Acquia Engage Europe 2019 Recap: Open is More than Open Source

We recap all of the digital trends, e-commerce breakthroughs and innovations in open source from Acquia Engage Europe 2019!

Last week, Acquia Engage Europe returned to London following its successful inaugural event. This year, more than 300 attendees joined us to share their insights, projects and future dreams for delivering best-in class digital experiences. And while it’s important to think big picture about digital strategy, we also understand the difficulties that our customers are up against when it comes to digital transformation.

While embracing digital transformation often comes with many obstacles for companies, we’re always up for a challenge. That’s why this year’s Engage Europe chose an ambitious theme for the event: “Optimize the Journey.” 

 Our CEO, Mike Sullivan, gave the first keynote and shared an update on Acquia’s global momentum, including 103% growth in EMEA. Sullivan also spoke at length about the current state of the market and the huge impact open source has on every software category. He noted that in every industry, there’s a dominant open source alternative to proprietary. From Linux disrupting Windows to MongoDB’s clash with Oracle, we continue to see the impact of open source across industries. 

Acquia was built on the premise of open source and our commitment to doing “open” with excellence means much more than just software. According to Sullivan,

  • Open is about having a culture that thrives on partnership, collaboration, community and shared innovation
  • Open is about having an open architecture, prebuilt integrations, open data platforms, APIs and microservices, support for headless and decoupled models.
  • Open is about having the services and support structure to support flexible deployment models.

Ultimately, an open platform is about freedom. Going with open source provides the freedom to build an experience on your own terms without constraints, and to choose your own technology and approach to building customer journeys. This unlimited potential to grow and choose the direction of this growth was only further emphasized in the next presentation from our CTO, Dries Buytaert, who made five product announcements while on stage! 

Dries speaking on stage at Engage 2019

For a complete summary of Dries’ keynote and all the new developments happening at Acquia, check out our Engage announcement blog from last week.

The rest of the conference was filled with enlightening presentations from partners, analysts and customers on topics like the rise of headless commerce and cost-effective methods to deploy personalization at scale. A few highlights from each:

Tuesday morning, we hosted a Women's Leadership Breakfast. Digital leaders from companies like IBM, Kong and Syngenta came together for an honest and revealing discussion about what it's like for women in IT. Panelists got personal, offering advice about advocating for yourself, making time for career development and never letting anyone hold you back.

Acquia women leadership breakfast panel

Later in the day, Richard Jones of Inviqa and Mark Adams of BigCommerce shared the stage to discuss the rise of headless commerce and the impact on customer experience. They also warned: “Beware of creating your own FrankenStack!” 

Our “Big Ideas in Digital” panel featured experts from PageGroup Pic, InfoVista and Harman Connected Services who shared inspiring stories, best practices and actionable insights on how to turn big ideas in digital into reality. A fun Q&A closed out the session about the best and worst technology ever invented. A few of the responses? The iPhone camera, QR codes and...the internet! 

Peter Gough and Clare Lambert of ORM took the stage to share how they created a new digital destination website for Transport for Wales in just 10 weeks! The transformation was crucial for Wales, which has seen a 140% increase in rail journeys from 2007-2017. 

Lastly, in true champion style, Olympic gold medalist, Ben Hunt Davis closed out the event with an inspiring speech about how to rethink your approach to get new results. 

As we celebrate another wonderful Engage experience, we’d like to give special thanks to our sponsors: BigCommerce, Inviqa, Cohaesus, ORM, Zoocha, Access, Axelerant, Lingtotek, Microserve and Srijan for making the event possible. And, of course, thank you to all of our customers and partners who joined us! 

Wish you could join in on all of the exciting discussion and insights in digital innovation? Don’t miss our next Acquia Engage in New Orleans this November. Registration is now open.

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