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Transforming the Media and Entertainment Industry with Drupal

I’ll admit it. I was initially a skeptic.

My colleague at NBCUniversal, Chris Herring, really wanted me to attend DrupalCon Chicago. It was 2011, and many of the developers and product managers across NBCUniversal had started to advocate passionately for Drupal. Chris really wanted me to experience firsthand the community and all it had to offer.

We’d historically been a ‘build it ourselves’ type shop, but he convinced me to see for myself what was inspiring our team. What I discovered that week in Chicago was completely eye opening. There were several thousand people engaged in solving many of the challenges we were trying to solve on our own.

That trip sent me down a path that was unexpected, but incredibly fulfilling. Engaging with open source was new for me. I found it to be very collaborative and engaging. The Drupal open source project is supported by both a large volunteer development community and a robust group of service and platform companies. Many of the talented staff whom we hired and companies with whom we worked during the past couple of years are active in the Drupal community. One of the vendors we work closely with was Acquia.

Two years later, and I am thrilled to share news that I’ve joined Acquia as leader of its Media, Entertainment, and Publishing (MEP) vertical. I was formerly the lead of Media Products at NBCUniversal. Media Products was a central product development team that supported NBCUniversal’s portfolio of digital properties, including cable, broadcast, news, sports, film, and theme parks.

Like any content creation company, the core of these systems for NBCUniversal was the content management system (CMS). Early on, that CMS was as rudimentary as a single developer pushing code from a text editor directly to production. In those days, even the most basic of content edits required the assistance of a developer. Through many iterations, our CMS evolved into the set of mature and robust platforms.

The CMS platform that consistently rose to the top amongst NBCUniversal’s brands was Drupal. The strength of this platform ultimately led NBCUniversal to standardize on Drupal, allowing them to share best practices and features across the company.

With help from Acquia and the extended Drupal community, we evolved our Drupal CMS to meet the unique business drivers and audiences associated with the diverse portfolio of brands at NBCUniversal. Telemundo pushed the editorial interface to meet the large volume demands of photo and video creation for the Latino audience. USA Network built a mobile-first site using responsive design. BravoTV is a leader in social engagement and drove some of the earliest integrations with Twitter. MSNBC created a platform for political advocacy and longform journalism. NBC built engaging video experiences and Drupal API driven mobile and javascript (Node/Backbone) front ends. These are just a few examples demonstrating NBCUniversal’s strong reliance on Drupal and its extensibility.

As the new leader of MEP at Acquia, I am excited to leverage the foundation laid by my experiences at NBCUniversal to further improve Acquia platforms for the MEP space. In my eight years of working with digital teams at NBCUniversal, I believe we were only scratching the surface of Drupal’s potential, and there is more exciting and innovative work to be done. I’m also excited to be working with the talented team at Acquia. Including Chuck Fishman who has been blazing the MEP trail for Acquia. Acquia’s MEP vertical will have the opportunity to broaden Drupal’s scope by learning from diverse organizations like the Pac-12 Networks and Warner Music Group. We will then feed that knowledge back into Acquia’s platforms and services.

I will be an advocate for MEP as well as other enterprise users within both Acquia and the greater Drupal community. Drupal is a powerful platform that can provide solutions that are both out of the box and fast to production, such as Acquia Cloud Site Factory, as well as a robust framework for custom CMS integrations. MEP will partner with brands, vendors, and the community to continue to push Acquia’s services and platforms to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

You can follow our media and entertainment blog series here: https://www.acquia.com/blog/media-entertainment


Posted on by Developer Blink.

You're welcome, Rob. Welcome to Drupal full-time, my friend!

Posted on by Kenny Silanskas.

Wrong login there. That was Kenny Silanskas saying hi. (Silly multiple accounts)

Posted on by Rob Gill.

Thanks Kenny! Your performance scaling talk at Chicago is a prime example.
http://chicago2011.drupal.org/sessions/failure-l aunch-drupal-performance...

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