Radical Innovation and Inspiration: Acquia Engage 2021 Day Two Recap
While day one of Engage was amazing, day two held even more exciting announcements, customer stories, actionable insights, and expert advice. Engage’s second day kicked off with an inspiring keynote by radical innovator Mick Ebeling, founder and CEO of Not Impossible Labs. Not Impossible Labs’ mission is to change the world through technologies and stories. Working with like-minded collaborators and businesses, the organization forms cross-discipline teams that tackle projects that have never been done before. Mick believes that the first step to solving world problems is making a commitment and then diving headlong into figuring out exactly how to fix it.
Working with teams made up of engineers, artists, hackers, storytellers, and more, Not Impossible Labs has helped transform lives by using technology to:
- Help an ALS-afflicted artist to paint once again, draw, create and communicate (The Eyewriter)
- Set up what is probably the world's first 3D-printing prosthetic lab and training facility, allowing war-torn Sudanese villagers to create much-needed prosthetic limbs (Project Daniel)
- Make music inclusive by creating wearable technology that allows deaf people to enjoy an immersive sensory experience
Mick believes that doing good isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s good for us and good for business. He explained that, when Intel provided funding for Project Daniel, the company’s small investment actually turned into one of its most successful campaigns, with the initiative receiving global attention and winning awards. “Consumers make decisions based on their perception of if a brand is doing good. Companies that stand for a purpose are better able to recruit and retain good people,” Mick said. “Doing good is good business — it’s a 'winner-winner-chicken dinner' when the world benefits because you and your company benefit.”
Mick closed his presentation by challenging Engage attendees to ask themselves:
Who is your ‘one’? Don’t ask yourself how you’re going to create some crazy solution; start by focusing on changing one person’s life. Then one turns to many — and that’s how we change the world.
Even More Expert Insights and Advice
A second day of panels, discussions, and fireside chats offered actionable insights, best practices, and lessons. Our four session tracks made sure there was something for everyone, with compelling content from Acquia customers and partners on marketing, IT, developer, and DXP topics.
In the marketing track, Matt Goff, Director of Product Management at EAB, spoke about how EAB uses Acquia Campaign Studio and Campaign Factory across geographies and teams to deliver consistent top-class products for their partner institutions. When asked about the best way to govern across such a complex mix of remote and physical offices, as well as disparate teams, Mark shared four key takeaways:
- Leverage your accounts and instances for structure.
- Leverage templates for consistent components. Because core components are the same across instances, you can reduce operational workload for component creation and facilitate cross-instance analysis.
- Leverage the resource copy tool for updates to enable the efficient, consistent propagation of resources from one to many instances, reducing operational risk by assuring resources are distributed to chosen destinations while reducing the need for repeated complex human action.
- Leverage roles and permissions for safe operation. Campaign Factory lets you give users the minimum necessary access and even assign multiple roles to users, creating greater flexibility in matching user and organizational roles.
In the developer track, Miguel Louzan, CIO, Information Technology at LifeScan, and Luiz Cieslak, VP of Digital Solutions at CI&T, chatted about how LifeScan reimagined its approach to creating Drupal digital experiences. Miguel explained that LifeScan’s challenge was one many businesses face: how to become a more agile, scalable organization. Using Acquia Site Studio, the company — which supported more than 700 systems at one point — scaled down to just over 100, simplifying operations. Luiz explained that, thanks to the shift to Acquia, “marketing was kept engaged, up-to-date, and happy. We created a platform that they could control, that was simple to maintain and didn’t require a lot of resources. Productivity is better, the quality of the work is better, and we’re able to create better outcomes for the brand’s customers.” LifeScan started with a single flagship site and is reaping the benefits of reusing design and publishing elements. “Deploying new releases used to take three months; now it only takes a couple of weeks,” Miguel stated.
In the DXP track, Dana Fesjian, Solutions Product Manager at Yext, shared how the company’s search technology is improving the digital experience for its employees and how other companies can benefit too. When businesses think about creating frictionless journeys, they're typically thinking about customer experience, not the employee experience. Using AI-powered search technology across the company’s public and internal sites ensures employees get what they need, when they need it — increasing productivity and empowering employees to make smart, timely decisions. Dana also announced that today, Yext launched Site Search for Acquia, an integrated, AI-powered solution that will help businesses boost on-site conversion, reduce customer support costs, and gain new customer intelligence.
The Next Generation of Women in Martech
Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi hosted Engage’s first-ever Women in Martech panel and was joined by Maria Greene, Senior Web Developer for Insulet Corporation; Barbara Von Euw, Director, Business Process - Consumer Data & Insights at PVH; and Hannah Smith, Senior Manager, Global CRM Solutions at MCM Worldwide.
The women discussed a variety of topics, including how they’re “paying it forward” to encourage more women in tech and how they overcome the very real feeling of imposter syndrome. They also talked about the advice they’d go back and give their younger selves. Hannah urged women to “show up authentically; don’t question who you are,” and Barbara reminded women to “be encouraged; you’ll get through the bumpy roads.” It was incredible to hear from women who are walking the walk in the tech industry — and, as Lynne said, it may be Engage’s first women in martech session, but it will unlikely be its last.
And the Winners Are…
Throughout Engage, Acquia announced the winners of the 6th annual Acquia Engage Awards, celebrating the companies and partners that are delivering exceptional digital experiences. Check out the Acquia Engage Awards Gallery to learn more about the successes they achieved with Acquia technology. Congratulations to all of our winners and finalists — your stories will surely inspire others on their digital transformation journeys!
Kudos and Thanks to our Partners and Sponsors
In the closing general session, Acquia CEO Mike Sullivan announced the launch of the new Acquia Practice Certification Program and the pioneering partners in the founding class. APC signifies the highest level of achievement for our partners and highlights their mastery of the Acquia platform. The certification program brings a new dimension of benefits to partners, boosting visibility and providing more marketing opportunities. Congratulations to the first class of certified partners!
And, while we’re on the subject of partners, we’d be remiss not to issue a massive thank you to the partners who helped make Engage 2021 possible. Please join us in thanking our presenting sponsor, Wunderman Thompson; our premier sponsors, Bounteous and EPAM; and our many breakout sponsors: AWS, FFW, Third and Grove, TA Digital, Phase2, Mediacurrent, Moonraft, CI&T, Drupal Association, SearchStax, Velir, VMLY&R, Translations.com, Algolia, Ameex, Axelerant, Elevated Third, Palantir.net, Northern, Agiledrop, Genuine, Carahsoft Technology Group, Perficient, Yext, and commercetools for taking part in our exciting virtual event.
That’s a wrap on Engage 2021! If you missed anything or want to share with your colleagues (of course you do!), we’ll have sessions available on demand. After you’ve caught up, be sure to check out Acquia’s upcoming in-person networking events happening throughout the U.S. And, speaking of in-person events, Acquia Engage 2022 will be live and in-person in sunny Miami. We hope to see you there!