Acquia Coverage

A New Chapter for Acquia [May 23, 2017]

Submitted on
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
,
Acquia.com

By Tom Erickson on May 23, 2017

I first met Dries Buytaert in the summer of 2007. Michael Skok, who was incubating the company, persuaded me to take a board seat at a new company in the process of being formed by Jay Batson and Dries. Dries was 29 years old, living and working in Belgium, and passionate about bringing his open source content management system -- Drupal -- to the world.

I turned down Jay and Dries’ initial offer to join them at the company they were creating and be the CEO - opting to join the board and focus on helping the company strategically. Later in 2008 they repeated their request for me to be the CEO. I had gotten to know Dries much better in the meantime and realized that he was much more than just the talented technical creator of Drupal. He was thirsty for knowledge about how to build a business; his curiosity ran from business strategy to customer success, from product positioning to financial planning. I asked Dries what he hoped from me if I were to join. He told me:

  • He never wanted to feel like he had a boss - he wanted to have a partner
  • He wanted to make a difference and have fun doing it
  • He only ever wanted to work for this company, and someday he wanted to run it.

Well, I wasn’t exactly perfect on the first point, but I can confidently say that we built a tremendous partnership. Dries and I have accomplished a lot in the past nine years together. Throughout this time I always kept the third point in mind -- it is a personal passion of mine to pass along the leadership lessons I was fortunate to gain from my mentors early in my career -- and after growing the company to more than 750 people and $150MM+ in revenue the time has come for Dries to realize his vision of running the company he founded.

Together, Dries and I have celebrated Acquia’s being named the fastest growing private software company in Deloitte’s 2013 Fast 500, and being the highest ranked software company in the 2012 Inc. 500 rankings. We introduced thousands of companies to the cloud, to open source, to Drupal ... most for the first time. We grew from our first small office in Andover, Massachusetts to having sales offices in seven countries around the world and customers in more than 40. We built a “follow the sun” support team that spans five time zones around the world, supporting the most demanding and ambitious digital experiences that exist.

As measured and judged by the leading industry analysts, Acquia’s success has been rapid and undeniable. Forrester Research gave Acquia the highest score for strategy this year, naming us a “leader” in their 2017 Web Content Management wave. Gartner named us a leader for the second year in a row in their 2016 WCM Magic Quadrant.

In a recent meeting with us, an analyst stated the “Symbiosis that Drupal has achieved with the business community is phenomenal”.

The road hasn’t always been clear nor smooth. We haven’t always gotten it right but we learned to to pivot after our first ideas did not work out as planned, For example: in 2008, we had a strategic offsite meeting where we came up with the ideas for two new products, codenamed “Fields” and “Gardens.” I regard that strategy session as where the key seeds were sown for the company’s future. Shortly, we began to acquire customers and the revenue we needed to realize that vision set forth in that first offsite.

Advance the clock forward to the present. “Fields” evolved into Acquia Cloud. Acquia Cloud defined an entirely new business model in the software world that paired open source and the cloud, an often-imitated success model followed today in other sectors and by our competitors. “Gardens” evolved into Site Factory, Acquia’s unique platform for building thousands of sites from a shared code base that not only lowers costs, decreases time to market and offers multi site governance for many of the world’s largest brands, but now powers some of the world’s greatest global consumers brands to national governments.. There simply is nothing like Site Factory when it comes to delivering massive projects around the world in multiple languages, across decentralized multi-brand conglomerates with the need for unified data, regulatory compliance, confidence in security and personalization in real-time across devices we couldn’t have conceived of nearly a decade ago.

The biggest highlight for me of the past decade has been working with the amazing team that we assembled, both presently and along the way. I love nothing more than helping to grow “up and comers” and have great pride in the heights that our team has reached.

Secondly, I have taken great satisfaction in the caliber of the customers we’ve served so successfully. Our customer conference -- Acquia Engage -- has featured executives on the stage from IBM, NASDAQ, Nestle, Tesla, NBC, McKesson, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and many more. The feeling of pride for what Acquia has done for its customers, partners and employees is indescribable. I have been told by some that their work with Acquia has been the best experience they’ve ever had with any technology vendor. These are the successes that confirm our dreams and vision for Acquia. If I have a hope for how my record at Acquia will come to be regarded, I hope it is for my undying passion for customer success, and for our amazing culture of “committed to awesome.”

With this success behind us, this is a perfect time for Dries to assume a larger role. He has a vision for digital experience management that one industry analyst recently called “game changing”. He’s learned a tremendous amount about the importance of customer success, business strategy and the mechanics of running a company.

Today we are formalizing the way that Dries and I have worked together from the beginning, forming an “Office of the CEO” from which Dries and I will jointly run the company. The board has named me Chairman. We are going to search for a new operating partner for Dries. When we locate that individual, I will be stepping down as CEO. Dries will focus on product areas, including product architecture and roadmap; technology partnerships and acquisitions; and company wide hiring and staffing allocations. I will continue to work with sales and marketing, customer success and G&A functions.

As Dries assumes a more prominent role, I’m excited for the company’s days ahead. He’s extremely talented, hard working, and deftly leads a community of tens of thousands of developers in addition to his contributions here at Acquia. I’m fully confident that Acquia and Drupal will continue to thrive under his leadership.

