and let customers know about the ingredients used in all meals. This in turn provided an opportunity for Chipotle to create well-received native advertising campaigns about those same topics on third-party news sites, like the “Food for Thought” series on The Huffington Post.


The Web: Headliner Or TV’s Supporting Actor? [Feb. 25, 2015]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 25 février 2015h

By Chuck Fishman

Super Bowl XLIX was the most-watched television show in U.S. history. It was also the most socialized Super Bowl ever measured, with 265 million Facebook posts, likes and comments, and more than 28 million global tweets. Today’s TV viewer doesn’t just watch TV anymore — they scroll through Twitter and Facebook in real time, watch YouTube Videos, send Snapchats and pin to Pinterest boards.

Their attention span is limited as they consume across multiple channels simultaneously, and the experience they create by consuming in this way is multi-dimensional, providing a unique opportunity for brands to meet them wherever they are — online or off.

Many media companies are taking advantage of this opportunity through multi-channel engagement and second-screen experiences. Shows like NBC’s The Voice have rolled out live-voting programs to engage viewers not just through television, but through social and text, too. The approach of connecting with viewers through activities such as live voting is called the “lean forward” model, and seeks to capture consumer attention wherever the consumer is, whatever platform they’re on.

The USA Network’s Modern Family Live employs the lean forward method as well, offering viewers a chance to compete live with other fans of the show to score points, climb the Live leaderboard, and hopefully come out on top with a prize pack from the show.

The “lean back” model seeks to hold fan engagement beyond the time constraints of regularly scheduled programming. The Walking Dead is a great example of this — they introduced a post-mortem talk show, “The Talking Dead,” to keep viewers engaged even after the show has ended.

Better Call Saul, a Breaking Bad spin-off, has a web experience separate from the show for Saul’s “legal practice” and offers viewers the chance to sign up to get emails from Saul direct to their inbox. The show also offers viewers a live digital component tied to the broadcast called a “story sync” at

All of these tactics are pre-programmed ways for networks to engage with their audiences through conversations that are happening around their programming — before, during and after.

As media companies experiment with capturing viewer attention on- and off-screen, they must engage fans across channels.

But what about the moments when a trending topic emerges unexpectedly, and media companies are caught unprepared? Super Bowl XLIX’s “Left Shark” is a prime example — he completely stole the show during halftime with Katy Perry, and arguably came out the biggest star of the game behind MVP Tom Brady. Left Shark now has 20,000 followers on Twitter.

Some brands have famously succeeded at this — like when Oreo capitalized on the blackout during Super Bowl XLVII with this memorable tweet and associated tagline: “You can still dunk in the dark.” Yet there is still much room for learning and improvement. As media companies experiment with capturing viewer attention on- and off-screen, they must engage fans across channels — via social media, in-app experiences, live participation, interactive portals and more. They need to recognize that the only way for this to work is to capture audiences where they already exist. Building out an approach to do that is no simple task.

With digital-native companies like Netflix, Showtime, Hulu and Amazon getting into the content production game, engaging audiences is critical. Networks need to find ways to continue the conversation not just during scheduled programming, but in between shows. To date, networks’ attempts at creating second-screen experiences haven’t consistently taken off.


Acquia Confirms Hitting $100M in Revenue for 2014 [Feb. 23, 2015]

Submitted on
lundi, le 23 février 2015h

By Rebecca Strong

In November, Acquia CEO Tom Erickson told us the company was on track to hit between $90 million and $110 million in revenue for 2014. Turns out the Burlington, Mass.-based Web content services company landed right in the middle, growing its revenue 46 percent to reachmore than $100 million for the year—placing the company among the largest privately held tech companies in Boston.

The company, which is soon moving its headquarters to Boston’s financial district, said a number of brands adopted the Acquia platform in the fourth quarter of 2014. Those include American Institute of Architects, Aruba Tourism Authority, Bush Brothers & Company, Feld Entertainment, Outside Magazine and Oxfam International. Global 2000 brands Intuit, Princess Cruise Lines and Agari are also now Acquia users.

