Acquia Coverage

How to Build Boston's Next Anchor Company [Dec. 15, 2015]

Submitted on
Thursday, January 14, 2016
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BostInno

By Kyle Alspach

Plenty of entrepreneurs start companies with the goal of building something small, and then selling. Acquia, which now has 720 employees, and Localytics, which employs 250, were clearly never those types of companies. So it’s no coincidence that they're two of Boston’s best candidates for becoming our next “anchor” companies—firms that grow to large scale, stay independent over the long term, hire people in droves and stimulate the formation of new startups. Acquia CEO Tom Erickson recalled an early conversation he had with company co-founder and CTO Dries Buytaert: “He said to me, ‘I want to build a company that is the only company I ever work in.’”

I’ve spoken with Erickson and Localytics co-founder/CEO Raj Aggarwal in recent weeks to find out how they’ve gotten gone about building for the long term even when they were still very much in startup mode. As Boston continues to ponder whether our companies aren't achieving their full potential by selling out too early—as suggested by a recent MIT study—their insights should be of use to many in the tech community here.

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Acquia Plans Expansion in Australia, Asia-Pac Region [Dec. 15, 2015]

Submitted on
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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ITWire

By Sam Varghese

The Boston-based open source company Acquia is expanding its operations in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region as it seeks to explore more business opportunities, the company's general manager for Asia Pacific Japan, Graham Sowden, says.

Sowden was in Melbourne on Tuesday on a staff-recruitment drive; during a brief one-on-one, he said that he had hired the company's first employee in Melbourne and shortly hoped to double the number. Acquia has a presence in Sydney where there are 12 staff, while Brisbane is home to 13 employees.

Last year the company, which specialises in the Drupal content management system, gained a big foothold in the Australian market by winning a contract to develop up to 450 websites for the federal government. As with many of its other big contracts, the resulting CMS will have its own characteristics which are peculiar to the task at hand; in the case of the Australian contract, it will be known as govCMS. There are eight staff working in Canberra and dedicated to liaising with people there for the govCMS work.

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Everything Old is New Again: How Software Development Will Come Full Circle in 2016 [Dec. 14, 2015]

Submitted on
Monday, December 14, 2015
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Information Age

By Chris Stone

The history of software technologies has shown two things: trends of the past tend to crop up again, and they always inspire greater innovation

Products of the future have consistently been created through the collaboration and evolution of former concepts. Technologies seen as commonplace today, from the internet to smartphones, all formed out of complex ideas from the past. Because of this, often the best way to predict the future is by taking a look at the past.

Many trends and technologies have emerged and disrupted their respective industries over the last few years. Now, though, these innovations are ready to really take off and make their mark on a larger scale.

Here is what three of the past’s most revolutionary trends will evolve into throughout the next year.

1. What was once activity directory will be federation identity management on the web

Novell and Microsoft built directory services and active directory in the late 1990s as databases to manage identity and keep track of users’ profiles and access to services within networks.

They were mostly used within single networks or organisations. Novell, along with Netscape, helped create LDAP and then tried to federate web-based information with internal directory information on individuals, but the idea happened before way its time.

There are similar “namespaces” or directories for the web (for example, PHP Namespaces). But now, other technical components (for example, complex matching algorithms pairing data with directory information) are finally falling into place to use identity to deliver personalised information to individuals.

The larger question for 2016 is how active of a role the consumer will want to take in managing his or her own identity. 2016 could be the year personal information brokering (PIM) reaches a fever pitch, before adoption.

2. What was once service-oriented architecture will be microservices and distributed computing (container) environments

This idea was all about how application components could provide services to other components via a network’s communication protocol. It was thought to be “killed by the cloud”, or it largely languished because cloud infrastructure wasn’t mature enough at the time – depends on who you ask.

Microservices are applications broken down into small, loosely coupled pieces. Using microservices, businesses can automate out of large-scale failure by isolating problems, and save on computing resources.

In 2016, more companies will run microservices in a containerised environment and automatically isolate components when they fail or need maintenance.

Using these environments, the cloud will become like a utility, and companies can begin to charge for their services based on usage, much like electricity or water.

