Acquia Partner Profile: Myplanet
At Acquia, our partners are an incredible part of our success. In this series, we’ll be profiling some of our premier partners, showcasing who they are and what they do, in their own words.
We had the opportunity to speak with Kevin Fernando, head of Partner Marketing at Myplanet. Kevin responsible for leading the development and execution of a comprehensive marketing strategy in collaboration with Myplanet’s partners.
Myplanet Quick Facts:
- Founded: 2009
- Location: Toronto, Chicago and Vancouver and several members of the Myplanet team are co-located around the world
- Number of employees: 100+
- Top clients: New Balance, Cisco, and Wyndham Hotels
- 2017 Consumer Electronics Show - Best New Wearables (New Balance)
- 2016 Acquia Engage - Consumer Brands (SpartanNash)
What’s your least favorite buzzword in the business now?
What are your areas of expertise?
“The bulk of our work has been in banking and finance, B2B technology, telecommunications, retail, and travel. We specialize in user experience, personalization, and accessibility. It’s a great time to be in the industry we’re in, because so many great organizations are recognizing the need for thoughtful, user-centered development.
We also have a long history with Drupal development as well, so we love applying Drupal to support web, mobile, and IOT experiences.”
What project/work are you most proud of?
“One recent project we’re enormously proud of is our work for SpartanNash. It was a result of the partnership between Myplanet and Acquia and it has achieved incredible things this year for SpartanNash.
As one of the largest grocers in the USA, this initiative allowed SpartanNash to leapfrog their competition in a popular industry ranking on digital experience.
We’ve worked with SpartanNash for several years and this was the culmination of an incredible combined effort between their team and ours. We’re really proud of both the work we produced with them and the results they’ve seen because of that effort.”
What areas are you looking to expand or invest in in the future?
“As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been big Drupal proponents for a long time. We’ve always believed that Drupal is very powerful in delivering the right content and experience for the end user. So we’ll be continuing to focus a lot of effort and energy in that realm, but with some updates for a rapidly changing digital landscape.
We are already integrating Drupal into personalized mobile, IoT, and bot interactions— for example, with the New Balance mCommerce app and watch—and personalization is now standard on any new Drupal deployment that we complete.
We love the new Lift product. What our Myplanet Labs team is experimenting with is how we use AI to further extend its ability to understand what users want.”
What environments and/or marketing tech do you support?
“Drupal CMS is our core strength. We’ve actively contributed to the Drupal community for over a decade and were one of the pioneering firms for implementing Drupal 8 in production environments. We also work with commerce platforms such as Magento and Demandware, as well as mobile frameworks like React Native, Mobile Angular UI, and IBM Mobile First.
We’ve integrated our builds with essentially every type of tool in the modern marketing stack. What immediately pops to mind are real-time personalization products, automation platforms, digital asset management systems and e-commerce engines.”
What role do customers ask you to play in technology strategy or selection?
“Because of our design expertise, we often have a unique viewpoint on the needs of customers and employees. Design should guide the selection of technology, so our technical architects are frequently helping our customers choose the right software and architecture.”
What tech trends are you most excited about?
“Personalization is probably the most interesting development for us at the moment, the way it blends data and AI. We’re interested in many of the technologies that immerse the user and provide a seemingly unique experience tailored to them. Most new trends are having an impact here, including augmented reality, AI, IoT and bots.”
What is most important to you/what do you value most as an agency?
“For me personally, I’d say I value perpetual learning and the opportunity to experiment and see what works.
And I know for Myplanet, it’s not that different. Perpetual learning, experimentation, innovation... Each day we are creating experiences that delight millions of people. When we delight users, they actually use the software we’ve built, and that’s genuinely thrilling for us. We love seeing the impact our efforts have, and those are a direct result of experimentation and trying new things, and challenging ourselves and our clients to push a bit further to bring people the tools and experiences they really need.”
How would you describe the culture at your agency? What are the people like?
“It’s interesting, because I think for an outsider who knows the industry a bit, what you notice right away is how design and technology are truly integrated. They are inseparable, like Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.
But no matter who you are, industry expert or stranger from off the street, when you meet the Myplanet team you’re struck right away by this group of smart yet personable people. My colleagues and I have a love for co-creation (how can we work together and with our customers to create great customer experiences?) and it’s immediately noticeable when you walk through the doors. Everyone is ready to help, everyone is on board with trying a new project or idea. It’s a really fun environment.”
What’s one random fact about your agency?
“The list I could come up with is endless, but one of my favourites is that we threw a surprise ‘Star Wars’-themed wedding for our CEO last year. There were a lot of costumes—even the dogs were dressed up, and our Head of IT officiated the ceremony. Here’s a little footage.”
Why partner with Acquia?
“When our clients want to create a modern digital experience, we turn to Acquia as a partner. Drupal serves as the centerpiece for co-ordinating a personalized experience, and Acquia Platform is second-to-none for performance and stability.
What has sustained our alignment is the relationship we have built with the Acquia team. We have partnered with Acquia since their earliest days, and consistently have the chance to work with smart, dedicated individuals who are the ultimate experts in their space.”
What else would you like the community and prospects to know?
“We have made a very deep commitment to Acquia Lift for 2017. Each of the Drupal deployments that we complete come with Acquia Lift built-in for personalization. For each of our customers, they can really push the boundaries of what’s possible in real-time personalization. That’s very exciting for us.”