I’m not going far from Acquia. I’ll remain on the board of directors, the same place where I started in 2007. And in the spirit of Acquia’s DNA, I am looking forward to “Giving Back”. In the past two years, I have become involved a lot more growing the broader Boston tech community and I’m looking forward to rallying them around Acquia as an enduring business for Boston and beyond.

Dries’ blog on the next phase of Acquia can be found here.

Why Government Websites Suck so Much, according to Obama’s White House Webmaster [April 14, 2017]

Submitted on
Friday, April 14, 2017
,
Quartz

By Tom Cochran
Chief Digital Strategist, Acquia

Our interactions with government websites are often memorable for all the wrong reasons. Whether you’re trying to change your official address or applying for a local permit, you’re likely to see conflicting information, have to pinch-and-zoom a non-responsive design, or need a law degree to understand the five-paragraph disclaimer below a simple log-in form.

In a world where industry giants like Facebook run hundreds of user experience tests daily, why are our government websites so far behind the curve? I witnessed this problem first hand at the US Department of State and while running the White Houses’s digital technology initiatives under Obama. And I discovered that while change does not exactly happen overnight in these large bureaucracies, it is possible. And we, as frustrated citizens, should be demanding it.

The Trump administration is focused on upgrading a crumbling public infrastructure, proposing to invest $1 trillion over 10 years. Though not crumbling, our government’s digital infrastructure is weak and inferior. The systems through which we receive government services should be deemed as critical​ as our roads and bridges.

We must remember that our government is here to serve the people. Military jets should not fall out of the sky, filing taxes should not fail, and you should get your social-security benefits on time. Using internet services quickly and easily should be no different. Government websites exist to provide citizens with essential services and information, yet more often than not, it is difficult to find voter registration information or the form to pay your parking ticket.

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Brands Struggle to Deliver Personalised Experiences [April 10, 2017]

Submitted on
Monday, April 10, 2017
,
Digital Marketing Magazine

By Jonathan Davies

Despite the hype around ‘personalisation’ as a marketing trend, as many as 89% of brands report they can’t deliver personalised digital experiences, research by Acquia has found.

The research shows that attempts to deliver effective personalised experiences are being hampered because brands are struggling to get the basics right from both a technical and cultural point of view. For example, brands are struggling with a lack of insight into the preferences or identities of visitors (48%), lack of budget for the necessary technology (45%), lack of board buy-in (34%) and lack of content (33%).

These are the findings from the digital experience company Acquia’s new report, Beyond the Hype, which uncovers a huge divide between digital strategies and brands’ abilities to execute them.

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What Makes This the Hottest Class at MIT? [April 9, 2017]

Submitted on
Sunday, April 9, 2017
,
Boston Globe

MIT loves numbers, so let me drop a few to illustrate the popularity of a course called 6.036.

It is overseen by four instructors and 15 teaching assistants.

Lectures are held in 26-100, the school’s largest auditorium, with 566 seats.

But this semester, about 700 students signed up for the course — also known as Introduction to Machine Learning — according to Tommi Jaakkola, the computer science professor who created it. So at the first lecture, more than 100 students watched on a video screen in an overflow room.

Not enough students voluntarily dropped the course, so Jaakkola came up with some “preliminary homework” to weed more out, by giving them a sense of the level of linear algebra and probability that’d be required of them.

Why is something called “machine learning” so hot? And what is it? I dropped by Building 32 (aka the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab) last week to find out.

Machine learning, first off, isn’t about building smarter robots for the factory floor, or harvesters that work the farm more efficiently. The machine we’re talking about here usually is a computer. It’s ingesting a set of data, analyzing it, and identifying patterns. That might entail examining thousands of paintings to categorize some as Cubist and others as Impressionist, or looking at millions of mammograms to separate worrisome spots that lead to cancer from those that don’t.

Radiology today, notes Regina Barzilay, another of the professors who teaches the course, is largely based on an individual radiologist’s experience. With software, she says, “You can make the machine learn about the properties of a breast that will develop cancer versus one that won’t.”

The term “machine learning” is closely tied to artificial intelligence. “I don’t actually make a distinction between machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Jaakkola says. “They are both trying to solve the same thing — how automated systems can learn.” (Both machine learning and AI have deep roots at MIT, going back to the 1960s.)

If you’ve ever shopped at Amazon, relied on Google Translate, or let Netflix suggest a show to watch based on what you’ve enjoyed in the past, you’ve taken advantage of machine learning. In Amazon’s case, software looks at what you’ve bought in the past, what you’ve browsed on the site — as well as other factors — to put products on the page that are most likely to tempt you to click “buy.”

It’s a field that is advancing quickly. “For a while, I would select an article from an Israeli newspaper and use Google to translate it,” says Barzilay, a native Hebrew speaker. “Every year it became better. Now, it’s almost like turning on electricity. It does a great job. This happened within the last 10 years.” Building software to decipher lost languages is one of Barzilay’s big interests in computer science; a replica of the Rosetta Stone rests on the windowsill of her office.

