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Healthcare.gov & Why Enterprise IT Projects Keep Failing

You would have to be living on another planet to not to have heard about the failures of the healthcare.gov site. It seems like every day, there's another high profile failure, where the site doesn't work, or its hosting servers go down. It's been great fodder for late night comedians. Last weekend, even Saturday Night Live got in on the action. My favorite two quotes from the skit: “A lot of folks have been talking about our new healthcare enrollment site, how it’s been... Plus

Building websites and Mountain Climbing – views from the Summit with Drupal

In today’s information saturated marketplace, content is king. Every organization from the largest Fortune-listed to the small “mom and pop shops” need to deliver up-to-date information to their customers and employees. Like any endeavor, the right tools define how successful the process will be. It is also a team effort between business leaders working with users to understand their needs providing direction to content creators who produce relevant content and that flow back to the business leaders for publishing. Building, maintaining and utilizing are not a job for a few dedicated people... Plus

See What's Trending on Acquia.com; It May Surprise You

Having run websites for more than a few years, it’s always interesting to see what content is trending on your website. As marketers, we tend to get stuck on what’s coming next. If something has been out there for a few weeks or months, it’s old and we forget about it. This isn’t always the case for our end users and content readers, or for how our content is served on search engines. Seeing what is trending will tell you what is relevant and trending doesn’t always equal your most recent posts. Recorded webinars for Acquia are videos on-demand of our thought leadership content. We create... Plus

To Succeed in the Digital Wilds, Beware of the Zombies

The zombies are running faster. It's true. If you look at the speed at which zombies run in TV and movies over the past 20 years, they're getting faster. And according to Tim Walters and Robert Rose, the speed at which consumers demand information is increasing at the same rate as the speed of the zombies. Walters and Rose used this fantastic analogy at last week's Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston during their keynote, titled, “World War C: How to Survive and Thrive in a World of Fast Moving Consumers." I’ve been inspired to build on this comparison. Even though I don’t have the slides of... Plus

Using Drupal to Increase Student Engagement at IES Abroad

IES Abroad is one of the largest and most notable operators of study abroad programs in the world. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Richard Bartecki, EVP of Marketing, to better understand how their Drupal strategy is helping support their business growth. What I learned was that, like many of Acquia's college and university partners, IES Abroad has been able to increase its online effectiveness with students all over the world by harnessing the power of Drupal for mobile delivery, SEO, and for overall online storytelling.... Plus

Et si Henry Ford avait lancé la révolution digitale ?

L’industrie automobile est un secteur qui peut se révéler particulièrement instructif quand il s’agit de comprendre un peu mieux tout ce qui se cache derrière les processus de fabrication, les techniques d’assemblage, etc. L’évolution du secteur automobile ces cent dernières années est riche d’enseignements et tous les secteurs pourraient s’en inspirer. J’ai eu l’occasion récemment de nourrir ma réflexion à l’occasion d’une discussion avec les responsables d’une grande entreprise automobile. On attribue à Henry Ford d’être à l’origine de LA révolution majeure qui a permis aux masses d’... Plus

Inbound Marketing Summit Boston Day 1 Recap

After 19 presentations and a keynote by Razorfish CTO Ray Velez, day 1 of Inbound Marketing Summit Boston is complete. Personalization, omnichannel marketing and social were hot topics today, but I want to discuss some of the presentations that impressed me the most. Right off the bat, Velez urged the crowd to really think about effective content marketing and to remember that a good marketer no longer is in the business of selling stuff, but instead should be focusing on the needs of the customer. But what really made his... Plus

Oracle's Love/Hate Relationship with Open Source

Matt Asay, a long time open source evangelist with over a decade of experience at companies like MongoDB, Canonical, and Alfresco, posted a great article in response to a new white paper on Open Source published by Oracle. (By the way, do people still read whitepapers?) Oracle wrote this whitepaper for the US Department of Defense, and... Plus