3. What was once PointCast/push technology will be the ‘big reverse‘

PointCast was before its time as bandwidth and network capabilities weren’t up to the job of delivering personalised content to the user in a “push” broadcast format – in other words, it failed a lot.

Management and large-scale economic challenges plagued the company and ultimately the idea was acquired by Idealab and disappeared.

With more devices shipping without browsers and the volume of data getting infinitely larger on the web, there will be a return to delivering the right information to the right user at the right time in the right context.

With short-format messaging and notifications rising to prominence on mobile devices, the website won’t look like a website for long – it could change as soon as next year like a “big reverse of the web”. The Internet of Things is nothing more than an instantiation of this concept.

When it comes to technology, dwelling on the past is encouraged. By understanding trends of the past – what worked and what didn’t – businesses can better refine their approach moving forward.

2016 will be the year when ideas from technology’s distant and more recent past will step into the spotlight and show their true potential. But even then, the innovation won’t stop.

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What Does the Future of the Internet Look Like? [Dec. 11, 2015]

Submitted on
Sunday, December 11, 2016
,
World Economic Forum

By Dries Buytaert

The future of the web will be all about delivering the right information or service, to the right user, at the right time, on the right device. While this idea sounds pretty straightforward, in reality it’s tough to execute. Companies like Google, Facebook and Apple are investing a lot of time and energy into developing “personal assistants” that serve up highly customized streams of information, or even perform tasks through your mobile device. What if we had a similar concept for the web?

I call this idea “B2One”. Within the next decade, we’ll move from B2C to B2One, where we’ll create one-on-one relationships between people and companies. We carry technology with us nearly everywhere, and are consistently providing our devices with inputs – where we are, what we want, and what we’re doing. B2One asks: What if companies were able to make life easier, better and more customized to our preferences by making better use of this data?

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Mobile App is Smooth Sailing for Princess Cruises [Oct. 26, 2015]

Submitted on
Monday, October 26, 2015
,
Chief Marketer

By Beth Negus Viveiros

A mobile app is helping Princess Cruises’ passengers keep up with events on-ship—and helping the company collect a wealth of customer data and feedback.

The Princess@Sea app first launched on one ship in 2013, the Royal Princess, and will be available on all 17 ships in the Princess fleet by the end of the year, said Nate Craddock, project lead and architect for Princess@Sea product team, speaking at Acquia Engage in Boston last week.

On the average cruise where the app is available, 30% to 40% of passengers download the app, and 15% to 20% register to fully use its features, allowing Princess to track users and tabulate that data.

The app, powered by Drupal, allows passengers to create calendars of not only official shipboard events but to create their own personal events with friends, family and travel groups.

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Deep into Drupal, Cisco Starts to Give Back to Open Source Community [Oct. 21, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
,
Network World

By Bob Brown

Cisco’s Jamal Haider acknowledged during a presentation this week that his team that works on the company’s open source-based customer support portal hasn’t given much back to the wider Drupal community yet, but he said this talk at the sold-out Acquia Engage conference in Boston is part of an effort to change that.

And why not? Cisco has plenty of reasons – more than $400 million of them, in fact – to be grateful for Drupal since migrating its Support Community portal to the open source content management system early last year. Cisco started working on project requirements in 2013 with Acquia, a SaaS provider that has commercialized Drupal offerings.

Haider, Cisco’s director of social, SaaS and mobile platforms, claims the company has saved hundreds of millions of dollars since revamping the site, which previously was based on technology from Jive Software. These savings are attributable largely to “deflecting” the cost of supporting customers – in other words, enabling customers to help themselves through a greatly improved portal rather than getting on the phone with actual Cisco technical support personnel. Haider cited a 77% deflection rate thanks to the portal, which Cisco aims to make the place to go for detailed technical, and some marketing, information. Moving to Drupal helped Cisco build a site that is faster, more stable and more flexible, and that has a much friendlier user interface, Haider says.