"Key to our mission to rid the world of cyberattacks is the need to communicate with our customers across every channel in a personal way,” said Kevin Cochrane, chief marketing officer at the cybersecurity company Agari, in a press release. “Acquia's open platform gives us the freedom to deliver more relevant and engaging digital experiences, at a faster pace than ever before."

At its November Engage conference, Acquia announced a new product, ContextDB, as well as a new bundling strategy for its existing products. This news signaled that the SaaS firm is shifting away from its focus on Drupal and more toward demonstrating the value of its cloud- and data-focused content services for different kinds of Web businesses.

Acquia banked $50 million last May, making it one of just a handful of Boston companies that've raised a total of $100 million or more in venture capital funding. Erickson has said that it’s possible the firm will be looking to go public in 2015.


Website Software Seller Acquia Reports $100M in Sales [Feb. 23, 2015]

Submitted on
lundi, le 23 février 2015h

By Curt Woodward

Acquia has been billing itself as a “pre-IPO” software company for a couple of years now, but the seller of website-publishing software and services remains private.

That’s not terribly unusual these days, with a growing number of private tech companies stacking up investment valuations of $1 billion or more without touching the public markets. But we’re still waiting to see some IPO paperwork from Acquia.

In any case, here’s another note that indicates the company’s continued growth: Burlington, MA-based Acquia says it recorded $100 million in revenue for 2014. That’s up from revenues of about $68 million reported for 2013 and about $45 million reported for 2012.

Acquia sells software and services that help other companies run websites based on Drupal, an open-source Web content management system. The company’s founder, Dries Buytaert, is Drupal’s original author.

You might think of Acquia as a business- and government-focused contemporary of WordPress, the widely used web content management platform that is popular with individuals, small publishers, and media companies. Acquia has tended to see itself as a competitor to enterprise-scale publishing software offered by big companies like Adobe and Oracle.


Securing Data Vital to Personalized Customer Experiences [Feb. 20, 2015]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 20 février 2015h

By Andrew Kenney

Personalization and Personal Security
Everyone loves an app that responds based on what it knows the visitor will want – a tune-up because your car is due for repairs, a doctor’s office that displays relevant schedule openings to authenticated patients – yet people remain concerned their personal information could be exposed to others. Making a convenient appointment with a doctor isn’t worth risking that an intruder will leak your medical records on Facebook because of an unprotected port between the scheduler app, patient record ID and the medical records datastore.

The consumer’s world is full of untapped benefits from connecting data on their behalf in the form of services, from the Űberfication of local services to the application of expert systems to assist busy doctors with diagnoses. As sophisticated data analysis unleashes deep insights, the resulting wave of data will produce many more avenues for malicious attackers.

Isolating servers and building layers of defense is the most effective approach to security available today. Isolation closes a physical or virtual machine on a private network to all but designated traffic. Intruders cannot probe these connections, nor can they identify the IP address of the isolated server. The network is protected by opening minimal ports, running only necessary services and securing sensitive information in transit. When passing requests from web-facing servers through encrypted tunnels, designate a single point of access for just one type of data connection so the traffic can be carefully monitored for unusual activity.

Securing the Cloud
Web services’ evolving mandate is to be invisible and reliable. We make connections between organizations and their customers transparently and quietly, keeping transactions moving while user data remains secure.

As Forrester Research put it early in the virtualization era, server virtualization is 90 percent process and only 10 percent technology — for companies linking sensitive data to the network, logical and physical isolation remain the primary strategies for enhanced security. With a logically isolated network in place, an enterprise can set up VPNs between the private network and remote data centers or other clouds in order to access information without exposing any traffic to the open Internet.

“Companies are starting to use private and public cloud for their mainstream applications, with business line metering and billing becoming more common,” Forrester research analyst Richard Fichera wrote in August 2014. “Press your vendors to deliver automation driven by simpler policies. Make them do the hard work for you and hide the complexity[.] Automation that requires heavy human involvement is contradictory to the very principles of automation.”

