Acquia

Australia’s GovCMS: Key Takeaways for Canada and the World [April 14, 2015]

Submitted on
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
,
ITinCanada Online

By Mathieu Weber

In an age where you can deposit a check or hail a cab from your phone, people can be incredulous about standing in line to get a city permit or obtain the right government forms. As a result, many agencies are establishing progressive digital strategies or fine tuning their existing ones to keep up with the pace of innovation.

In Canada, there are multiple ongoing initiatives at both federal, provincial and municipal levels to re-platform content management as part of larger government engagement initiatives.

Last month Australia launched govCMS, its new centralized cloud platform for the delivery of government digital experiences. It’s an ambitious project. Australia.gov.au and finance.gov.au were among the first federal sites to move to govCMS, but hundreds of other agencies have the opportunity to take advantage of the government’s groundwork to secure cloud deployment and gain economies of scale while lowering costs.

Australia is committed to leapfrogging its peers and becoming more citizen-centric. The Commonwealth’s move to make govCMS available for procurement by any government office will accelerate digital innovation across federal, state and local government. Says John Sheridan, CTO for the Australian government, “We want to get the best user experience we can for (citizens).”

As agencies across Canada similarly look to digital engagement to lower costs and improve services, it is crucial to focus on the principal learnings from the Australian experience. Australia also highlights the particular advantages that open source software brings to scaling digital government initiatives.

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Why Agile Marketing Teams Think Ahead and Open… [April 10, 2015]

Submitted on
Friday, April 10, 2015
,
Digital Marketing Magazine

By David Mennie

As all those who work in marketing are aware, it is no longer solely a business discipline. Marketers need to be both business savvy and technologically adept. The rise of the technical marketer is the new reality. There are almost 2000 marketing technology companies in operation today, double that of last year. The rate of change in digital marketing is phenomenal and as such marketers are under pressure to both stay on top of these changes and make wise decisions about the technologies in which they invest their hard-pressed budgets.

Marketing Clouds

Marketing teams are faced with two distinct options when navigating the increasingly complicated technology landscape in their mission to become truly insight-driven and customer-focused. The first option is to invest in a proprietary ‘marketing cloud’. Marketing clouds are a suite of marketing tools comprised of a number of technologies that promise to provide an integrated solution and cut the hassle of individual IT procurement processes. This may seem to be the answer for marketing teams that are already stretched and struggling to stay ahead of the tech curve.

The problem is that marketing cloud solutions offered by large vendors are closed. Often these vendors have acquired specific technology companies and their products, integrated them into their marketing cloud and then offered them back to the customer. The products acquired might be more effective than others and may not be well aligned with the other tools in the suite and, more often than not, will have different architectures. True integration between the technologies may take years and while vendors are spending time and effort doing this, their customers are not able to take advantage of newer or “best of breed” technologies.

Companies that invest in marketing clouds are held to the vendor’s roadmap and become committed to the systems that the vendor chooses to integrate. This approach doesn’t allow for agility within organisations, as teams are made to fit their working practices around the technology, when really the technology should be working for them.

Open Marketing

Another option for marketing teams is to find a way to leverage their current marketing tools in a better way. Open Marketing is based on the fundamentals of open source software, allowing for custom integrations with existing systems. The tools being used are the same ones a team will already be familiar with, but with the added advantage of a common view of their customers across all marketing technologies. Also, by integrating the technologies, customer data created by each can be put to use and intelligent decisions can be made based on it.

Stretching the Budget

For most organisations, closed marketing clouds require starting from scratch with a whole suite of new technologies. Couple this with the time and costs associated with re-training the department on the new technology and they become a very expensive solution.

Open marketing enables companies to unlock data and add value immediately. Marketing teams can add new technologies or replace legacy ones whenever they choose or have the budget available to do so without the up-front costs of having to buy a whole costly suite all at once.

Moving with the Times

With marketing technology evolving at a rapid pace, the ‘best’ solutions are always being overtaken by newer, more efficient market entrants. Marketers invariably will want to update and change the tools they are using to take advantage of new innovations that the market has to offer.

Open Marketing does not restrict the technology that marketers can select, they are free to switch in and integrate new technologies as they begin to use them. They are also free to test new technologies more easily.

This approach allows marketing teams to not just keep up with the pace of digital marketing but to also look ahead to the technologies of the future. As the Internet of Things, location aware and wearable technology move into the mainstream, marketers must be prepared for how they will develop. By taking an Open Marketing approach marketers will not be held back.