Intro to Machine Learning involves three projects, which “connect the more theoretical, algorithmic stuff students are learning to actual data and problems,” Jaakkola says. For instance, that can entail looking at a set of movie reviews and writing software to sort the raves from the pans.

But the techniques learned in the course can also be applied to higher purposes, like predicting whether a molecule being designed by a chemist on the hunt for a disease cure will prove toxic to humans, says Connor Coley, a graduate student at MIT who took the machine learning course. When you don’t have to focus as much on the issues of toxicity, or whether the molecule you’re designing can be manufactured, that lets you spend more time focusing on the end goal, Coley explains.

One reason that Intro to Machine Learning is so popular in 2017 is that there are so many companies recruiting for employees or interns who understand it. In Boston, companies like Facebook, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Spotify, and the chipmaker ARM are hiring people with machine learning skills.

“There’s a crazy demand for it right now,” says Kat Bailey, an engineering executive at Acquia, a Boston company that makes digital publishing software. “There are more and more people coming out of school with some kind of training, but the demand is not being met.” For Acquia, machine learning might be used to automatically put a blog post into a particular category on a website, or connect it with posts on similar topics.

READ MORE (paywall)

The Great Struggle: Delivering Personalised Digital Experiences [April 6, 2017]

Submitted on
Thursday, April 6, 2017
,
Information Age

By Nick Ismail
The majority of brands have huge difficulty in delivering personalised digital experiences to customers, says Acquia

Despite the hype around 'personalisation' as a marketing trend, most respondents (89%) report they can’t deliver personalised digital experiences, according to research from Acquia.

The research has revealed that attempts to deliver effective personalised experiences are being hampered because brands are struggling to get the basics right from both a technical and cultural point of view.

For example, brands are struggling with a lack of insight into the preferences or identities of visitors (48%), lack of budget for the necessary technology (45%), lack of board buy in (34%) and lack of content (33%).

READ MORE

Obama, Trump and the Democracy of Connectivity [April 4, 2017]

Submitted on
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
,
The Australian

By David Swan

Love him or hate him, US President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter has ushered in a new phase of democracy, one we’re still coming to grips with, according to the man who pulled the digital strings for Barack Obama.

Tom Cochran, who had a four-year stint at the White House, now runs software-as-a-service company Acquia’s global public sector business from Washington DC, and he’s excited by the ease with which the US President can now connect with the public, completely bypassing media gatekeepers.

“That’s something that didn’t exist 10 years ago,’’ Mr Cochran said. “That’s a remarkable feat, and something we should applaud in terms of technology opening doors. The question is what do we do with that power?

“We’re in a very early adolescent phase of figuring out what are the rules of engagement here.”

Mr Cochran worked with his friends at Blue State Digital, and they started work for Mr Obama when Mr Obama was a “senator from Illinois with a funny name”. He said his signature achievement in the White House was We the People, a system in which everyday citizens could petition the White House, and force a response if 100,000 signatures were received in 30 days.

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The Tech Skills That Earn The Most Money In 2017 [March 31, 2017]

Submitted on
Friday, March 31, 2017
,
Forbes

By Karsten Strauss

We all know there is a lot of money in tech and talented workers in the industry can earn impressive salaries in any subsection of it. But if big money is your goal, which skills should you seek to develop to score the best-paying jobs in tech?

To answer that question we looked to a recently released survey report from tech job search platform Dice.com. According to the information provided from survey respondents – nearly 13,000 of them, all working in tech throughout the United States — we have a clearer understanding of which skills have the potential to bring in the best wages.

The below list is the top-20 of a roster of skills Dice found to be most lucrative, in order of the average salaries of those proficient in them.

When compared to the salary performance reports from last year’s survey, some of these skills enjoyed a bigger increase in value than others. The one that saw the biggest jump was associated with Compellent, a cloud storage tool. The average salary of those proficient in that skill rose 11.4% between 2015 and 2016.

Another fast climber was Drupal, a content management system whose experts average salary grew by about 9%. JCL — an IBM scripting language — also saw wage growth to the tune of 7%.

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Portsmouth Unveils Early Version of Website Makeover [March 28, 2017]

Submitted on
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
,
Seacoast Online

By Jeff McMenemy

PORTSMOUTH — City IT manager Alan Brady is scheduled to update the City Council on Monday about the ongoing effort to redesign the city’s website.

Brady said the launch of the new website is still months away. Work on the project started in February.

“I would hope it will be ready by the beginning of August to mid-August, definitely before the start of the new school year,” Brady said. “We’re in the six-month period of reaching out to departments, creating the designs and working with everybody.”

On Tuesday he shared a “wire frame” of the new site, which he described as a “pre-design of what the website could look like.” The wire frame features a picture of Portsmouth’s waterfront at the top of the homepage, next to a list of the particular day’s meetings. Underneath that there’s a place for any important alerts, which is designed for things like school closings or snow emergencies, Brady said.

“We can run the alert over the main page and run it over the sub pages, too,” he said.

Further down the home page is a section tentatively called “Word of (Ports)mouth,” which Brady said will focus on new news or information.

There’s also a calendar section, which city officials hope will include community events along with a list of permits and a section to address frequently asked questions.