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How Acquia Helped Cisco Save $400M [Oct. 21, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
,
CRN

By Meghan Ottolini

Acquia CEO Tom Erickson trumpeted the success of the cloud platform solution provider’s work with Cisco at the Acquia Engage conference in Boston Wednesday.

Erickson held up the company’s experience with Cisco as a prime example of how Acquia has taken companies through critical transformations involving Web content management, cloud computing and Drupal support.

Cisco leveraged the Drupal and Acquia platform to transform its services organization from a traditional call center to a community centered around partners and customers. The update streamlined customer support services, but also saved Cisco a considerable chunk of change.

“They’re expecting to save over $400 million with this digital transformation, not a small thing at all,” Erickson said.

The CEO’s keynote address focused on the various solutions Acquia offers to enable digital transformation, which Erickson called a matter of "life or death" for most companies. Specifically, Erickson pointed out cloud CMS as a crucial solution for modern businesses.

Acquia's CEO on a New Product, IPO and Unicorn Obsession [Oct. 21, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
,
BostInno

By Kyle Alspach

One of Boston’s fastest-growing private tech companies has a new product out today and aspirations for going public that are as strong as ever despite the tech IPO slowdown.

Acquia, which provides cloud technology for Web content management using open-source Drupal, is in the middle of its annual Engage conference in Boston. And today the firm is announcing Content Hub, a new service that makes it easier to distribute and share content across multiple sites and incompatible platforms. In an interview, CEO Tom Erickson said the product was heavily requested by existing customers and also aims to pull in Drupal users that so far haven’t quite been enticed by Acquia. “For organizations using Drupal but not Acquia, this is another way to engage with us,” Erickson said.

The announcement comes as the release of a major Drupal update is imminent and a few weeks after Acquia announced $55 million in new funding to support its growth plans, bringing the firm to $174 million in total funding since its launch in 2007. It also follows Acquia’s move to a new Downtown Boston office, from Burlington, in May. The company now employs 329 in Boston and 720 overall.

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Acquia Releases Content Hub at #AcquiaEngage15 [Oct. 21, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
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CMSWire

By Dom Nicastro

Acquia targeted personalized digital experiences at its first customer conference last fall. This year, it's turning its attention to internal processes, specifically enterprises that need to share content between web content management systems (Web CMS) and other digital distribution channels.

Today, at its Acquia Engage Conference, Boston-based Acquia released the Acquia Content Hub, a cloud-based distribution and discovery service.

Acquia built its platform on the open-source Drupal model, which was created by Acquia founder and CTO Dries Buytaert. This release aims to make it easier for CMSs to talk to each other, Acquia officials told CMSWire.

The company hopes to accomplish this through APIs that connect the Acquia Content Hub with other content channels.

The product is targeted at "enterprise customers with complex silos and systems that need a better way to get content out of legacy systems, into more modern systems and across various distributed partners and teams," Kelly O'Neill, senior director of product marketing for Acquia, told CMSWire in an interview last week.

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SaaS Platform Looks to Curb the Content Beast [Oct 21, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
,
IT World Canada

By Gary Hilson

Enterprises are drowning in content and working against the tide to get it published and shared effectively, so Acquia Inc. has launched a new SaaS platform for smoother sailing .

Today the Boston-based company unveiled Content Hub, a cloud-based distribution and discovery service, which allows organizations to create, search, distribute, and share content numerous websites, intranets, content management systems and other external distribution channels such as RSS and Apple News. It could be text-based information, or multimedia such as photo and video.

It’s a new product for the self-described “digital experience” company, said CEO Thomas Erickson, and sprung from interactions with Acquia’s more than 4,000 customers through professional services engagements. Acquia found itself creating custom applications to address the content sharing conundrum, so the concept was ported to its product team for development, he said. Normally, organizations find themselves pulling content from one source and reformatting it for another channel.

Content Hub is designed to help enterprises share and distribute content better, but also make better use of what it has created, said Erickson. Large organizations in particular often have information sitting is silos that not only isn’t accessible to everyone who needs, but often forgotten unnecessarily recreated from scratch. The platform includes discovery tools faceted search to help end users relevant content from other sites, departmental archives or content management systems quickly.

