Acquia

Open Source Driving Digital Innovation [Feb. 4, 2014]

Submitted on
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
,
Canadian Government Executive

By Todd Akers

The same power of digital communication that is disrupting the commercial marketplace is empowering direct citizen participation in government. Whether enabling on-demand assistance, real-time information, or communications with legislators, much of what is empowering this new wave of citizen participation has its roots in open source.

In the last few years, governments across Canada have turned to flexible open source solutions. Open source software is freely distributed, and its open codebase provides an engine for innovation, as any developer can create improvements and share their work back with the larger community of users.

Municipalities like St. John and Ottawa are using the Drupal open source platform to provide government services online with greater speed and flexibility. Ottawa moved to Drupal in November 2012, introducing a responsive design that enables an optimal experience across mobile devices, tablets and desktops.

Use of Drupal has increased dramatically among provinces and federally, particularly in light of the Open Government Strategy, which encourages federal departments to adopt solutions that promote open information, open data and open government. Open source apps are enabling people to explore the wild, get updated train arrival times, access government research and publications, and bid on government contracts.

The agility that open source provides helps speed government digital initiatives to market. This provides a network effect that’s unmatched, and not limited to a department’s IT team or project budget. With open source, projects can be prototyped and tested inexpensively and quickly, which can help get a public sector site launched in a fraction of the time. In Drupal’s case, more than 30,000 developers have contributed code. That’s why open source can be a critical asset for capturing the opportunities that new technology presents.

Driving innovation
The crowd-sourced efforts of the contributor community are helping improve citizen services. The Web Experience Toolkit is an open source code library developed to help federal departments build websites that are accessible and optimized for mobile devices. Those using the toolkit are standards-compliant and aligned with Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Web Standards protocol, which helps them get ahead of the game as Canada.ca seeks to consolidate information and resources with a common, open framework. Health Canada and Statistics Canada recently implemented sites with the toolkit.

Acquia Puts Resources Behind Work on New Drupal Version [Jan. 24, 2014]

Submitted on
Friday, January 24, 2014
,
Boston Business Journal

By Kyle Alspach

Some time this year, a new version of open-source content management system Drupal is expected to be unleashed, Drupal 8.
The version is expected to be the most business-ready version of Drupal yet, according to Jeannie Finks, client advisory manager at Acquia.

The Burlington, Mass.-based firm provides cloud hosting and related services for companies that use Drupal for their websites. Acquia thus "aligns its business goals around the Drupal project," Finks said.
And so the firm — whose co-founder and CEO is Drupal creator Dries Buytaert — is putting resources behind the worldwide initiative to build the new version.

Those include sponsoring a "coding sprint" this weekend (January 26) for Drupal 8, to be held at Genuine Interactive in Boston (registration for the event has ended).

Drupal Creator and Acquia Co-Founder Dries Buytaert Does a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" = Awesome! [Jan 22, 2014]

Submitted on
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
,

By Dennis Keohane

At the end of last week, Drupal creator and Acquia co-founder/CTO Dries Buytaert went on reddit and spent some time doing an "Ask Me Anything" session with a whole slew of interested redditors. It was significant for Buytaert because the Q & A fell on the thirteenth anniversary of the founding of Drupal.

It's interesting for us because it gives some insight into the life and career of one of the local tech leaders who is generally quiet and pretty private.

The session, "I'm Dries Buytaert, project lead of Drupal. Ask me anything", featured a ton of questions about Drupal, content management system, as well as Acquia. However, there were plenty of personal and pretty funny exchanges as well.

Here are some of the best...

GRAMMY Live Returns to Give Music Fans Multiplatform Grammy Coverage [Jan. 22, 2014]

Submitted on
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
,
GRAMMY.org

SAN FRANCISCO and SANTA MONICA, Calif. (January 22, 2014) — The Recording Academy® and CBS will launch GRAMMY Live®, bringing music fans around the globe unprecedented, multiplatform access to all the VIP and backstage events leading up to and throughout the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. GRAMMY Live will begin Sunday, Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET at GRAMMY.com, CBS.com and on the GRAMMY Live mobile apps for iOS and AndroidTM, and continue through the live telecast, which airs 8p.m. – 11:30p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

GRAMMY Live will once again leverage Akamai's global distribution HD network for live streaming and video on demand to power extensive live and on-demand streaming. The Recording Academy has also partnered with the most progressive online companies and leveraged the best of both open-source and proprietary technologies to deliver a cohesive, exciting and more enriching user experience for GRAMMY.com and GRAMMY.org, including Acquia, Drupal, Lullabot, and Ooyala.

See more about how the GRAMMY Awards are deploying GRAMMY Live on Drupal with The Hub, Bub: How Drupal Acts as a Digital Media Hub for The GRAMMY Awards.

Big Data and Your Post Holiday Pounds [Jan. 21, 2014]

Submitted on
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
,
CMS Wire

By Tom Wentworth, Acquia CMO

Losing weight and getting fit are among the top five most popular New Year’s Resolutions every year. But resolutions tend to wear out by spring and many people struggle to keep up the energy, enthusiasm and motivation to stick to their goals. A very 2014 solution may be the answer to this problem: data.