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Heh UK Gov – Check Out Digital Lessons from the Obama Administration [March 21, 2017]

Submitted on
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
,
Diginomica

By Paul Wallbank

Acquia’s Tom Cochran offers insights into lessons from digital government efforts under the Obama administration. He schools UK gov on the topic.

Successfully changing a public service organisation’s culture requires listening to staff, communicating the need for change and equipping employees with modern technology says a veteran of the Obama administration’s digital strategy.

Tom Cochran, vice president and chief digital strategist for public sector for web development company Acquia, was speaking to diginomica about his experiences in digital transformation with the US State Department and the Obama White House. He says: "I am a person who truly believes in the public sector to a fault."

At the State Department, Cochran was a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of State responsible for the online and offline platforms for U.S. public diplomacy, focusing on data-driven decisions and international audience engagement.

Prior to his State Department role, Cochran had a private sector interlude as Chief Technology Officer at Atlantic Media after serving as the White House’s director of digital technology for two years.

At the White House Cochran worked on the President’s Open Government Directive, leading the team charged with providing consistent infrastructure across all the White House’s digital properties, including the “We the People” online petitioning site for citizens to directly lobby the executive branch.

One of the lessons learned by Cochran and the rest of the Obama team is the cultural change from running a campaign to managing the US government’s highest office is substantial. Something that’s been felt by the current administration.


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Internet2 Adds Acquia to its NET+ Portfolio [Aug. 8, 2016]

Submitted on
Monday, August 8, 2016
,
Internet2

Cloud solution offers Internet2 member universities opportunity to optimize campus experience and digital presence

WASHINGTON, DC, August 8, 2016 -- Today, Internet2 announced that cloud solutions from Acquia, the digital experience company, are now available to member institutions through its NET+ portfolio. Acquia provides a digital experience platform that empowers higher education institutions of all types and sizes to deliver powerful digital experiences that serve relevant content and engage key audiences including current and prospective students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

The NET+ Acquia offering is now available to Internet2 higher education members. This includes Acquia’s product suite and services, offered at a discount and under the contract terms negotiated by the service validation participants. The NET+ Acquia offering provides a powerful solution to higher education institutions who are looking to tackle their greatest digital challenges. The following products are now available:

  • NET+ Acquia Cloud: Universities can take advantage of a secure, fully managed platform to accelerate website deployment, increase business agility, and speed time-to-market.
  • NET+ Acquia Cloud Site Factory: Universities can drive brand consistency across web properties and manage and govern dozens or hundreds of websites for their campus community from a fully managed platform and unified console.
  • NET+ Acquia Lift: Universities can implement a digital personalization strategy and deliver targeted experiences across devices and channels.
  • NET+ Acquia Cloud Edge: Universities can extend the security and performance advantages of the Acquia portfolio to the edge of the distribution network to deliver the best possible visitor experience.

"An extraordinary digital presence is not just expected of today's best universities, but a critical element of their engagement with students, alumni and the broader community," said Shel Waggener, Internet2, senior vice president of NET+ services. "The Acquia Platform helps our members effectively build, deliver, manage, and optimize their digital experiences. Their strong track record of quality, security, and top notch features makes Acquia's Platform the perfect tool to support the dynamic needs of our community."

"Colleges and universities are under immense pressure to deliver greater levels of success with fewer resources amid a complex and changing industry environment. Achieving digital excellence is a critical component of overall institutional success, and Acquia is proud to provide this strategic offering to Internet2 member universities," said Tim Bertrand, chief revenue officer at Acquia. "From admissions to student engagement and alumni outreach, the NET+ Acquia offering is uniquely positioned to support innovation across a wide array of campus digital initiatives."

About Internet2
Internet2 is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve shared technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2 also operates the nation’s largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network, with Internet2 Network Operations Center powered by Indiana University. Internet2 serves more than 90,000 community anchor institutions, 317 U.S. universities, 70 government agencies, 42 regional and state education networks, 80 leading corporations working with our community and more than 65 national research and education networking partners representing more than 100 countries.
Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, MI; Denver, CO; Emeryville, CA; Washington, DC; and West Hartford, CT. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

Mayor Walsh Launches Redesigned City Website: Boston.gov [July 20, 2016]

Submitted on
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
,
Boston.gov

BOSTON - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announces the launch of Boston.gov, the redesigned digital front door for the City of Boston. The website features significant changes to the visual design, organization and underlying technology of the City's website.

"The launch of the new website marks a meaningful step in making the City's digital services accessible for all," said Mayor Walsh. "Whether you're a college student moving into a new apartment or a small business owner, our goal is to provide a website that is welcoming and user-friendly to all who visit. As a City, we are always striving to set new standards and strive for excellence, and we look forward to continuing to build Boston.gov together."

boston-banner.png

The new site was designed with accessibility at the forefront. More than 20,000 web pages and one million words were rewritten to make the site easier to understand and navigate. The City has made dramatic changes to improve ADA compliance, and Boston.gov is now also optimized for any device and screen size.

In order to build a website that reflects the needs of a large and diverse community, the City relied heavily on input from a wide variety of residents. A pilot version of the website, launched in early January, allowed the City to conduct rigorous user testing, including in-person conversations, focus groups, and surveys with residents.

