Open Source Drupal for the New Open Government

Acquia launches new ‘Social Publishing for Open Government’ program to help agencies meet requirements of Open Government Directive
Company hires VP of Business Development to lead efforts
Woburn, MA - January 12, 2009 -- Today, Acquia, the enterprise guide to social publishing, announced a new ‘Social Publishing for Open Government’ program designed to give agencies a fast track to successfully meet the requirements of the new Open Government Directive (OGD). The Directive, sent by the Obama administration to the head of every US federal department and agency, instructs agencies to take specific actions to open their operations to the public, with the goal of fostering more transparency, participation, and collaboration between government bodies and citizens. Acquia’s new program is aimed at helping agencies implement Drupal to meet these objectives.

Many organizations worldwide such as the British Government, the Dutch Government, the Australian Government, and the Belgium Government amongst others are realizing the benefits of Drupal, which blends website content creation and community. In the US, Whitehouse.gov, the New York State Senate, the US Courts, NASA, and Department of Commerce are just a handful of the hundreds of agencies and departments already benefiting from their Drupal websites.

The benefits of Drupal for government users include:

  • Speed of implementation: Working to meet aggressive OGD timetables (within the next 120 days) to formulate a strategy, launch an open government website, and publish high value data sets, agencies must do everything they can to maximize development time and resources. While proprietary vendors will struggle to move this quickly, Drupal implementation is fast, simple and can be online in a matter of days.
  • Minimal investment for maximum return: Drupal offers a cost effective model that can meet any agency’s budget requirements, regardless of size or level, unlike legacy propriety web publishing and content management systems, which impose a “roll out tax”; the more successful the project, the more deployments, the higher the license cost. Open source Drupal allows agencies to bypass that.
  • Action through agility: Drupal is a flexible platform driven by an active and innovative community. Users benefit from hundreds of new modules created on a regular basis. They are not left waiting for the next point release before they can add new features to their site. This ultimately allows government agencies to implement innovative social tools and take real action on data gathered through collaboration.
  • Innovation without giving up security: Implemented by some of the largest government sites such as whitehouse.gov, Drupal is backed by enterprise-level support from Acquia, blending the best of open innovation with the security levels required by government departments.

"With more and more of our New Yorkers turning toward social media to stay informed on and participate in decisions important to their daily lives, our office realized it was time for a reevaluation of how we could use these technologies to foster true interaction between state lawmakers and citizens,” said Andrew Hoppin, CIO for the New York State Senate. “We found that Drupal was a great option for government agencies and departments that want to boost the level of transparency, collaboration and participation necessary to bring constituents more intimately into the legislative process. With our Drupal project now complete, we have been able to expose legislative data to the public, live stream committee meetings to keep citizens informed on the legislative process in real time, and further opened up the Senate to social networks, where our constituents were already active, so they could more readily weigh in on important issues facing individual citizens and the State as a whole.”

The new Social Publishing for Open Government program provides government agencies with:

  • Government Jump-Start Program: Working with our partners, Acquia's Government Jump-Start program will provide agencies at all levels a quick on-ramp to getting their Drupal site up-and-running. Services include:
    • How to propose Drupal as a solution to meet collaboration technology platform requirements for the Open Government Directive plan
    • Training and support for setting up a Drupal site at agency.gov/open
    • Planning for security and scalability of an organization’s OGD Drupal site
    • Design and implementation of Drupal sites to meet specific OGD requirements
    • How to get Drupal Certification and Accreditation for Drupal for your agency
  • Seminar Series: Speakers from federal and state agencies will share their experiences of how open source content management with Drupal is quickly being adopted across U.S. federal, state and local governments to meet rapidly expanding requirements and expectations of Open Government. http://acquia.com/blog/open-government-directive-and-drupal
  • Social Publishing for Government Resources: Acquia will provide government agencies access to its library of resources including a whitepaper “Social Publishing for Government” which includes user case studies to help departments better understand Social Publishing and why it’s relevant to government agencies worldwide.

In addition to the new program, Acquia announced the appointment of Tim Bertrand as vice president of business development. Tim will be working closely with Acquia’s government partners, including new reseller Carahsoft, and spearheading the Open Government program at Acquia.

Tim came to Acquia from OpenSpan where he served as Vice President of Worldwide Channels, which included managing all worldwide ISV/OEM, Reseller, System Integrator and Public Sector relationships. Prior to joining OpenSpan, Tim served in various leadership roles including direct, indirect and Public Sector sales roles at Systinet Corporation (acquired by Mercury Interactive), Cape Clear Software (acquired by Workday) and Silverstream Software (acquired by Novell).

“Drupal has always seen great success in the government sector and now with the OGD in play, we expect that even more agencies will see the value of Social Publishing in meeting these requirements,” said Bertrand. “Our Social Publishing for Open Government program aims to bring the benefits of open source to an even wider range of users and we look forward to expanding the program throughout all levels of federal, state and local government.”

About Acquia
Acquia helps organizations of all sizes build social publishing websites quickly, easily and with a lower total cost of ownership by leveraging Drupal, the open source social publishing platform that blends content and community. Our products, services and support enable companies to leverage the power, technical innovation and economic value of Drupal while simplifying the experience, removing the complexity and minimizing the risk. Please visit: http://acquia.com. Download Acquia Drupal, the completely free Drupal distribution, at http://acquia.com/downloads.

About Drupal
The Drupal social publishing system has been downloaded over 2 million times since its inception and powers more than 400,000 web sites globally. Drupal is unique because it was built at the intersection of Web CMS and Social Software from the beginning. Because it is a robust web application platform, a community of tens of thousands of developers have been able to build functionality for Drupal and create a Social Publishing solution- a feat that is impossible for a proprietary vendor with their own internal R&D team. Drupal includes an enterprise class content management system and is used to deliver a wide variety of web applications including single or multi-user blogs, wikis, community networks, digital media portals, e-commerce, and many more. Assisted by a thriving ecosystem of consultants and developers, a diverse set of organizations use Drupal including SonyBMG, Warner Brothers Records, the New York Observer, Forbes, Disney, Intel, Harvard University, and Amnesty International. For more information, visit http://drupal.org.