One of the most common complaints that we hear from our prospects & customers when in the market for Community Software and/or Social Business Software is that the licensing models of the proprietary vendors are very inflexible. They often end up charging their customers on a per user basis, annually, - and on top of that, bundle in typical proprietary software maintenance costs.
Drupal Gardens, the planned cloud version of the open source Drupal content management system, went into a public beta stage Thursday, thus making it widely available for tryouts , said Drupal founder Dries Buytaert.
Acquia released a new social software suite this week they are calling Drupal Commons. It's an open-source alternative to the proprietary Enterprise 2.0 suites we've written about quite often here. Acquia's Jay Batson was full of optimism about it when he wrote: "Time--once again--for open source to go blow the doors off another proprietary software cathedral." In this case, the cathedral is social software suites.
With the impressive rise of Drupal over the past several years, a number of consulting and integration firms have emerged with specific expertise in Drupal. The best known of these is Acquia, the “commercial arm” of Drupal, providing products, services, and technical support. Recently Acquia began distributing a community platform called “Commons”. We caught up with co-founder Jay Batson to ask about Commons, and its role in the online community sector.
A few of days ago I blogged about a conversation I had with an industry analyst. A key quote I heard from him that conversation was this: "The feature set for social business software is now pretty well known." And again today I heard from another well-known social business software consultant that he thinks "There's not much IP (intellectual property) in social business software; it's not hard software to create."
If I were an analyst today (I was one at Forrester in the mid 1990's), I'd say it's time to write a complete report about what this means for enterprises.
What it means is that organizations should be cautious about buying into expensive proprietary solutions, since those products - and companies - are now highly vulnerable to being commoditized.
Ok, so yes - the title is a bit misleading in one sense; but in another it's totally true. Let me explain.
While briefing an industry analyst yesterday, I realized that the analyst was presuming that an organization needed to have adopted Drupal in some way before they would could use Drupal Commons. This is not the case.
Drupal Commons, Acquia’s new Social Business Software distribution of Drupal, is no doubt getting everyone excited. We’re especially seeing interest in the enterprise and public sector. The community solution is important because its an open source alternative to (social business software products like) Jive and another way to accelerate adoption of Drupal in the marketplace. Drupal Commons evolved because of countless inquiries and interest from organizations who want to use Drupal to build community sites. Not surprisingly, many other Drupal distributions evolved for the same reasons.
At the start of DrupalCon San Francisco, we let folks know that we were working on a new Drupal Distribution called Drupal Commons. As a reminder, Drupal Commons is integrating groups, discussion forums, blogs, wikis, documents, and events into a single packaged solution. It is designed to meet the business needs of enterprises who are looking at solutions like Jive. At the time, I made a screencast to give people a quick look at what it's capabilities are.
Since the time since that initial screencast, we've had a gratifying level of interest in Drupal Commons, and so I thought an update would be useful to share.