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Acquia Joins North Bridge, 35 Cloud Leaders to Launch Fifth Annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey

Submitted on
Thursday, October 8, 2015
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North Bridge

WALTHAM, Mass., - October 8, 2015 - North Bridge, an inception-to-growth stage venture capital firm today announced the launch of its fifth annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey in partnership with research analyst firm, Wikibon, and 36 collaborating cloud companies. When the study first began market hype outpaced adoption of cloud computing. Today, SaaS, long at the vanguard of cloud adoption, has grown five-fold from 2011 to 2014. Yet issues like security, cloud interoperability and vendor lock-in all warrant broader discussion on the part of the industry as it forges ahead. The program is vendor-agnostic and supported by companies large and small. All participants are encouraged to follow @futureofcloud and use #futureofcloud to join the discussion on Twitter.

Take the survey now.

The 2015 Future of Cloud Computing survey is sponsored by North Bridge and Wikibon with the support of more than 35 collaborators (full list below), who have contributed, endorsed and will distribute the survey.

To view the results of the 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 surveys please visit: North Bridge Cloud Computing.

2015 Future of Cloud Computing Collaborators include Acquia, Appformix, Black Duck, Canonical, CenturyLink, Citrix, Clarity, CloudBees, CloudHealth Tech, Confer, Deis/EngineYard, Demandware, Egenera, eRecruit, Flexiant, Harmon.ie, Hornet Security, IngeniousMed, Logentries, Microsoft, Newforma, Open Xchange, Red Hat, Reval, RIFT.io, RightScale, Salsify, Scribe, Service Rocket, SpringCM, Stratus Technologies, THINKStrategies, Trillium Software, Virtustream, Wikibon, and WPEngine.

About North Bridge
North Bridge Venture Partners and North Bridge Growth Equity are active partners with entrepreneurs providing seed-to-growth financing for innovative companies looking to disrupt big markets. With $3.5 billion in capital currently under management, North Bridge partners, many founders themselves, work with entrepreneurs to apply their expertise in the creation, operation and scaling of market-leaders. The firm has funded more than 170 companies creating many billions in market value. Among those firms are Acquia, Actifio, Cool Planet, Couchbase, Demandware, Mavenir Systems, Paydiant, Proto Labs, Reval and Starent Networks. The firm is based in Waltham, MA. To learn more about North Bridge go to http://www.northbridge.com. Follow us at @North_Bridge.

About Wikibon
Wikibon is a community of business technology practitioners founded to deliver the most actionable and real-time information available in the marketplace. The Wikibon analyst team comprises expertise cutting across all facets of business technology, with a cross-functional focus on cloud, big data/analytics and infrastructure. Wikibon research methodologies heavily leverage traditional approaches and advanced social media and data analysis techniques. To learn more about Wikibon, go to http://wikibon.com. Follow us @Wikibon.

Web-software Seller Acquia Raises $55 Million, Staying Private for Now [Sept. 28, 2015]

Submitted on
Monday, September 28, 2015
,
BetaBoston

By Curt Woodward

One of Boston’s larger private tech companies is staying private for a while longer.

Acquia, which sells website-building software to business and government customers, has raised a $55 million investment round to help it bankroll sales, marketing, and product development.

The new private financing indicates that Acquia isn’t on the verge of filing for an initial public offering of its stock, a step the company has publicly contemplated for some time now.

Chief executive Tom Erickson said Acquia still plans to go public someday, but with private capital readily flowing into tech companies, the benefits of remaining private made the decision easy.

“Money is out there,” Erickson said. “It allows us the flexibility on that journey of becoming a public company, and deciding when we want to do that. That’s the key.”

Acquia has now raised nearly $189 million from private investors since it was founded in 2007, including a $50 million investment round last year. The company reported more than $100 million in revenue last year, and has more than 700 employees worldwide. It said it does not discuss profitability.

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Acquia Adds $55M as World Goes Online {Sept. 28, 2015]

Submitted on
Monday, September 28, 2015
,
Xconomy

By Gregory T. Huang

Let the good times roll in enterprise tech. One of Boston’s fast-rising Internet startups has some more cash to throw around.