"Boston is a leader in digital innovation and our residents expect great service from their City government, whether they interact online or in person," said Chief Information Officer Jascha Franklin-Hodge. "This project aims to meet these expectations by providing government digital services on par with those provided by leading private sector companies."

The new Boston.gov showcases many notable changes, including:

  • Design: Boston.gov features a new brand and visual identity for the City of Boston. The brand guidelines for the new site has also been made publicly available.
  • Content organization: Rather than organize information primarily by department, the new site allows users to access information through "guides", which feature curated content based on how a resident thinks about an issue, such as moving or owning a car.
  • Language: Content throughout the site has been re-written in a more welcoming, human tone.
  • Technology: The site is built on Drupal, an open source content management system which allows the City to utilize a large ecosystem of developers to adapt the site to users' changing needs. Boston.gov is also being hosted in the cloud to provide a more secure and reliable experience for users.

"Building a website that is welcoming, beautiful, and thoroughly useful has been a priority for our team from the start," said Chief Digital Officer Lauren Lockwood. "That philosophy will inform all decisions as we continue to improve the site."

The City will be making the roadmap for their website development public. There, the public is encouraged to submit their ideas for the future of Boston.gov as well as vote on suggestions from others.

The redesign was led by the City's Digital Team in partnership with IDEO, an award-winning global design firm, and Boston-based Acquia, a leading local technology provider.

"Our work with the City of Boston was an exciting opportunity to not only redesign their site, but to fundamentally change the engagement and connection city government can have with its constituents," said Michelle Kwasny, Senior Design Research Lead at IDEO. "Boston has invested in its citizens by creating a digital home that is open, welcoming, vibrant, friendly, and accessible, and it was an honor to work with their team to guide and support citizens through key life moments."

"The City of Boston is a leading example of what can be done when top minds come together to design a digital experience," said Dries Buytaert, Drupal creator and project lead and Acquia co-founder and CTO. "We're proud to collaborate with the City's world-class digital team, supporting their work as they reimagine digital engagement for Boston's citizens."

Black Duck and North Bridge Release Results from 10th Annual FOSS Survey [April 27, 2016]

Submitted on
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
,
BusinessWire

Open source viewed as today’s preeminent architecture and an engine for innovation, but significant challenges remain in open source security and management practices

BURLINGTON, MA – April 27, 2016 – Black Duck, the global leader in automated solutions for securing and managing open source software, and North Bridge, a inception-to-growth stage venture capital firm, in collaboration with Acquia today released the results of the 10th Future of Open Source Survey, which examines open source software trends on an annual basis. Notably, the 2016 survey findings position open source as today’s preeminent architecture, the foundation for nearly all applications, operating systems, cloud computing, databases and big data.

“When the first survey launched 10 years ago, hardly anyone would have predicted that open source use would be ubiquitous worldwide just a decade later, but for many good reasons that’s what has happened. Its value in reducing development costs, in freeing internal developers to work on higher-order tasks, and in accelerating time to market is undeniable. Simply put, open source is the way applications are developed today,” said Black Duck CEO Lou Shipley. “The future of open source is full of possibilities.”

In terms of the overall influence open source has on their businesses, survey respondents see it as an engine for innovation, with 90 percent reporting they rely on open source for improved efficiency, innovation and interoperability. The most compelling reasons cited in the survey for use of open source included flexibility and freedom from vendor lock-in; competitive features and technical capabilities; ability to customize; and overall quality.

Shipley noted that the 2016 survey results also show that the rapid adoption of open source has outpaced the implementation of effective open source management and security practices. “We see opportunities for organizations to make significant improvements in those areas. With nearly half of respondents saying they have no formal processes to track their open source, and half reporting that no one has responsibility for identifying known vulnerabilities and tracking remediation, we expect to see greater focus on those areas,” said Shipley.

“Open source today is unequivocally the engine of innovation, whether that’s powering technology like operating systems, cloud, big data or IoT, or powering a new generation of open source companies delivering compelling solutions to the market,” said Paul Santinelli, general partner at North Bridge.

“Our survey this year showed respondents report that in the next two or three years, the business models that will generate the most revenue for open source vendors are SaaS (46%); Custom Development (42%) and Services/Support (41%). In the venture world we’re seeing a new generation of open source companies pushing these models forward such as Acquia, Chef, Cloudera, Couchbase, Docker and WP Engine. Over the coming years we fully expect open core to continue to build as a revenue model while reliance on SaaS as a business model decreases as it did for the first time this year,” Santinelli said.
The 2016 Future of Open Source Survey drew a record 1,300 respondents from 64 countries and provided broad insights on the state of open source in a variety of areas, including business value, innovation stimulation, emerging business models, security and management practices and corporate contributions to open source projects.

Business Value
Open source is an essential element in development strategy with more than 65 percent of respondents relying on open source to speed development.
More than 55 percent leverage open source within their production environments.

Engine for Innovation

  • Respondents reported use of open source to drive innovation through faster, more agile development; accelerated time to market and vastly superior interoperability.
  • Additional innovation is afforded by open source’s quality of solutions; competitive features and technical capabilities; and ability to customize.

