data cloud

Why the World Needs an Open DXP

Since the early days of Acquia, the cloud has always been central to our vision. We “bet the farm” that it was the best way to deliver Open Source software to our customers.

At the time, both the cloud and Open Source software were still “fringe” ideas. Almost all companies used proprietary software hosted in on-premise data centers. Open Source and cloud were perceived as untested and risky.  

In March 2006, Amazon released its AWS S3 and EC2 cloud services. A year later, we built the entire Acquia Drupal hosting platform on AWS. 

In those early days, we spent a lot of time convincing customers that Open Source software delivered via the cloud was the right investment to make. 

We were convinced we could build a new kind of company. That company had a new kind of business model, a new innovation model, all optimized for a new world. In this new world, businesses would move most applications into the cloud, where most software would become Open Source, where IT infrastructure would become a metered utility and where data-driven services would make or break business results.

Thirteen years later, almost all companies are building in the cloud using Open Source software. Developers have become powerful decision-makers. What was a risky bet in 2007 has become the de-facto standard for software development today. 

The Power of Open Source

In a way, using Open Source was always less risky than proprietary software. With proprietary software your success is tied to that of your vendors. In our industry, most CMS vendors have come and gone. 

For me, Open Source has always meant freedom, or an ability to create what you want without limitations. Open Source puts you in control of your own destiny. 

In 2010, “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, Oracle or Microsoft.” In 2020, “Nobody ever got fired for using Open Source.”

Marketers Want "Open" Too

In the past decade, Acquia evolved from the company that helps you host your site, to the company that helps you create many digital customer experiences. 

We now serve two distinct groups: the IT team whose job is to build, scale and operate digital experience technology and the marketing team whose job is to design, create and optimize digital experiences. As a result, Acquia now has two main cloud products: Drupal Cloud and Marketing Cloud.

In 2019 alone, we acquired Mautic and AgilOne. These products have become part of our Marketing Cloud, defined by a “best-of-breed” approach.

We want marketers to be free to use Marketing Cloud with any software that makes them successful, via open APIs and interoperability. We believe they should be able to quickly test and experiment with new third-party tools.  And we know that all of these tools should share a common source of data, so they can work together -- not against each other. 

In 2020, we are seeing this vision become a reality.

Building an “Open” Culture 

Beyond our products, Acquia has built an open culture and way of working with its partners and the Drupal community.

Acquia has always strived to collaborate and co-create with our agency partners. We put partners first, and being open, transparent and accountable in every program and engagement we plan together. 

For the Drupal community, our goal has always been to give back more. We are the number one corporate Drupal contributor because we believe that we have a responsibility to help scale and sustain Drupal

What is Next?

We’re at an exciting point in the history of our company. Stay tuned for announcements about our Open Digital Experience Platform. The flexibility and freedom of “open” has never been more important. 

Dries Buytaert, chairman and chief technology officer, Acquia

Dries Buytaert

Chairman, Chief Technology Officer Acquia, Inc.

Dries Buytaert is an open source developer and technology executive. He is the original creator and project lead for Drupal, an open source platform for building websites and digital experiences. Buytaert is also co-founder and chief technology officer of Acquia, a venture-backed technology company. Acquia provides an open cloud platform to many large organizations, which helps them build, deliver and optimize digital experiences. A Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, he holds a PhD in computer science and engineering from Ghent University and a Licentiate Computer Science (MsC) from the University of Antwerp. He was named CTO of the Year by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, New England Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and a Young Innovator by MIT Technology Review. He blogs frequently on Drupalopen sourcestartupsbusiness, and the future at dri.es.