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Acquia vs. Sitecore: Why Open Makes All the Difference

March 15, 2023 6 minute read
Learn the advantages of Acquia vs. Sitecore for digital experiences and an agile approach to content management for businesses and customers.
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Today, organizations are laser-focused on delivering quality digital experiences across new and emerging platforms, but earning customer loyalty requires an agile approach to digital experience management that can deliver speed, performance, and the flexibility to scale in any direction. 

Proprietary DXP and CMS providers like Sitecore recognize those needs — particularly for agility — and have attempted to augment their solution with cloud and open source technologies. Unfortunately, it's just too little, too late.

The fastest innovation comes from a community 

Imagine a workforce of 8,303 individuals and 1,216 organizations contributing to the innovation of your CMS. If you use Sitecore, it's a nice daydream. But it doesn’t have to be: With Drupal, that’s your reality. 

The open source community that backs Drupal also propels it into the future. The Drupal community has contributed more than 46,000 modules, and its open nature has helped organizations like King Arthur Baking and Johnson & Johnson extend their CMS well beyond the bounds of what a proprietary platform could ever offer.

And let’s not forget that most CMS vendors have come and gone. With proprietary software, your success is tied to your vendor’s success. Open source, on the other hand, ensures your longevity. 

The disconnected truth about legacy platforms

Putting customer experience at the center of your business operations is critical. To achieve this, you must embrace a fully connected architecture. Why? 

Legacy CMSs and DXP vendors, like Sitecore, lead to disconnected experiences because they stitch together several single-point solutions to create a faux version of modular architecture. Without true connectivity, delivering a consistent customer experience at scale across all engagement channels without duplicated data becomes nearly impossible. 

Acquia combines an open platform and a composable approach to content and customer data to help organizations deliver consistent experiences to customers (both B2C and B2B) and employees (B2E) on their own terms. This approach allows you to scale your content quickly across any application or interface without the risk of a disconnected experience or of falling behind as platforms like voice assistants, wearables, and even virtual and augmented reality continue to evolve.

Go faster with experts on hand

The power of an open platform goes further than just a connected experience; it also enables you to connect more quickly. An open platform makes it easy to join disparate technologies and data sources without having to overhaul a complex and monolithic tech stack. 

Sitecore relies on third-party providers to deploy its solution in the cloud and connect it to all your existing martech and customer data sources. This means that, if a customer requires cloud deployment, the deployment model comes with an additional cost. Not to mention that, with a proprietary vendor like Sitecore, you’re stuck calling in a specialist to deal with coding issues or implementation questions.

An open platform combined with an open CMS leads to faster time to market, scalability, and reduced time and resources for implementation. When you choose Acquia and Drupal, you unlock agility without fear, and there’s always a Drupal expert ready to extend application support for custom Drupal code or other issues you may face across your digital infrastructure.  

Complex barriers to entry vs. intuitive user experience 

Digital is no longer a nice-to-have element of your customer experience (CX) strategy; it's now the primary way that customers interact with brands. As a result, organizations must be able to quickly create and iterate on content, yet Sitecore’s complex architecture and vendor-exclusive tools often mean relying on additional developer resources and third-party experts to spin up new sites and content. That workflow means organizations can't create what they want when they want it. Beyond that, they're burdened with a ton of additional technical debt, which steals time from innovations your organization could be building; instead, you're focused on iterating your content. There are also the integration costs that come with bringing in third-party help.

Acquia knows customers don’t have time to waste calling IT support every time they want to add a new channel or site. Our DXP puts marketers and content editors in control through easy-to-use site building tools and an intuitive interface. Acquia Site Studio is the only low-code solution among enterprise DXP providers. By ensuring anyone can build what they need, brands can innovate more quickly and point their tech talent where it matters rather than hiring an external specialist.

Why stay stuck in a single stack when you can do it all at scale?

With customer behaviors changing at lightning speed, brands can't afford to waste time being held hostage by closed, proprietary platforms that don’t adapt to their needs. Sitecore claims to offer a holistic digital experience platform, yet instead of delivering a truly extendible set of capabilities, the company entangles its own tool sets in complicated bundles and doesn’t play nicely with other solutions. Sitecore still lacks out-of-the-box integrations with popular martech tools and CRM systems. Meanwhile, Acquia’s DXP — the only one in the market built on open source technology — truly embraces the best-of-breed approach.

While Acquia’s Marketing Cloud offers powerful capabilities from customer data management to personalization and marketing automation, organizations aren’t limited to just these options. Our flexible architecture, built on Drupal’s open source foundation, means teams can access thousands of pre-built connectors and modules right out of the box. And our API-first approach makes it easy to integrate with any other tool without facing extra costs or weeks worth of additional IT support.     

With the world moving at breakneck speed, we believe open is the only way to approach digital experiences. Open allows you to be agile in how you extend your digital ecosystem and nurture customer relationships. 

But don’t take our word for it. Check out digital agency Third and Grove’s recent article Four Considerations in 2023 Before Picking Sitecore over Acquia.

For more on why Acquia wins over Sitecore when it comes to the total DXP promise, check out our resources.

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