Proliferation of Open Source Business Models and Investment

  • More diverse business models are emerging that promise to deliver more value to open source companies than ever before. They are not as dependent on SaaS and services/support.
  • Open source private financing has increased almost 4x in five years.

Security and Management
The development of best-in-class open source security and management practices has not kept pace with growth in adoption. Despite a proliferation of expensive, high-profile open source breaches in recent years, the survey revealed that:

  • 50 percent of companies have no formal policy for selecting and approving open source code.
  • 47 percent of companies don’t have formal processes in place to track open source code, limiting their visibility into their open source and therefore their ability to control it.
  • More than one-third of companies have no process for identifying, tracking or remediating known open source vulnerabilities.

Open Source Participation on the Rise
The survey revealed an active corporate open source community that spurs innovation, delivers exponential value and shares camaraderie:

  • 67 percent of respondents report actively encouraging developers to engage in and contribute to open source projects.
  • 65 percent of companies are contributing to open source projects.
  • One in three companies have a full-time resource dedicated to open source projects.
  • 59 percent of respondents participate in open source projects to gain competitive edge.

The slide show providing more information is available at http://www.slideshare.net/North_Bridge/2016-future-of-open-source-study.

Future of Open Source 2016 collaborators included the following: Abilian, Acquia, Ant Systems, Appnovation, Appsembler, Ardent Technologies, Inc., Bareos GmbH & Co. KG, Black Duck Software, Capital One, Chamilo, Chef, CloudFoundry Corp, Confer, Coolan, Couchbase, Credativ, DEIS/Engineyard, Eclipse Foundation, EnterpriseDB, Evolveum, Grid Protection Alliance, Hewlett Packard, InfoSys, JFrog, Linux Foundation, Linux Professional Institute, MARSEC, Microsoft, MassTLC, Miracl, nexB, NGINX, North Bridge, Open Source Business (OSB) Alliance, Open Source EHR Alliance, Open Source Initiative (OSI), OpenClinic, Open-Xchange, Opmantek, OpusVL, Pentaho, Ravel Law, Red Hat, Rift-io, SDH Institute, Tecnisys, The Apache Software Foundation, The Document Foundation, Ubuntu, Univention, VoltDB, Wikibon, WIPRO and WP Engine.

Among the collaborators were all the North Bridge Open Source portfolio companies including: Acquia, Coolan, Confer, Couchbase, Ravel Law, Rift-io, and WP Engine.

govCMS and GOV.AU Beta: A Joint Approach to Improving Online Service Delivery [April 19, 2016]

Submitted on
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
,
Australian Government - govCMS

In this joint blog post, CEO of the DTO Paul Shetler and Australian Government Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan explains how govCMS will be a critical part of the GOV.AU Beta.

As the Australian Government’s digital transformation gathers pace, it’s not surprising that agencies are wondering how these changes will affect them.

There has been particular interest in one of the DTO’s major projects, GOV.AU, and how this relates to existing platforms, including govCMS.

Understanding GOV.AU
DTO CEO Paul Shetler said that GOV.AU is not a technology solution and it’s not a replacement for other technologies; it’s a service design approach.

“The vision of GOV.AU is to create a place where users can find anything to do with the Australian Government, without having to visit multiple different websites.

“Users won’t need to understand which agency is responsible for which services or information, in order to get the job done - they’ll just be able to visit GOV.AU.

“Of course, this is a huge task that we’re exploring one step at a time. At this early stage, we’ve created an Alpha product to provide an indication of what this might look like.

“And you can view that Alpha product online and provide feedback now at gov.au/alpha.”

Complementary products
Australian Government Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan says govCMS was designed to provide a solution to agencies that would reduce the cost of maintaining their websites.

“govCMS removes the burden of website content management and hosting arrangements, leaving agencies with more time to focus on the content and services they provide to end users,” said John.

“govCMS provides a responsive and accessible starting point for websites, using a common platform built on open source code and operated through sharing and reuse.

“The platform is available now and can be used by all agencies.”

How govCMS will help deliver GOV.AU
Paul said govCMS is the technology solution that will underpin the GOV.AU Beta, will be the platform used by agencies to author and prepare content for the site.

In the near future, agencies will author content using govCMS and it will be published on the GOV.AU Beta website.

“For those agencies already familiar with govCMS, it will make adding and updating content in GOV.AU a really straightforward process with a minimal learning curve,” said Paul.

Helping agencies prepare for change
John Sheridan says, “If you’re already using govCMS, you’ve already started the journey to change. While moving to GOV.AU will require extensive work around user research, design, and content reduction and improvement, you’re already using the best available content management platform.”

Paul said work had already begun to help agencies prepare for the future.

This includes:

  • exploring how we can use the API-enabled content hub feature in govCMS to publish information to GOV.AU,
  • planning to more widely adopt design patterns coming out of GOV.AU Beta’s development work, and
  • creating better connections across our community so when the times comes for change, we can share the load and tackle challenges together.
  • Should I stop any progress in re-platforming to govCMS?

“The short answer is no. Keep going, because GOV.AU will be designed to use the content stored in govCMS, and govCMS will be a part of any end solution,” John said.

Have you got more questions on GOV.AU? Provide feedback via the Alpha prototype at gov.au/alpha.

