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A Platform for a Country: Australia’s govCMS

When I first met Dries Buytaert I asked him why he started Acquia. To paraphrase him (because I wasn’t taking perfect notes): I realized after getting some calls seeking advice that if Drupal was going to be adopted by the world’s greatest brands and institutions, it would need a company like Acquia to support them.

Dept of Finance Embraces Drupal for Centralised Government-wide CMS [Sept. 15, 2014]

Submitted on
lundi, le 15 septembre 2014h
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Government Technology Review

The Commonwealth Department of Finance will build its centralised govCMS Web-content platform on a content management system (CMS) from Acquia, the company announced today after an extensive tendering process that began in May with an open request for industry comment.

Designed to provide a centralised repository for storage and publication of government agencies’ content, the govCMS platform is intended to simplify content-management processes by shifting them to the cloud-based Acquia Cloud platform.

Acquia’s solution is based on the aGov distribution of the widely used Drupal open-source CMS, which already powers sites like Australia.gov.au and finance.gov.au that will be among the first to transfer to the govCMS environment.

“We designed govCMS to save costs while empowering agencies to act independently. We’re supporting innovation by relying on Drupal, a technology proven in governments around the world,” Australian Government CTO John Sheridan said in a statement.

“Open source technologies like Drupal, when paired with an open cloud platform like Acquia Cloud, are creating efficiencies in government and disrupting the way we deliver digital citizen experiences – for the better.”

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Fed’s Single Web System Edges Closer [Sept. 15, 2014]

Submitted on
lundi, le 15 septembre 2014h
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GovernmentNews

By Julian Bajkowski

The federal government has moved one step closer to eliminating expensive and cumbersome legacy of disparity between its essential computing systems.

The Department of Finance has tapped Acquia Inc. to help build out a new single whole of government online content management system – called govCMS – a move that could ultimately harmonise and unite the present costly mishmash of often conflicting online systems.

According to Finance, the new “govCMS will be broadly available to Commonwealth Government entities from February 2015.”

The announcement of Acuia is the first major step in Finance’s efforts to create tangible order over the so-called whole-of-government online estate as agencies across the nation scramble to meet the deadline set by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to have all “major services and interactions with individuals online” by 2017.

And although the selection of an individual vendor is important, in reality is just one step towards the core underlying commitment to use open standards for the government’s development of its online assets, especially public facing websites.

If successful, it is plausible the Commonwealth’s govCMS standard could be taken up by state and local governments given that Mr Turnbull this month conspicuously committed to extending the functionality of the “myGov” transactional hub to other jurisdictions for free.

The proliferation of incompatibilities and legacy systems in government has proved a big inhibitor to agencies of all flavours harnessing the kind of productivity increases the private sector has achieved through digitisation.

John Sheridan, the Australian Government’s Chief Technology Officer and Procurement Coordinator said Acquia will now provide “Software-as-a-Service on the Public Cloud using Drupal open source software.”

He added that Acquia will also partner “with several local businesses so that govCMS can offer a comprehensive service from website design and development through to support and managed operations.”

“I’m excited that, through govCMS, we’ll be offering a cost effective content management and website hosting solution to Commonwealth entities,” Mr Sheridan said.

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Australian Govt Signs Four-year Deal with Acquia for GovCMS [Sept. 15, 2014]

Submitted on
lundi, le 15 septembre 2014h
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ZDNet

By Leon Spencer

The Australian government has signed a four-year contract with Acquia to help agencies implement its Drupal-based Government Content Management System, GovCMS, which is set to be available to all government entities by February.

Self-styled Drupal "enterprise facilitator" Acquia has inked a four-year deal with the Australian government to implement its Drupal-based web Government Content Management System (GovCMS).

A spokesperson for Acquia told ZDNet that the four-year agreement consists of an initial two years, with the option to extend by one year, followed by another year.

The spokesperson also said that the government's conservative forecasts for the number of websites to utilise the new system would be around 180, and possibly up to 400 sites.

Under the terms of the deal, GovCMS will be delivered on Acquia Cloud, and will incorporate Acquia Cloud Site Factory, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application for Drupal. Government agencies will also be able to tap into the global Drupal community through Acquia.

The Australian government CTO John Sheridan said in a statement that Acquia would provide SaaS on the public cloud using the open-source Drupal framework, and would also partner with several local businesses so that GovCMS can offer a "comprehensive service" from website design and development through to support and managed operations.

"I'm excited that through GovCMS, we'll be offering a cost-effective content management and website hosting solution to Commonwealth entities," said Sheridan. "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.

"We designed GovCMS to save costs while empowering agencies to act independently. We're supporting innovation by relying on Drupal, a technology proven in governments around the world. Open-source technologies like Drupal, when paired with an open cloud platform like Acquia Cloud, are creating efficiencies in government and disrupting the way we deliver digital citizen experiences.

Acquia to Deliver Government's Cloud-hosted, Open Source CMS [Sept. 15, 2014]

Submitted on
lundi, le 15 septembre 2014h
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Computerworld

By Rohan Pearce

Firm founded by the creator of the open source Drupal project will host CMS

Boston-headquartered Drupal services company Acquia will deliver the federal government’s govCMS project.

The project to create a standard content management system for federal government agencies was announced in May.