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Acquia, kyruus, Wayfair among Industry Leaders Tapped for MassTLC Board [April 8, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
,
MassTLC

Top Executives from AT&T, Care.com, IBM and Vecna Also Join Tech Council Leadership Team

BURLINGTON, Mass. April 8, 2015 – The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC), the State’s leading technology association, today announced the election of seven new members to its Board of Trustees.

Comprising a range of the tech sector’s most actively engaged and respected leaders, the slate of new executives elected to the Board include:

  • Steve Conine, Co-Founder & CTO. Wayfair
  • Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia
  • Patricia Jacobs, President, AT&T – New England
  • David Krupinski, Co-Founder & CTO, Care.com
  • Bob McDonald, VP of Asset Management, IBM
  • Debbie Theobald, Executive Director, Vecna Cares
  • Julie Yoo, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, kyruus

“The rapid pace of innovation is disrupting markets and the way we do business,” remarked MassTLC CEO Tom Hopcroft. “Having a healthy influx of the region’s top tech leaders helps keep our organization energized and at the forefront of technology leadership in the region.”

“I’m excited to become more involved in advancing the tech community in Massachusetts by joining the board of the MassTLC,” said Tom Erickson. “Whether in my current role at one of the nation’s fastest growing companies, or at one of the four previous Massachusetts-based firms I have been with, I’ve enjoyed how globally minded yet community oriented the tech industry is here.”

Complementing the new directors, the following Trustees were re-elected to the Board:

  • Colin Angle, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, iRobot
  • Jim Daniel, COO, Oxfam America
  • Jack Little, CEO, The MathWorks
  • Chris Schoettle, President & COO, Enservio

The elections were held during MassTLC’s Annual Board Meeting on March 19. The Board currently consists of 28 senior executives who collectively represent interests of the organization’s 500 member companies and serve as a proxy for the tech ecosystem in Massachusetts.

At its Annual Meeting, the Board also elected officers, including Annmarie Levins, GM for Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft, as an incoming Co-Chair. She will serve a two-year term alongside current Co-Chair Chris Schoettle, President & COO of Enservio, whose term ends in 2016. Levins succeeds Kirk Arnold, CEO of Data Intensity, whose term ended at the Annual Meeting in 2015. Other officers elected include Jim Daniell, COO of Oxfam America, as Treasurer, and Susan Rousseau, SVP Workplace Technology at Fidelity Investments, as Secretary.

The voice of the state’s tech sector, MassTLC last month released its annual State of Technology report – highlighting successes while calling out key areas where more and faster progress is critical in terms of jobs, investment, education, business climate, government policy and competitiveness.

“I am honored to be taking this leadership role during such an exciting time of change in our community,” said Annmarie Levins. “I look forward to working with the MassTLC board and membership on our long-term vision and on how technology can drive both economic and social good in our community.”

“Annmarie is a dedicated leader, champion for technology and passionate advocate for Massachusetts – all qualities that make her an excellent fit in the role of co-chairperson,” said Chris Schoettle. “Her commitment to promoting and advancing the tech community is unwavering. I’m excited to work closely with her in the year ahead.”

About Mass Technology Leadership Council
The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) is the region's leading technology association and the premier network for tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors and policy leaders. MassTLC's purpose is to accelerate innovation by connecting people from across the technology landscape, providing access to industry-leading content and ideas and offering a platform for visibility for member companies and their interests. For more information on MassTLC, visit www.masstlc.org.

L.A. CTO: We Are Actively Upgrading City’s IT in the Cloud [March 23, 2015]

Submitted on
Monday, March 23, 2015
,
American City & County

By Michael Keating

An exclusive interview with LA’s CTO reveals some of the city’s strategy

With more people employed in high-tech jobs (368,500) than any other metro region in the U.S., Los Angeles (population, 3,884,307) is an IT powerhouse. Leading the city’s team is Steve Reneker, general manager of the Information Technology Agency and Chief Technology Officer. He is spearheading several initiatives, including the development of CityLinkLA, which is a citywide initiative designed to make high-speed, high-quality broadband available in all areas of Los Angeles.

L.A.’s IT operation faces similar challenges to other city or county tech departments. For example, about 60 percent of the L.A. IT staff will reach retirement age within the next four years. More than half of the seven full-time workers at the help services desk have recently filed for their city pensions. Due to tight budgets, a lengthy hiring process and limited budget authority for hiring, Reneker is using student workers on a short-term basis to keep the city’s IT help desk staffed.