Acquia Funds Community Development of Drupal Modules [March 24, 2016]

Submitted on
Thursday, March 24, 2016
,
ITWire

Boston-based open source company Acquia has announced that it will provide US$500,000 to the community around the content management system Drupal, in order to help in the development of modules that add additional functionality.

Drupal is free software developed originally by Belgian Dries Buytaert (seen above) and released under the GNU General Public Licence. The Acquia move has been prompted by the rapid take-up of version 8 of Drupal and the funding will go towards modules for this version.

As with many free and open source applications, a community has developed around Drupal, contributing code, modules and advice. Acquia makes its money by selling and servicing websites built with Drupal, with customisations aplenty to suit the customer in question.

In 2014, it announced a deal with the Australian federal government to build websites and has developed a modified version of Drupal which is called GovCMS.

The Module Acceleration Program has so far seen about 30 modules developed and another 20 are targeted in the next two months. Participants in the program include module maintainers and contributors, freelancers, and development agencies with Drupal practices.

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Sky-high Response to Cloud Platform [March 22, 2016]

Submitted on
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
,
PSNews

The cloud-based open-source initiative, govCMS has attracted more than double the number of Agencies and Departments it initially estimated in its first year of operation after

According to the private supplier, Acquia who provided the platform on which the initiative was based, the Drupal-powered website entered its second year supporting 58 sites for 28 Agencies.

govCMS provides the foundation for Government open source innovation, including its use of shared, cloud-based services, and its unification and transformation of the digital connection between itself and the general public.

According to Acquia, the govCMS team has an ethos that the adoption of govCMS should reflect the quality of the service, and as a result, the service is not mandated.

It said however, that the Department and Agencies that adopt govCMS would benefit from a standardised procurement model and achieve compliance for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and other compliance requirements.


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Burda Launches Worldwide Coalition of Industry Partners and Releases Open-Source Online CMS Platform [March 21, 2016]

Submitted on
Monday, March 21, 2016
,
PRNewswire
  • The first online Content Management System by publishers, for publishers
  • International community of industry partners, publishers, and developers
  • Free to use and continuously improved through community collaboration

MUNICH, March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- International media group Hubert Burda Media makes its Drupal 8 based Thunder Content Management System (CMS) available online as a free open-source platform for use and further development by other publishers. With this move, Burda joins forces with sector and industry partners including Acquia, Facebook, Microsoft, nexx.tv, Riddle.com and Valiton, aiming to develop the best open-source CMS platform for publishers. Burda believes that in today's world, successful media offerings result from the right combination of quality journalism and technology expertise. For the media company, this meant future-proofing its Content Management System by developing Thunder, an open-source system based on leading-edge technology, now available online free of charge for use and continuous development.

Board Member Philipp Welte explains, "Success in this new era of publishing can only be achieved by keeping up with the lightning speed of technological progress. No publisher in the world can do this alone, so we have to leave our historical silos behind, share our knowledge, cross traditional boundaries and learn how to work in a much more connected way. Thunder symbolizes this new era of collaboration: We have invested a lot of development effort, but we are not keeping the results for ourselves. We are putting it out there, to the core of our industry, so everyone can contribute to its continued enhancement. Our aim is to work with our partners to develop the best technology foundation for publishing the best journalistic content."

Worldwide collaboration - The Thunder Coalition

With the launch of the new CMS, Burda is creating a worldwide coalition for publishers, industry partners, and developers. At the core of the community is a team of publishing experts and developers led by Ingo Rübe, CTO for Burda's German publishing operations, and initiator of Thunder. This team will also be responsible for coordinating the continuous development and enhancement of Thunder. Ingo Rübe explains, "A CMS is no longer a strategic differentiator, especially in the consumer's perception. Thunder helps media companies break free from expensive legacy systems, and focus on the development of their content and brands."

Innovative CMS technology enriched by custom features for publishers

Thunder is a Drupal distribution based on the new version 8 of the framework, released in November 2015. It features a range of publisher-centric Drupal modules with custom enhancements, including tools for interactive content, IVW counting tools, single sign-on (SSO) and Responsive Web Design (RWD). With RWD, the layout of both the front-end (websites) and the back-end (authoring tool) automatically adjusts to each user's device. Thunder users also benefit from a whole range of channel- and feature-specific enhancements through collaboration with industry partners such as Acquia, Facebook, Microsoft, nexx.tv, and Riddle.com.

Burda have already migrated their Playboy and Instyle brands to Thunder. Florian Boitin, Editor-in-Chief of Playboy, remembers: "Over six months ago, we were one of the first brands to integrate Thunder into our editorial workflows, and we are proud to have laid the foundations for something really big. We were able to contribute to the design of Thunder by leveraging our long-standing experience of different CMS platforms. We are now reaping the benefits of further development efforts by the community, both in terms of technology and content."

Thunder was released under the GNU General Public License, meaning the software can be used and enhanced by all users free of charge.

For more information about Thunder, available extensions, and the Thunder Coalition, visit http://www.thunder.org.

About Thunder

Thunder is a web-based, open-source, Drupal 8-based Content Management System setting new standards for publishers' CMS. As members of the Thunder Coalition, publishers, industry partners, and developers can leverage worldwide community collaboration to implement Thunder, build custom extensions and share them with the Coalition to further enhance Thunder. Thunder was designed by Hubert Burda Media in 2016.