Don’t Let Your Best Day Be Your Worst Day

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 in this build, 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. In the past week, I’ve been asked a few times if the site is built in Drupal (no), if Acquia was involved (no), and what could have been done to avoid this situation. The latter question is one that requires... Plus

Acquia Cloud is the CMS Critic 2013 Winner for Best Cloud CMS

Today, Acquia was named the 2013 People's Choice Winner for Best Cloud CMS by CMS Critic. Cloud CMS was a new category added in 2013, to recognize the momentum of the modern, cloud-native CMS, like Acquia Cloud. From the announcement: For a cloud CMS to be effective, the services need to be managed well, offer regular updates and security maintenance, have excellent technical support and high availability. These are separate from the typical requirements of a standard CMS and... Plus

Understanding Your Goal Is First Step to a Great Learning Experience

A lot of us have “ideas” as to what we need when seeking education. This goes back all the way to high school where you’re first asked, “What do you want to do when you get older?” Our answer to that question was, “I want to be a lawyer,” or “I want to be a mechanic.” We pinned ourselves to this broad thinking since each field has so many sub fields. I’m a lawyer, but not a trial lawyer; I’m a corporate lawyer. I’m a robotics mechanic not a garage mechanic. If we knew exactly where we were going in life and with our careers, we would have an easier time deciding our learning paths. Often,... Plus

Great Brands are Built on Great Stories

Storytelling dates back to the Stone Age, when cave paintings were used to communicate and pass down tales between tribes and families. Fast-forward to today, and storytelling has evolved past print to digital communications. In the world of digital marking, the success of a brand revolves around the quality of the story being told. This blog will explore three brands that have great stories to tell. Burberry With over 150 years of history, Burberry has transformed a retail brand into a massive disruptive resource. Founded by a 21-year old dressmaker, Thomas Burberry, the brand is rich in... Plus

Why Content is the Hub of Brand Engagement

For more years than I care to remember, we have been told that content is King. Brands have been merrily developing ‘must-have’ content, without realising that one-way conversations are really quite boring. Customer collaboration and engagement are the holy grail of content marketing. Yes, the content needs to be compelling but you don’t get the right content without that interaction. The perfect brand engagement scenario is getting the right content to the right people on the right device at the right time. Technology has enabled this revolution. Brands now have the power to plan, map and... Plus

Drupal Modules Take Site Personalization to the Next Level

If you’ve already taken advantage of Drupal taxonomy terms to increase engagement on your website, you may be ready for the next step of more advanced targeting and segmentation using personalization modules. In this blog, I’d like to discuss two examples of how large organizations have used Drupal modules to identify “like” users and then present them with targeted content. These customers have also integrated with best of breed technologies such as Google Analytics for web tracking and email... Plus

A Few Tips Toward Successful Enterprise Software Implementations

Throughout my career I've enjoyed implementing software/solutions at the enterprise level for organizations ranging from Fortune 25 giants to boutique eRetailers. There's much to be gained from each implementation as few are ever alike. This post isn't going to speak to how Drupal saved the Universe (it did and continues to do so), but rather how a recent implementation has enlightened me to a few keys to success for which any implementation team may employ. Not so long ago I had the pleasure of leading an implementation team through one of the most complex, exposed, and aggressive... Plus

Top 5 Media and Entertainment Trends for 2013: No. 3: Social Curation

Are social channels with media and entertainment content disrupting audiences away from media owned branded web sites? This was one of the main topics of conversation at Acquia’s recent Media Entertainment and Publishing-Focused Digital Disruption event in New York City. It’s a difficult question to answer, but with the trend of social content curation rising this year, media companies have found ways to integrate social channels into their own branded experiences. Media and entertainment companies use technology to aggregate the best content about their brands from social channels and... Plus