To help make its operation more efficient, the city is methodically embracing the cloud. In May, for instance, L.A. is expected to award a 10-year contract covering a new cloud-based municipal e-mail platform.

GPN spoke with Reneker recently about where the cloud fits in L.A.’s municipal IT strategy.

Government Product News: How is the city’s IT department structured?

Steve Reneker: We are very decentralized. We have 20 data centers out there, and it’s not very efficient. Our data center consolidation strategy calls for keeping three data centers for our private cloud apps, and moving everything else out into the public cloud environment. So over time, as departments need a technology refresh, the options offered to them will include various cloud environments.

GPN: Has your city department embraced the cloud?

SR: We have been moving some city IT functions to the cloud since early last fall. So I would say we have not seen any really significant changes yet. For the future, we certainly hope so.

We have probably seen a small percentage of change. For example, we just moved many of our city web pages to the Acquia cloud experience, which is a cloud-based hosting service and Drupal vendor-content management provider. We’ve seen a lot of improvement so there’s less complexity for our staff that we have to manage. We haven’t seen any reductions in staff in the process, however.

GPN: Has using the cloud helped reduce the server population in the Los Angeles city government?

SR: We’ve certainly seen some reduction in our server population, but we are still early in the process. Our IT unit is about 68 percent virtualized. We are spending a lot of time now going through upgrades on the Windows Server 2003 server operating system. The process gives us opportunities to either virtualize those environments or place them in the cloud. So we think there will be a large increase in migrations to the cloud over the next six months.

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Wipro Partners with Acquia to Accelerate Digital Experience Delivery [March 15, 2015]

Submitted on
Sunday, March 15, 2015
,
Wipro

Collaboration to Focus on Innovation in Financial Services, Life Sciences and Retail Sectors

New York, USA, London, UK and Bangalore, India - March 15, 2015: Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company today announced its partnership with Acquia, the digital experience company, to deliver best-in-class digital experiences for its clients around the world. Wipro leverages the Acquia Platform on critical client projects that require an open and agile framework to integrate content, community and commerce.

With the Acquia Platform, Wipro brings together the open source Drupal web content management framework and a suite of digital engagement services. The platform can connect a broad range of applications that optimize digital experiences for greater relevance and impact.

“Open source generally leads to greater choice for customers, downward price pressure and accelerated innovation as community development models upend the economics of traditional software R&D. Wipro’s innovative solutions and technology depth, combined with the robustness of the Acquia Platform and the cost benefit of offshore and open source is a winning combination for global enterprises,” said Andrew Aitken, GM & Global Open Source Practice Leader, Wipro Ltd.

He added, “Through this joint approach, we are providing solutions to help our clients create amazing experiences for their customers. We’re helping global brands focus on the insights, interactions, integrations, and innovations that make extraordinary things happen for brands, businesses and their customers.”
Wipro and Acquia will develop solutions and go-to-market strategies for its clients, initially focusing its efforts in the financial services, life sciences and retail industries.

“Together with Wipro, we’re helping global brands think ahead in how they approach customer engagement, empowering them to gain deeper insight into their customers and deliver extraordinary digital experiences,” said Joe Wykes, vice president of channel, Acquia.

The Acquia Platform helps Global 2000 brands build and deliver personalized digital customer experiences for every customer on every device. For digital marketers and other practitioners, the Acquia Platform includes tools that understand customer behavior to personalize sites and convert visitors into customers. The Platform is delivered from a resilient cloud and supports DevOps best practices, freeing brands to focus on their customers and not their data center.

Wipro has a strong advisory, consulting and delivery capabilities in the digital space that help businesses engage customers in a better way, increase their wallet share and deliver superior customer experience through a seamless experience across multiple devices and channels. Wipro helps global enterprises to navigate the complex digital landscape and help them discover their full potential in the digital space through next-generation digital solutions.

About Wipro Ltd.
Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT) is a leading Information Technology, Consulting and Business Process Services company that delivers solutions to enable its clients do business better. Wipro delivers winning business outcomes through its deep industry experience and a 360 degree view of "Business through Technology" - helping clients create successful and adaptive businesses. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, a practitioner's approach to delivering innovation, and an organization wide commitment to sustainability, Wipro has a workforce of over 150,000, serving clients in 175+ cities across 6 continents. For more information, please visit www.wipro.com

About Acquia
Acquia is the digital experience company. Empire Life, Warner Music Group and Stanford University are among the more than 4,000 organizations that are transforming their digital businesses with Acquia’s open cloud platform. Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies and NGOs rely on Acquia to create new revenue streams, lower costs, and engage audiences more deeply through content, community, commerce and context.

Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
Certain statements in this release concerning our future growth prospects are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits, our ability to generate and manage growth, intense competition in IT services, our ability to maintain our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of fiscal governmental incentives, political instability, war, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property, and general economic conditions affecting our business and industry. Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf.

Customers Want Personalised Content and Data-driven Commerce [March 12, 2015]

Submitted on
Thursday, March 12, 2015
,
Raconteur

As seen in The Digital Economy 2015, Raconteur

Contextualisation to deliver personalised content and offers across all channels achieves better customer experience, says Acquia.

Digital has changed everything in today’s world of online commerce. Personalisation of digital experiences is no longer an extra, but an expectation. If a customer has visited your site once, they expect you to recognise them on subsequent visits and they expect a tailored experience.

A study by Janrain showed that the majority of consumers – 75 per cent – like it when brands personalise messaging and offers. Personalisation is a win-win; customers are presented with what they want to see, and in turn they’re more apt to have higher conversion rates and greater satisfaction.

In fact, O2’s study The Rise of Me-tail shows that adding personalisation to a shopping experience could lift sales by 7.8 per cent. In order to provide a personalised experience, businesses must leverage data from multiple sources, and apply that data to serve customers with relevant content, product recommendations and services based on intent, location and interests.

Contextualisation – knowing your customer’s interests, behaviour and content preferences across all channels – is a more thoughtful and comprehensive approach to personalisation that is quickly becoming a key component of the customer experience.

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Service Call: Overhauling the Federal Customer Experience [March 10, 2015]

Submitted on
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
,
Government Executive

By Camille Tuutti

The White House wants to overhaul the federal customer experience, but it won't be easy.

Let’s be honest: The federal government isn’t exactly known for its five-star customer experience. Whether applying for student loans or Social Security benefits, paying taxes or seeking health care information, Americans have a multitude of complaints about the difficulty of interacting with federal agencies. Even President Obama took notice and directed agencies in April 2011 to improve the way they serve citizens.

The push to plug the weak spots in federal customer experience gained momentum in 2014 with the launch of two new organizations—18F, a General Services Administration office created to help agencies improve online operations, and the U.S. Digital Service, a White House office that aims to untangle gnarly technology projects and make them successful. Illustrating the importance of customer experience—or CX in techspeak—USDS highlighted the issue in its Digital Services Playbook.

Despite these efforts, federal CX has been a bit of a bust.

POCKETS OF HOPE

A November 2014 study by Forrester Research went as far as calling federal customer service “disastrously weak.” The CX Index, which measures how customers perceive their interactions with organizations in terms of the ease, effectiveness and emotion of an experience, found that agencies earned an average ranking of “very poor.” Even more troubling for the government is that even the highest-rated agency still scored lower than the worst private sector organization Forrester examined. “Compared with dozens of auto, banking, retail and e-tail companies we also ranked, federal CX looks downright bleak,” wrote the report’s author, Rick Parrish.

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Forum One and Acquia Launch Digital Government Accelerator [March 11, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
,
CivSource

By Bailey McCann

Forum one and Acquia have partnered to launch a digital government accelerator with the goal of improving collaboration between knowledge workers in government, think tanks, foundations and NGOs. The accelerator will allow these groups to build knowledge hubs and work through problems surrounding procurement and technical questions.

The solution will work on Acquia’s open cloud platform for public sector. The accelerator was built with Drupal Commons and includes a range of services for strategic planning, governance, member management, metrics sharing, and training. It is also FISMA compliant.

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Forum One Launches Collaboration Accelerator for Digital Government [March 11, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
,
Forum One

Alexandria, VA - March 11, 2015 - Forum One, a digital agency working with the world’s most influential problem-solvers, is launching the Collaboration Accelerator to streamline collaboration between knowledge workers in government, think tanks, foundations, and NGOs, by easing the technical, procurement, and security barriers that typically plague online collaboration in government and the NGO community. For the first time, digital teams will be able to quickly build online communities of practice or knowledge hubs and collaborate with other governmental and NGO organizations.