Acquia, a Web content management software company, says it has raised $55 million in equity financing, led by new investor Centerview Capital Technology. Its previous investors, including New Enterprise Associates and Split Rock Partners, also participated in the growth round, which brings Acquia’s total funding to roughly $175 million.

Acquia was started in 2007 by Dries Buytaert (pictured above on the right) and Jay Batson. The idea was to build software products and services on top of Drupal, an open-source Web publishing system. The plan seems to be working, though entrepreneurs and their investors always want faster growth—hence the new financing.

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The Journey is Underway [Sept. 23, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
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City of Boston

We’re already a few weeks into working with our design partners, IDEO and Acquia.

IDEO, our design partner, is an award-winning, global design firm that works on an immeasurable range of projects world-wide, not just websites and physical objects but new product categories and whole new processes. Acquia is our technical partner. They are a local firm, with expertise in building scalable websites and related systems in Drupal. Drupal itself is open source and provides flexibility as the City of Boston’s digital program grows and changes over time.

With the help of IDEO’s innovative “design thinking” approach, we are working alongside stakeholders inside City Hall and out in the community to learn more about our users: the residents of Boston.

IDEO’s founder is famous for saying "Stop talking and start making." We have begun. Our process is designed to have all three partners engaged in iterative creation and testing.

The start of the design research and Agile development processes are the beginnings of a journey; we can’t yet see the destination but can imagine where our path might lead. Rather than a design phase followed by implementation, we will all travel together-- building and discovering as we go.

The ways in which consume information digitally has changed dramatically since the City of Boston built its current website. It’s no longer just an information hub, valuable as that is, but a place where we actually do things--pay our taxes, apply for permits, interact with city services. Our beta site will be built with this in mind -- it will be purpose-built to expand and change more easily and adapt over time.

IDEO chooses an internal nickname for each project. It is fitting that they have chosen the name "spyglass" for this one. It is the right metaphor for us working together to build this boat while we sail it, looking through that spyglass together as we go.

We invite you to join us on our journey here at next.boston.gov.

Reaching Your Customers on the Mobile Web [August 26, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
,
CMSWire

By Tom Wentworth

Walk down any busy street and you’ll see it — mobile usage is on the rise. It’s no secret, and yet, the stats might still be surprising: According to a recent comScore report, 2010 saw 1 billion mobile users globally, and so far in 2015, that number has skyrocketed to 1.9 billion. In the past year, those numbers have also surpassed desktop usage.

This presents a great opportunity for digital marketers to make a huge impact on mobile — if they can break through the noise. We use these devices to send emails, take photos, play games, schedule events and even make payments, giving us few reasons to take our eyes off the screen. Because of this, more and more marketers are looking to take advantage of mobile avenues like Instagram (which recently opened its API to brands) and Snapchat. That means mobile websites are facing some heavy competition.

Here’s a look at what this dramatic increase in mobile usage means for the future of the web and what it will take to get users engaging with a brand’s site on their phones.

The Battle for Consumer Attention Heats Up
All signs point to mobile adoption numbers continuing to steadily increase. So what will it take for a mobile website to stand out in a sea of apps? A strategy that emphasizes context and personalization. The more mobile websites that start competing for attention, the pickier users will be about the sites they visit on their devices. If they don’t find the experience they’re looking for, you can bet they’ll click elsewhere.

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POV: Why You Should Start Working in Drupal 8 Today [August 20, 2015]

Submitted on
Thursday, August 20, 2015
,
Website Magazine

By Michael E Meyers

If your websites are sitting comfortably on Drupal 7, you may not be considering a migration to Drupal 8 or adopting Drupal 8 for your next project. Drupal 7 is mature, stable and well-supported framework; why disrupt your work and team with a new version?

Truth is, if you’re not planning for and learning about Drupal 8, you’re already falling behind.

