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Acquia

Inside Los Angeles’ move to Drupal with Acquia’s Todd Akers [August 26, 2014]

Submitted on
mardi, le 26 août 2014h
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StateScoop

By David Stegon

The city of Los Angeles became the latest public sector organization to announce it is moving a number of its public-facing websites to the Drupal enterprise web content management system.

Todd Akers, the vice president of public sector for Acquia, the Massachusetts-based company that will build, manage and govern the Los Angeles Web pages using its Cloud Site Factory, joined StateScoop Radio to discuss the project and how more and more state and local governments are going to open source platforms like Drupal.

Akers also discussed the federal government’s recently released Digital Services Playbook, which offers 13 steps or “plays” that the government can take to increase digital services and will also likely be adopted – on some scale – by state and local organizations going forward as well.

As for the Los Angeles project, Akers said the city plans to migrate more than 20 separate websites to Drupal, the leading enterprise web content management system. Through Acquia’s Enablement Program, the city’s Information Technology Agency is working closely with the company during the initial migration of three of the its most visited sites: lacity.org, lacityview.org and ladot.lacity.org, helping ITA develop its Drupal expertise to lead the remaining migrations. The city joins the Los Angeles Public Library, the LA Philharmonic, Discover Los Angeles and thousands more that rely on Drupal.

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Los Angeles Undertakes Massive Website Relaunch with Drupal [August 21, 2014]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 21 août 2014h
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Government Technology

By Jason Shueh

On Thursday, Aug. 21, the city of Los Angeles announced plans to replace its city-run websites with a set of open sourced alternatives.

Ted Ross, the city’s assistant general manager for technology solutions, confirmed the deal brokered between Acquia, the tech firm known for its Drupal content management system, and the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency (ITA), which is coordinating the project. The announcement follows nearly a year of research and talks with Acquia and ends the city's partnership with Oracle and its legacy CMS “Stellent.”

There are more than 20 websites to relaunch through the Drupal overhaul, with the most visited sites — the city’s home page, public television channel, and its transportation department — slated for first releases. The city sites join the Los Angeles Public Library, the LA Philharmonic and the Visit Los Angeles tourism site, all of which are already on Drupal.

No specific dates were given for estimated relaunches, and in email, Ross said the city did not wish to say more about the development until the first sites were closer to completion.

However, Todd Akers, Acquia's vice president of public sector development, said the collaboration was a huge win for company that now has the state of New York, the city of San Francisco and a variety of federal agencies on the open sourced Drupal platform.

Amazon Invests in IPO-bound Acquia [August 14, 2014]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 14 août 2014h
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Boston Business Journal

By Sara Castellanos

Acquia, a digital services company based in Burlington, announced Wednesday it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon.

The funding follows a $50 million financing round announced in late May, led by New Enterprise Associates and including Split Rock Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Prime Ventures.

Amazon's latest investment will help Acquia accelerate the development of technology that would improve online shopping, according to Acquia.
Acquia CEO Tom Erickson said in a previous interview that the company plans to expand its website development services for e-commerce sites to provide online customers with a better shopping experience.

Acquia would do that by creating websites that appeal to a customer's "persona," giving customers a more personalized experience, Erickson said.
"We have this vision to enhance (e-commerce websites) by identifying your persona," he said in a previous interview. "You might be coming to the site looking (for products) from a fashion or sports perspective, or functionality or technical perspective."

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Acquia Adds Amazon as an Investor [August 13, 2014]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 13 août 2014h
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GigaOm

By Jonathan Vanian

Amazon has taken an undisclosed stake in Acquia, a startup that provides commercial services around the open-source Drupal content management system. Acquia relies on Amazon Web Services to help the startup handle the 333 terabytes of bandwidth it serves up each month, Acquia CTO Dries Buytaert wrote in a blog post; the startup runs on over 8,000 AWS instances. In late May, Acquia took in $50 million in a series F funding round, which brought total investment in the Burlington, Mass.-based company to $118.6 million.

Amazon Makes an Undisclosed Investment in Cloud Services Company Acquia [August 13, 2014]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 13 août 2014h
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GeekWire

By Tricia Duryee

Amazon has made a rare investment in Acquia, a Burlington, Mass.-based digital marketing company that operates on Amazon’s cloud services.

The undisclosed investment piggybacks on a $50 million round closed in May from major investors, including Sigma Partners and New Enterprise Associates. In all, the company has raised more than $100 million over several rounds of funding.

The company said the money will be used to help deliver an open cloud platform for content, community and commerce.

Investments made directly by Amazon, and not Jeff Bezos, are fairly infrequent. Recent examples include small investments in e-commerce companies in China or India. Perhaps, domestically, the biggest largest example is an equity stake it took in Washington, D.C.-based LivingSocial. (Another investment was made today into security app Lookout, but it was by Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment fund of Amazon’s CEO, and not the company).

This one is slightly different because Acquia is not consumer-facing. It operates on Amazon’s Web Services.