At Acquia, we’ve added Acquia Cloud Shield, a virtual private cloud (VPC) with VPN capabilities built on top of Amazon Web Services to provide cloud-to-cloud protection between the company’s PaaS and client devices. We created this as a response to customers’ need to ensure their Drupal apps have fine-grained control over data access and network resources, and to provide the necessary data when designing user experiences.


Brands: Don't Get Lost on Amazon; Create a Store-Within-A-Store [Feb. 13, 2015]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 13 février 2015h

By Ray Grady

How Marketers Can Use 'Store Inception' to Drive Ecommerce

If you've ever shopped in a department store, you're familiar with "store inception," or stores-within-a-store. Just browsing the aisles of a Macy's, you're likely to see dedicated sections for Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and more. Despite the fact that these sections exist within the walls of a retail giant, the personalized look and feel of each brand still remains. Sometimes consumers gravitate toward these "incepted" department store shops simply because they're comfortable or familiar with the brand experience they're going to get. Now the online world is taking notice, responding to store inception with a phenomenon of its own: custom "takeovers" of marketplaces such as Amazon, Best Buy, Alibaba's Tmall and others to make their mark on an otherwise commoditized consumer shopping experience.

Brands know they're dead in the water if they don't have a presence in online marketplaces; that's old news. As commerce has become distributed/a>, consumers have the power to shop wherever they can find the lowest prices or most convenient delivery. But brands don't have to accept the reality of falling into a black box when listing their products on a retailer's website. Welcome to the inception of Amazon.

There are a few interesting, recent examples of inception from this past holiday season. Best Buy created a custom marketplace for Samsung on, which features only Samsung products and branding. Essentially, Samsung recreated the narrative approach it has on its own main website, delivering content (including videos and product shots of bestsellers like the Samsung Galaxy Note) alongside an integrated purchasing experience on Knowing that many of its customers likely visit for multiple items during the holiday season, creating this store-within-a-store was a smart move to capture mindshare while retaining the Samsung story.

Other brands like high-end fashion retailer AllSaints are experimenting with similar branded experiences and next-day delivery Prime deals through Amazon. The brand found that customers who browsed through Amazon were more likely to make a purchase than those who came directly to the AllSaints website, and decided to leverage that natural shopping pattern of its customers rather than fight it. What's particularly interesting about the Amazon custom commerce experience is that it redirects consumers back to the AllSaints website for actual purchase, using the free, fast delivery perks of Amazon Prime as a driver for conversion. The pay-per-conversion economics of this deal are similar to that of an ad buy.

Beyond the giants like Amazon and BestBuy, emerging social shopping sites like Wanelo are attracting the sometimes elusive, fickle millennial buyers. While Wanelo had its origins as a Pinterest-like mobile discovery platform, brands like Urban Outfitters are now offering a direct route to purchase through Wanelo's new "buy" buttons. An early pilot of the buy button resulted in in-app conversions that were three times higher than the standard Wanelo mobile conversion. Wanelo also offers "save" buttons that retailers can apply directly to their websites, which Wanelo claims can increase revenue by 100% to 300%. Although the verdict on social buying buttons is still out, using platforms like Wanelo where consumers are already browsing with a purchase consideration is a smart way to get in front of an engaged audience.


The Personalisation of Customer Experiences Is Becoming the Standard [Feb. 10, 2015]

Submitted on
mardi, le 10 février 2015h
Elite Business Magazine

By Josh Russell

We all like to be treated as individuals. That’s why the personalisation of customer experiences has increasingly become de rigueur, with data driving more and more tailored experiences across the web. But whilst personalisation of customer experiences has only recently worked its way to the top of many retailers’ agendas, it’s important to remember that it’s not, in of itself, a modern innovation. “It’s not a new thing at all; it’s a very old thing,” says Adam Cleaver, founding partner at Collective London, the digital agency. “But it just feels like people are only to just waking up to the realisation that personalisation is a very powerful thing.”