Migrations and Web projects take time and investment, but there are many advantages to being early in the development cycle that make the potential risks and short-term pain worth the trouble.
I was brought on as CTO at Examiner.com in 2009 when the company sought to get out from under legacy systems that were slowing growth down. We faced a big question for our Web project: adopt a stable but mature technology in Drupal 6, or take a bold leap and implement the yet-to-be-released Drupal 7?

Ultimately, we chose to be bold, and here’s why you should too.

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Gartner Names SaaS Provider Magic Quadrant Leader [Aug 5, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
,
ChannelLife

By Catherine Knowles

Acquia has been named a leader of Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. This is the second consecutive year Acquia has been positioned in the leaders’ quadrant.

The SaaS provider specialises in enterprise products, services and technical support for open-source web content management platform Drupal.

“A rapidly growing number of enterprises and midmarket organisations are raising their expectations of the digital channel.

“They are seeking to connect successfully with target audiences and engage these audiences with highly contextualised, cross-channel experiences,” Gartner says.

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Gartner Names Web Content Management Leaders [July 30, 2015]

Submitted on
Thursday, July 30, 2015
,
CMSWire

By Dom Nicastro

Three vendors who weren’t there 10 months ago cracked the leaders category of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (WCM).

The Stamford, Conn.-based research firm today released its latest ratings of vendors who produce technologies for enterprises to manage online content. The report was authored by Gartner analysts Mick MacComascaigh and Jim Murphy.

Moves at the Top
The newbies in the leaders category include OpenText, SDL and EPiServer, the latter which merged with longtime Gartner MQ staple Ektron earlier this year. The returning leaders included Adobe, Sitecore, Oracle, IBM, HP and Acquia.

Acquia CMO Tom Wentworth was a happy camper with its second straight leaders nod. It remained the lone open-source Web CMS provider — powered by Drupal — in a leaderboard field of proprietary software vendors.

The big news in the leaders group may be Sitecore’s leap over Adobe in its “ability to execute.” Adobe edged out Sitecore in the last Gartner report, but Sitecore grabbed the top spot today for the first time.

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Where Does Acquia Fit in the Landscape of CMS Vendors? [July 30, 2015]

Submitted on
Thursday, July 30, 2015
,
TrustRadius

Interview with Acquia's Tom Wentworth

Where Does Acquia Fit in the Landscape of CMS Vendors?

We describe ourselves as the digital experience company. We help our customers unify content, community and commerce, meaning their traditional .com website, their commerce site, and their social community site, on our Acquia platform. And we harness the open-source product Drupal as the underlying technology behind our platform.

What is digital experience management and how universal a term is it?

The generally accepted category that we all compete in is Web Content Management. It’s not sexy, but when I see RFPs, or when Sitecore and Adobe see RFPs, the majority of them are still using the phrase web content management.

I think vendors and some analysts like Forrester have jumped on the term digital experience because the word “web” implies one channel, when in reality it is a website, a mobile device, a screen, all these digital touchpoints. The term is trying to capture that it’s multi-channel. And it’s really a recognition that “web content management” is actually wrong. It’s not just about web, it’s about every digital touchpoint. It’s not about content—content can be lots of things. And it’s not about management, because we’re all trying to figure out how to get better value out of our content, so the word “management” isn’t really capturing that either.

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Personalization: Give Your Customers a Choice [July 27, 2015]

Submitted on
Monday, July 27, 2015
,
CMSWire

By Tom Wentworth

By now, the value of personalization should be clear. Customers have so many choices online — to shop, to read articles, to watch videos and more. A brand or publisher that wants to grab their attention must quickly serve the most relevant, useful information. The tough part is figuring out exactly what that relevant, useful information is.

We’ve covered a few ways to discover what customers really want: build better customer profiles, and consider the experience's context (e.g., time of day, type of device, etc.).

Down with Static Profiles
Building better customer profiles is essential. And this building process never ends. Customer profiles must continuously grow and evolve over time, learning from each interaction the customer has with you. To get the most complete view of the customer, pull in data from different marketing tools and digital sources. A solid profile that notes each interaction can help you convert anonymous site visitors (which account for more than 95 percent of traffic to your site) to known users as soon as they do something identifiable, like sign up for your company newsletter.

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