Cloud First Strategy Turns 5 Years Old [March 18, 2016]

Submitted on
Friday, March 18, 2016
,
FierceGovernmentIT

By Eli Richman

The government's "cloud first" strategy turned five years old last month, marking a period when many agencies overhauled services by consolidating their data centers and moving programs to the cloud.

"This has ushered in a new era of government IT characterized by an unprecedented ability to scale, continuous deployment, agile development and standardized, effective security practices," said Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services.

In February 2011, then-Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra posted a new strategy for agencies to reform their IT practices and adopt a "cloud-first" strategy. Kundra hoped the move would help reduce federal data center costs by 30 percent, or $7.2 billion at the time.

Since then, cloud technologies and offerings have advanced considerably, and agencies have graduated from the 78 services originally identified for the cloud to full departments and major websites.

For instance, the public facing websites for DOJ, DHS, NIH, NIST, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Transportation are all hosted on the Drupal-based govCMS platform, noted Dan Katz, technical director of the public sector at Acquia.

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Can We Save the Open Web? [March 17, 2016]

Submitted on
Thursday, March 17, 2016
,
The Daily Dot

By Dries Buytaert

The Web felt very different 15 years ago, when I founded Drupal, an open source tool for building websites. Just 7 percent of the population had Internet access, there were only around 20 million websites, and Google was a small, private company. Facebook, Twitter, and other household tech names were years away from being founded. In these early days, the Web felt like a free space that belonged to everyone. No one company dominated as an access point or controlled what users saw. This is what I call the "open Web."

But the Internet has changed drastically over the last decade. It’s become a more closed Web. Rather than a decentralized and open landscape, many people today primarily interact with a handful of large platform companies online, such as Google or Facebook. To many users, Facebook and Google aren’t part of the Internet—they are the Internet.

I worry that some of these platforms will make us lose the original integrity and freedom of the open Web. While the closed Web has succeeded in ease-of-use and reach, it raises a lot of ethical questions about how much control individuals have over their own experiences. And, as people generate data from more and more devices and interactions, this lack of control could get very personal, very quickly, without anyone’s consent. So I’ve thought through a few potential ideas to bring back the good things about the open Web. These ideas are by no means comprehensive; I believe we need to try a variety of approaches before we find one that really works.

Double-edged sword
It’s undeniable that companies like Google and Facebook have made the Web much easier to use and helped bring billions online. They’ve provided a forum for people to connect and share information, and they’ve had a huge impact on human rights and civil liberties. These are many things for which we should applaud them.

But their scale is also concerning. For example, Chinese messaging service Wechat (which is somewhat like Twitter) recently used its popularity to limit market choice. The company banned access to Uber to drive more business to their own ride-hailing service. Meanwhile, Facebook engineered limited web access in developing economies with its Free Basics service. Touted in India and other emerging markets as a solution to help underserved citizens come online, Free Basics allows viewers access to only a handful of pre-approved websites (including, of course, Facebook). India recently banned Free Basics and similar services, claiming that these restricted Web offerings violated the essential rules of net neutrality.

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Acquia Honored in 2016 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service [Jan. 21, 2016]

Submitted on
Thursday, January 21, 2016
,
Stevie Awards

Acquia is honored to be among the finalists for the 2016 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service. Acquia was recognized in three categories in this year's competition.

Global Sales Team of the Year: Acquia’s global sales team serves as strategic consultants for the company’s largest customers, helping these organizations plan and develop their digital strategies. The team was formed in 2014, and this is Acquia’s first Stevie's honors in this category.

Worldwide Sales Executive of the Year: Tim Bertrand, Acquia’s chief revenue officer, is a Stevie finalist for the second consecutive year; he earned silver in 2015 for his leadership and strategic direction at the company.

Frontline Customer Service Team of the Year: This is the third consecutive year that Acquia’s global support team has been named a finalist; our support experts were honored with bronze medals in both 2014 and 2015 for their commitment to Acquia’s customers.

Every year the Stevie Awards hosts several programs around the world to honor business achievement, including the International Business Awards and American Business Awards. This year marks the 10th annual Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service competition, in which more than 2,100 nominations from organizations in virtually every industry were evaluated. Finalists will be awarded either gold, silver, or bronze awards during a gala banquet on Friday, March 4 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Happy Birthday, Drupal! [Jan. 15, 2016]

Submitted on
Friday, January 15, 2016
,
Drupal Association

Happy birthday, Drupal community! Today is the Drupal project's 15th birthday. In honor of the upcoming year, we've put together a retrospective of some of the incredible changes and accomplishments we made together last year.

2015 was a landmark year for Drupal: between three DrupalCons, the release of Drupal 8, and numerous improvements to Drupal.org, there's a lot for everyone to be proud of. None of our amazing accomplishments would been possible without our community of passionate Drupalers. As you read the infographic, we invite you take a moment to congratulate yourself for all the ways that you've helped make the project strong. Because Drupal's 15th birthday isn't just an accomplishment for the software—it's an occasion to celebrate everyone who has helped get the entire project and the community to where they are today.


See the infographic.

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