“We are pleased to help further the development of Acquia’s digital engagement solutions,” said Jeff Blackburn, Amazon’s SVP of business development, in a statement. “Acquia on AWS helps organizations of all sizes leverage cloud computing to power fast and reliable digital experiences at scale.”

Acquia refers to itself as “a digital business company” that works with companies, including Pinterest, Mercedes Benz, Warner Music Group and Stanford University. According to a release, these companies rely on Acquia to generate new revenue, lower costs, and engage audiences by using content, community, commerce and context.

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Das Netzwerk ist für alle da [6 August 2014]

Submitted on
mercredi, 6. août 2014 Uhr
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Sueddeutsche Zeitung

Open-Source-Software ist vielerorts zum Standard geworden. Damit hat sich ein neues Kooperationsmodell etabliert, an dem sich auch die Großkonzerne beteiligen.

Von Helmut Martin-Jung

"Same procedure as every year": Die Menschen im Büro klicken auf der Windows-Oberfläche herum, die alle paar Jahre ein bisschen, manchmal sehr anders aussieht. "Same procedure"? Von wegen! Auch wenn die Computer am Arbeitsplatz noch denen früherer Jahre ähneln, dahinter hat sich so gut wie alles verändert.

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Open Data is Giving Power to the People [July 22, 2014]

Submitted on
mardi, le 22 juillet 2014h
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Engaging Cities

By Tim Marsh, Acquia

In the 1960’s, the phrase “power to the people” became a popular slogan for citizens who wanted their voices to be heard by the government. It took a few decades, but the open data initiatives being undertaken in communities across the United States have finally made that slogan into a reality.

Open data is information that federal, state and local agencies have made available to citizens in the hopes of creating a well functioning, completely transparent government. Agencies allow pertinent data – the salaries of federal and state workers, for example, or regional property tax records – to be accessible, shared and used by anyone. This results in citizens having unprecedented insight into how their government agencies work, and can improve social and economic value through dissemination of information.

Open data also gives power to the people in another way – the ability to directly interact with the government in real-time.

Historically, citizens have only infrequently influenced government. They may vote every couple of years, or go downtown or online to pay their county taxpayer, and so on.

Open data changes these scenarios completely. Citizens in metro areas that are striving for open data policies now have immediate access to a wealth of information, which they can immediately influence.

For example, OpenOakland is providing opportunities for residents of the California city to contribute to things like the Oakland Wiki, a “site all about Oakland, by Oaklanders,” as well as information about housing projects, early childhood education, and the city budget. The effort is empowering the people of Oakland to help shape the future of their city.

Citizens are only part of a successful open data initiative; in order to make open data initiatives work, municipalities themselves need to do their parts. Many cities across the U.S. have already implemented open data mandates that clearly articulate which data must be made open, and how it can be accessed. Thus, local agencies must be able to effectively process and make data accessible, along with accepting and managing citizens’ input.

To do that, they need technology that runs on systems they already have in place (like the Drupal content management system, which many agencies use for their data), and will help them handle large amounts of data in very agile ways. The best option for many is a combination of open source technology, which works well in virtually any environment, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which benefits from the flexibility of the cloud.

This is why Acquia and Carahsoft have partnered with NuCivic to launch NuCivic Data, the first open source SaaS open data management solution. NuCivic Data provides federal, state and local agencies with the technology backbone to host and manage data, visualize it, put it online, and make it immediately accessible, all while combining the best aspects of SaaS and open source.

Solutions like NuCivic Data help agencies meet open data mandates and goals, while allowing citizens to gain insight and provide input into those agencies. They are the tools that will help create a new form of government – one that is extremely open, highly collaborative, and powered by the people.

Cloud, Open Source Power TransLink's Web Presence [July 16, 2014]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 16 juillet 2014h
,
Computerworld

By Rohan Pearce
Queensland public transport agency finds value in Drupal community
It was an aging bespoke application that drove TransLink to seek a new content management system, but it was the strength of the community surrounding the open source project that helped the Queensland public transport agency choose Drupal.

Prior to the switch to Drupal, which began last year, the former TransLink site was partly based on static files and partly on a "home-grown CMS that managed a lot of our custom content such as service disruption and events, so that we could do a little bit of distributed authoring within the organisation," said Natalie Gorring, manager, online products and services, at TransLink.

The old CMS, based on the Yii Web framework "was a few years old and needed updates," Gorring said. "As the TransLink website was evolving, we weren't able to keep up with updating the CMS that we had." As a result, TransLink started looking for alternatives.

"We didn't want to keep putting Band-Aids on our old CMS," Gorring explained.

The organisation reviewed a number of open source and proprietary CMSes, and Drupal came out on top. The open source project's active community was a factor in the decision, Gorring said. In addition, the TransLink team had in-house PHP skills, and that was also a factor in choosing the new CMS.

For the transition, TransLink relied heavily on its in-house skills but partnered with Acquia, the Boston-based company founded by Drupal creator Dries Buytaert, for hosting. The TransLink site is hosted in Acquia's cloud service, Gorring said.

"The [Queensland] government at the moment is very supportive of cloud and data sharing," Gorring said.

