Acquia

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.

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

Submitted on
Dimanche, le 15 mars 2015h
,
Wipro

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 www.wipro.com

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 www.sec.gov. 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
,
Raconteur

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.

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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.

POCKETS OF HOPE

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.

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

Submitted on
mercredi, le 11 mars 2015h
,
CivSource

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.

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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 www.forumone.com/accelerator.

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 www.forumone.com or email accelerator@forumone.com

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 Australia.gov.au — 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.

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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.

"Australia.gov.au 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-availaibility 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.

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

Submitted on
vendredi, le 6 mars 2015h
,
ZDNet

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."

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

Submitted on
vendredi, le 6 mars 2015h
,
Computerworld

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.

Australia.gov.au was the first site to go live on the new CMS, followed by Finance.gov.au.

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

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