Certainly there’s no shortage of evidence of the efficacy of personalisation, which has had a long heritage in the offline world. “We’ve been doing personalisation for years,” says Jason Nathan, global multichannel capability director at dunnhumby. For well over 20 years, the data analysis firm has been responsible for driving Tesco’s Clubcard scheme, which delivers personalised vouchers based around users’ shopping habits. “We have found with every retailer that we’ve worked with globally that the redemption and engagement rates for those vouchers when they are targeted are many magnitudes of scale higher than a blanket set of offers,” he continues.

But what has led to the upsurge in attention that personalisation has been receiving? In part, it’s an inevitable reaction to the realities of modern commerce. Whilst the shift online has introduced myriad conveniences for retailers and consumers alike, the rigidity of the digital experience is a poor imitation of the offline world. “The internet can be quite anonymous and quite cold,” says Frederik Demets, solutions architect at Acquia, the unified platform for content, community and commerce. Using the picture one has built up of the customer to provide a more unique offering can help to counteract the customers’ feelings that they are just seen as a cash cow to be milked. “It creates that feeling you have when you go to the same store every week and they know your name and your preferences,” he says.

Personalisation can also act as a filter, cutting the amount of poorly targeted messages consumers are bombarded with. “There is too much noise in people’s digital lives,” says Nathan. Given the huge volume of marketing emails the average consumer receives and that, with the increase of promoted content, social media is going the same way, there’s no room for poorly targeted efforts. “You soon realise that is noise in your system,” he continues. “But if it’s stuff that you actually want, you’re so much more likely to click on it for that immediate investment.”

However, to tailor your offering to a consumer’s needs, you need to get to know them. Whilst it may seem that in the modern age that we’re swimming in a sea of data, it’s worth appreciating the various sources of data that are available. Demets feels that there are three significant categories of data that can help drive personalisation: profile data, which focuses on profiling key categories of user, situational data, which is based on environmental factors like the weather or the date, and behavioural data, based on past user activity. “The key is to combine the three in a real-time manner so that we can actually use that as a basis for the best offers on the website,” explains Demets.


Why It’s So Hard to Fill Sales Jobs [Feb. 6, 2015]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 6 février 2015h
Wall Street Journal

By Lauren Weber

As companies become savvier about the products they buy, wheeler-dealers are out, and problem-solvers are in. Sales organizations today are more commonly structured as teams, with lower-ranking members identifying prospects and developing early interest, someone else running through the specs or demos on highly technical products, and field reps negotiating and closing deals, employers say.

Curiously, few employers have realized they need a different sales pitch to attract a younger cohort, said Nick Toman, a managing director who oversees the sales practice at business advisory firm CEB, pointing to sales-job postings that use phrases like “competitive environment,” and “tremendous variable compensation packages.”

“Those things become huge turnoffs to a lot of potential applicants,” he added. “People today want to be part of a team, they want stable pay.”

They also want a clear career path, along with support to work their way up. Business-software giant Oracle Corp. , which has a famously competitive sales culture, began recruiting reps on college campuses a few years ago. Students frequently show a “lack of awareness” about sales roles, said Sharon Prosser, group vice president of Oracle Direct, but their interest is piqued when they learn that the field is well-suited to “continuous learners and that there’s training and career progression built into the program.”

To find job candidates, Acquia Inc., a cloud-based open-source software company in Burlington, Mass., last fall sponsored a sales contest at Bryant University in Rhode Island.

At Bryant, 140 students presented mock sales pitches, and about five recruiters were on hand, said Tim Bertrand, an Acquia sales executive.

“Every candidate that looked really good, we were going up and saying ‘We’d like to interview you now for a June job.’” The company intends to hire seven to nine contest participants.

The contest winner, Tom Keenan, a 21-year-old senior at Bryant, says his mother urged him to enter. Days later, he interviewed for a job as a business development rep at Acquia; he starts in June.