Next Great Digital Experience Adds Reality as Channel

The Internet dealt a staggering blow to business-as-usual. The digital disruption of connecting buyers and sellers through the World Wide Web changed everything, posing a serious threat to the brick-and-mortar retailer. But that was only the beginning. While digital has been so successful in the early rounds of this battle due to lower pricing, convenience is now the high ground to be taken and has pulled the physical retailers back into the picture. Reality, as it turns out, is the next digital channel. One of the early signs of the inter-reliance of digital and physical retailing was... Plus

Open Data - A new birth of Freedom

Whether FOIA, or local equivalent (we call it OPRA here in New Jersey), the demand for public access to information from our government - that should be in theory if not in practice "of the people, by the people, for the people" - remains stronger than ever before. In fact, various Open Data initiatives affirm this. Transparency in all aspects is crucial for effective governance, and ultimately, accountability. Classified material aside:... Plus

Real-Time Marketing is the Next Marketing Evolution

Website marketing is undergoing an evolution, just as it did several years ago when marketers realized the benefits of creating and promoting valuable content. The advent of inbound marketing saw websites move from digital brochures to content producing machines. This opened the top of the funnel, enabling marketers to draw in more and more traffic. However, strategies for converting this newfound traffic haven’t really changed, and this is where the next evolution, real-time marketing, is going change the game. To understand how real-time marketing will increase conversions, first you... Plus

For Bezos, Fixing the News Industry is All About Content

Most of my career has taken place at the nexus of news and technology. Before joining Acquia to oversee content and communications, I spent a number of years at The Boston Globe where I helped digitize the print publishing process, transitioned the newsroom to digital tools, and then advocated to move the content to tablets and eReaders. And so I am watching with great interest as Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, takes control of The Washington Post, wondering if this digital visionary can successfully create a business model to once again ensure a healthy news industry in the face of digital... Plus

Drupal 8, iOS 7, and Disruptive Innovation

I was recently struck by a story told to me by Tom Bogan, one of Acquia's board members and the board chairman at Citrix. Citrix has risen to become one of the most successful technology companies in the world. Tom says that the key to Citrix long term success has been its willingness to look for ways to "disrupt itself". Citrix often takes a critical look at its business, and looks for ways to innovate fast like a startup. This process is called disruptive innovation... Plus

Building a Great (and Social) Alumni Platform

Over the past several weeks I’ve had more conversations with schools about alumni sites and alumni portals than I can even count. Big schools and small, public and private, are exploring and evaluating options for their next (or in some cases, their first) digital platform. And for the most part they are all looking for similar things: an infrastructure for social integration and community building, back-end interoperability, and of course the right tools to deliver an amazing online experience for their alums that will keep them engaged and coming back again and again. There are several... Plus

Personalizing the Digital Experience Using Simple Taxonomy

(Part 2 of the Exploring Personalization Blog Series) There aren’t a shortage of tools and techniques surrounding successful personalization as I discussed in my last blog post. But with that being said, executing through precise, innovative taxonomy needs to be done effectively in order to turn viewers into returning visitors. President Obama’s donation page surrounding his presidential campaign last fall is a great example of this. This page was able to tell if you had been to the site... Plus

Responsive Design in Higher Education: How Do We Do It Better?

At our higher education Meetup last week in Atlanta (http://higheredmeetupatlanta.drupalgardens.com/#), Savannah College of Art and Design (our host school) presented their new Drupal web site and talked about how it’s impacting their overall business. The assembled group was impressed with what they saw. www.scad.edu not only adheres to the sleek and progressive design standards that one would expect from such an institution, but it is fully responsive at its core... Plus

Open Source CMS Drupal Provides Better Value for the Australian government

Last week, I came across an article on ZDNet entitled "Australian government can't recruit fast enough for open source". Drupal is having so much success in Australia that they can't hire fast enough to staff all the projects. Most interesting to me is why Drupal is beating the proprietary, legacy CMS systems of the past. According to John Sheridan, the CTO for the Australian government, Drupal's success is all about value: "The proprietary solutions require an increasing fees,... Plus

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