At that time, government CTO John Sheridan indicated the open source Drupal platform delivered as software-as-a-service was the preferred choice for govCMS

Tender documents issued in June confirmed that the whole-of-government content management system would be based on Drupal.

“Acquia will partner with several local businesses so that govCMS can offer a comprehensive service from website design and development through to support and managed operations,” Sheridan wrote in a blog entry today.

“I’m excited that, through govCMS, we’ll be offering a cost effective 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.

"Removing the burden for entities of having to own and manage software or infrastructure should allow them to focus more on their core business.”

An analysis by the Department of Finance has found that between 182 and 450 websites could be transitioned to GovCMS over four years.

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Announcement of Service Provider for govCMS [Sept. 15, 2014]

Submitted on
lundi, le 15 septembre 2014h
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Australia Government CTO

Following the recent Request for Proposal process, I am pleased to announce Finance has engaged the services of Acquia Inc. to support the provision of the Government Content Management System.

Acquia will provide Software-as-a-Service on the Public Cloud using Drupal open source software. Acquia will partner with several local businesses so that govCMS can offer a comprehensive service from website design and development through to support and managed operations.

I’m excited that, through govCMS, we’ll be offering a cost effective 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. Removing the burden for entities of having to own and manage software or infrastructure should allow them to focus more on their core business.

Work on the migration of australia.gov.au and finance.gov.au to the govCMS platform has commenced. In line with standard procedures for govCMS, these sites will be released following a comprehensive quality assurance process. govCMS will be broadly available to Commonwealth Government entities from February 2015. I will provide further details about the official launch of govCMS through the blog in due course.

Acquia Public Sector VP Todd Akers on Why Government Agencies Should be Leveraging Open Source [Sept. 2, 2014]

Submitted on
mardi, le 2 septembre 2014h
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Washington Technology

By Michelle Davis

It’s a good time to be in the business of open source – or at least that’s what companies like Burlington, Mass.-based Acquia are broadcasting.

The company helps clients optimize digital strategies with services and solutions including open cloud hosting, developer tools and support for the open-source content management system, Drupal.

Todd Akers, vice president of the company’s public sector, told us in a recent interview that his optimism stems from the fact that the Drupal platform is enterprise ready and increasingly popular across the federal government. In fact, his team responded to 14 different RFPs and RFIs last quarter alone for Drupal from agencies.

“Today we’re seeing an acceleration in the momentum and adoption of open source, and Drupal in particular, across the federal government,” Akers said. “Whereas there may have once been a misperception that implementation of open source platforms presented a lot of roadblocks, now people are realizing their immense value.”

Acquia is currently the largest Drupal infrastructure provider in the world and serves roughly 27 billion hits, or 333TB of bandwidth, a month, according to Drupal creator and Acquia’s CTO, Dries Buytaert, in a recent blog post.

As if managing a share of government agency websites wasn’t enough, electronic commerce company Amazon Inc. recently became the newest investor in Acquia.

“This investment builds on the recent $50 million financing round that Acquia completed in May, which was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA),” Buytaert wrote in the blog post.

The company uses open source technology to power digital transformation and improve communication and citizen engagement for a range of agencies and government sites – think – fema.gov, georgia.gov and dot.gov – and has been heavily involved in re-platforming projects for the Justice Department and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“We have well over 100 customers in the federal marketplace and more than 60 customers in state and local,” Akers said. “The fact that these agencies have chosen Acquia is testament to the fact that open source is an ideal choice for federal, state and local agencies that want to deliver and share critical information to the public.”

In our interview, Akers told us about his favorite commercial application and walked us through the open source landscape — explaining the value in open source platforms like Drupal, outlining why the technology drives digital innovation within government, and how to mitigate security concerns.

WashingtonExec: What is the largest roadblock you face when promoting open source platforms within government agencies?

Todd Akers: Well, there are still some lingering roadblocks when it comes to adopting open source platforms in the public sector. Namely, that it’s not secure enough, it’s too open, and that it’s not enterprise-grade.

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Drupal-based Defense-in-depth Strategy Protects Data [August 28, 2014]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 28 août 2014h
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Government Computer News

By Todd Akers

In medieval times, an intricate combination of towers, drawbridges, city walls, moats and harbors protected castles from all fronts. This intricate system provided an effective and layered defense from potential threats.

As the federal government seeks ways to contain and manage massive influxes of data, IT managers are taking pages out of the medieval defense rulebook by adopting “defense-in-depth” strategies that use complex, multi-layered approaches to information security. With defense-in-depth, federal IT managers use holistic strategies to analyze and identify potential threat vectors, including internal and external threats. In the process, they can secure their defenses as if they were leading the king’s protection forces.

Federal IT managers are practicing defense-in-depth while using open source software like Drupal for web development and content management. In fact, hundreds of federal sites – all of which demand a high level of security – are powered by Drupal.

Drupal offers a firm foundation for the strategy, specifically because it uses open source software that enjoys the support of a global community. This includes tens of thousands of users who regularly engage in peer reviews and vulnerability scanning, resulting in increased reliability and strengthening of core APIs and mitigation of common vulnerabilities. Further, the software is backed by a global team of some of the world’s leading web security experts who are always on-call and available to assess, evaluate and address issues.

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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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