(An IT strategy update released by the Queensland government in May this year placed cloud computing "at the centre of government ICT reform" in the state.)

Going with a cloud service "took some pressure off our business systems team, and we have a contract with Acquia for 24-hour support," Gorring said. The TransLink site gets around 130,000 unique visits daily.

The initial scope of the Drupal project was a 'like for like' transition, replicating the organisation's existing website using the open source CMS. "We didn't have the time to add new features at the time," Gorring said. "For customers there was no difference, except maybe a few URL changes."

The transition took place over a period of around nine months, beginning late last year.

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Open Data is Transforming Governments - and the Areas They Serve [July 11, 2014]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 11 juillet 2014h
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StateScoop

By Tim Marsh

Austin, Honolulu, Chicago, and Los Angeles are all very different in terms of geography, climate, and population. But there’s one thing that each of these cities has in common: Each is a member of the growing list of American cities with open data policies.

These areas, along with others, have set forth mandates that require government data to be open and available to citizens. Many cities have used open source technology to build portals that provide easy access to a wide swath of data from information about city finances to maps of buildings and greenways. Others are benefitting from civic organizations like OpenOakland, which is striving to provide Oakland, Calif., residents with access to a variety of data, including information on city budgets, public meetings and more.

This commitment to open data is transforming governments — but, more importantly, it’s also transforming the areas they serve.

Governments Armed with Agility

Open data further pronounces the need for agility. Agencies must be able to store large amounts of data, but they must also be able to make that data available in near real-time. For example, zoning maps must be kept up-to-date and readily available so that prospective developers have the information they need when they need it. Likewise, citizens may wish to have access to the previous day’s police reports or current information pertaining to voting districts, which can often change. This does not take into account the fact that, since citizens now have access to government data, they also have the ability to request changes to it at their leisure.

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Acquia Named to 2014 AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Companies [July 8, 2014]

Submitted on
mardi, le 8 juillet 2014h
,
AlwaysOn Network

One look at this year's 12th annual AlwaysOn Global 250 winners, and you can see that the technology landscape has changed dramatically during the last decade. New funding options are bringing more startups into being, and while competition has become fierce, the resulting companies that rise above the rest are proving their worth in today's demanding environment.

Cash-rich companies, both public and private, continue to make acquisitions, incorporating both intellectual capital and technology into their core products. Successful startups are waiting for IPO, stimulating ultra-high valuations, and keeping the venture community on its toes. This year's companies represent a strong, tough group of organizations willing to do what it takes to bring that one kernel of an idea from concept to market.

The AlwaysOn editorial team, along with partners at Morgan Stanley, KPMG, GSV Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners, Khosla Ventures, Accel Ventures, Bridge Bank, Venrock, FirstMark Capital, Doll Capital Management, Benchmark Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Mayfield Fund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, InterWest Partners, Qualcomm, Sequoia, and industry experts identified their best private technology startups to select the top 250 private companies in AlwaysOn's most distinguished annual competition.

Disruption Goes Global
Promise has turned to reality, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the B2B arena. Current advances in cloud infrastructure have finally started winning over IT departments. The hybrid cloud is burgeoning, and heavy-duty companies are developing resource-sharing technology that's replacing legacy infrastructure. Security, storage apps, and virtualization are among the most critical uses of the cloud, and business are turning to these solutions in droves.
Mobile applications, as well as the uprising of platform-as-a-service solutions are letting businesses spend their technology resources developing money-making apps instead of software support. SaaS has almost completely taken over traditional software models. The number of products available, from marketing automation to payment solutions to big data analytics to customer management, has taken a leap forward in terms of quality and reliability.

On the consumer side, social media has branched out into community-based resource-sharing and is forcing a disruption in key legacy institutions that hasn't been seen since online shopping began to tear down the suburban mall in the 1990s. In the transportation industry, the old school is literally taking to the streets in protest against ride-sharing firms like Lyft and Uber.

The travel market has already experienced a huge shakeup during the last decade, with online travel sites completely overhauling the traditional travel agency approach. Now, the advent of online short-term and vacation housing exchanges has rattled the bars of the powerful and entrenched hotel unions, especially in the U.S. Slow to respond, the hotel industry has been blindsided by a wave of companies, and media stories report municipal crackdowns, code enforcement, evictions, and even criminal charges, as this irresistible force threatens to engulf a previously immovable object.

A New Technology Landscape
This year's AlwaysOn Global 250 winners represent leadership in global innovation, developing software and hardware solutions that are ushering in a new era of global prosperity. Each company was selected based on a set of five criteria: innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and media buzz.
Congratulations to all the 2014 AlwaysOn Global 250 winners. While the opportunities for software developers are practically limitless, B2B innovation and advancement in infrastructure solutions may represent the most potential for growth and opportunity. As technology continues to rewrite the present, the Global Silicon Valley remains its driving force.

The winners of this competition will be honored at:
Silicon Valley Innovation Summit 2014
Meet the Captains of Innovation
July 29th - 30th, 2014
Computer History Museum
Mountain View CA

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