Building on the success of this solution within the private sector, Forum One is bringing this solution to market in partnership with Acquia – which provides an open cloud platform for integrated digital experiences. Acquia and Forum One have collaborated on many engagements over the years, including work for the American Red Cross and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“As transparency and open data initiatives gain momentum, we’re seeing more collaboration between government agencies and non-governmental organizations,” said Kurt Voelker, Chief Technology Officer at Forum One. “In fact, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a global partnership housed at the World Bank that seeks to advance financial inclusion, has successfully used this platform to communicate and interact with constituents to support development around the world.”

Oxfam, an organization dedicated to fighting global poverty and advancing human rights, relies on the Collaboration Accelerator to improve transparency and communication and enhance the impact of its services. Neal McCarthy, Oxfam America’s Senior Manager of Shared Services Applications, says, "At Oxfam, breaking down organizational silos so that the right people can easily connect and share across all 17 of our international affiliate organizations is a big deal. The Collaboration Accelerator is helping us do just that.”

Built with Drupal Commons, the Collaboration Accelerator helps team members manage groups, share resources and track projects from start to finish using their desktop or mobile device. The accelerator also includes a range of services designed to keep the community active and engaged, namely: strategic planning, governance, member management, metric setting, and training.

Delivered on the Acquia Platform, the Collaboration Accelerator is designed to support U.S. government agencies in achieving and sustaining compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). The Acquia Platform has helped federal agencies deploy government data and applications in the cloud and comply with rigorous security requirements.

“Agencies that work together effectively are best positioned to impact people’s lives and improve the performance of digital government,” said Todd Akers, vice president of public sector at Acquia. “The Collaboration Accelerator addresses three primary requirements for government and NGO collaboration platforms: support for robust security, flexibility to customize the solution for different working groups, and services to make sure that the community lives on until its work is done.”

For more information go to www.forumone.com/accelerator.

About Forum One
Forum One is a digital agency that combines tech savvy, issue sophistication, and design execution to help influential organizations craft solutions for the world’s most pressing problems. Since 1996, Forum One has been passionately committed to helping its clients extend their influence.

For more information visit www.forumone.com or email accelerator@forumone.com

About Acquia
Acquia is the digital experience company. Empire Life, Warner Music Group and Stanford University are among the more than 4,000 organizations that are transforming their digital businesses with Acquia’s open cloud platform. Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies and NGOs rely on Acquia to create new revenue streams, lower costs, and engage audiences more deeply through content, community, commerce and context.

govCMS Rolls out Digital Welcome Mat to the ‘Little Guys’ [March 9, 2015]

Submitted on
Monday, March 9, 2015
,

Smaller agencies in all tiers of government will be catered for as the next phase of Australia’s public sector digital revolution is rolled out. One mandarin says signing up has helped them stay a digital leader in government.

Less than a year after its initial feasibility assessment, the Commonwealth’s open source website platform for public agencies has “come to fruition” says the federal government’s chief technology officer John Sheridan.

Sheridan wrote Friday on his Department of Finance blog:

“The release of the govCMS website today marks the availability of govCMS to all government entities to create and manage cost effective websites, based on best practice, that are compliant with Australian Government standards.”

Flagship websites and early adopters used to test the Drupal-based offering included Australia.gov.au — which went live in November as the first showcase of the technology — as well as the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the Department of Communications, the Department of Social Services, and Finance’s own site. Sheridan said that the feedback from those agencies has been very positive:

“Drew Clarke, Secretary of the Department of Communications commented that ‘by developing our departmental website in govCMS we are gaining the benefits of a cloud hosting solution and we will be able to share new modules designed to enhance policy consultation and engagement, with other members of the govCMS community. It supports our aim as an organisation to be a digital leader in government’.”

Now, the doors have been opened to agencies of any size, in any tier of government. A Getting Started form is found on the govCMS website.

Sheridan said that awareness of the rapidly developed platform has continued to grow throughout Australian jurisdictions since the official launch last month. In selling the platform to agencies, across all tiers of government, Sheridan has highlighted an early design decision to “cater for the little guys”, with larger high-demand agencies subsidising the smaller ones in such a way as to not jeopardise the viability of the service as a whole.

Low cost for agencies, and sustainability of the platform for Finance was a key element in getting it ready for Friday’s announcement.

Acquia, a US-headquartered cloud hosting company with offices in Brisbane and Canberra, has been chosen as the hosting provider, boasting local clients such as Flight Centre, Foxtel, TransLink and Earth Hour.

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