Although data may not seem as motivational as a good RATT mix or a 6-foot-3, ex-Navy SEAL trainer yelling in your ear, data could be your ticket to a happy, healthy new year. And technologists are all in. At CES this year, fitness wearables stole the show. From Fitbit to the new Sleep Number smart bed, these products are all about data; their value is that they collect troves of data about the wearer’s exercise, eating and sleeping habits, which they can then (hopefully) turn into actionable changes.

Data, Data, Data

For marketers, the data from these highly intelligent smart devices provides valuable information about consumer likes, dislikes, routines and habits that’s used for a slightly different purpose. This data ultimately provides strategic direction for marketing campaigns and promotions. Using this personalized information gathered from smart devices, marketers can set advertising campaigns based on the specific times of the year when people are more likely to gain weight, lose sleep, eat more salad, etc. Say, for example, that Planet Fitness gathers data from Fitbit and serves more ads to users of the fitness band between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

Contextual Relevance

But what if this information could do more than just determine when an advertisement runs or a promotion goes live? This brings me to the idea of the connected device and the Internet of Things.

Cloud Hosting to Augment Drupal Implementation [Jan. 17, 2014]

Submitted on
Friday, January 17, 2014
,
CIO Review

By Chuck Fishman, Media Entertainment and Publishing Director, Acquia

1. What significant changes did ‘Media & Entertainment’ segment witness in 2013? What did these changes mean to vendors and customers?

There was a wave of media industry consolidation in 2013. The most significant activity occurred in the local media ownership segment, where there was almost $7 billion in mergers and acquisitions among companies such as Sinclair Broadcasting, Gannett, and Tribune. These companies now face the challenge of standardizing their growing digital portfolios on to new platforms from their distinct and various legacy content management systems (CMSs). Such CMSs were designed for the specific needs of TV stations and do not address the complexity of what a consumer expects from a digital media experience that brings together social media, video and interactive content, mobile access, and more.

In 2013, we also saw the proliferation of new media brands. In cable, new channels launched -- including Fusion, El Rey, Pivot, and Revolt -- with a special focus on minority and millennial consumers. In order to grow and monetize the new audience for these networks, the brands must offer engaging digital media experiences, representing another opportunity for CMS vendors.

Finally, digitally focused media upstarts gained tremendous audiences in 2013. Upworthy, Vox, Gawker, and BuzzFeed developed socially oriented and viral content attracting huge audiences (55 million monthly uniques for Upworthy, 41 million monthly uniques for Vox, 97.5 million for Gawker and some 85 million for BuzzFeed). One of these new viral content types -- the “listicle,” an article presented as a top 10 list -- was pushed into the media landscape by Buzzfeed, while Upworthy’s key to success are videos that have social sharing integrations. Combined, the audience for these four sites have an audience northward of 250 million monthly unique visitors, while all U.S. newspaper websites pull in about 141 million online monthly uniques. The attention that these upstart sites attract has also drawn capital to these companies. Vice Media received a $70 million investment from News Corp, while Vox Media raised $34 million in investment dollars, and Buzzfeed raised an additional $19 million. These companies will use the capital to create new content offerings, which, in turn, will drive more digital development.

With all this in mind, it’s an exciting time for Acquia; there is tremendous opportunity to transform traditional media companies’ digital experiences as they consolidate, and enable the development of new media brands.

2.What are some of the changes you anticipated would happen in 2013 but did not happen?

While 2013 was the year of consolidation and new media offerings, new technologies did not seem to transform content delivery this past year.

How Bay Area Transit Survived a Site Launch in a Traffic Storm [Jan. 7, 2014]

Submitted on
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
,
Government Technology

By Jason Shueh

The Bay Area Rapid Transit service launched website redesign in only five months while also battling a 20,000-visitor traffic spike. How did they do it?

It could have been a recipe perfect for disaster. Just five days after Northern California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit relaunched its new Web site, BART.gov, it was hit with its second largest traffic spike of 2013 — a daunting threat, considering the site was placed on an expedited four-month development timeline and was unveiled just as BART's two largest employee unions were embroiled in a pitched labor dispute.

Oddly, however, BART’s Web Services Manager Tim Moore remembers the day — at least from a Web standpoint — being fairly calm. Moore said records show that on Nov. 22, between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., BART.gov handled more than 20,000 unique visitors due to a major service delay in transit operations. The number represented an impact to the site that was roughly 11 times greater than normal for the hour, a time that typically averages only 1,800 visitors.

This success, which Moore describes as a “trial by fire,” was a quiet celebration that day as the news media focused their attention on commuter delay updates and the ongoing union dispute. The website’s strong showing and the secret behind its speedy development strategy is noteworthy, not simply within the framework of organizational accolades, but also in the way of lessons learned — lessons that began on day one.

A Surprise Announcement
At the beginning of January 2013, Moore said BART received a startling notice from Adobe, the site’s content management system provider. BART’s Web team was told that by the end of 2013, Adobe Publish, the site’s former content management system, would be phased out entirely.

“That meant that we’d lose all of our Web site publishing capabilities, our editing capabilities and maintenance capabilities in less than a year,” Moore said. “So effectively, that’s when the stopwatch started.”

Top 5 Marketing Tech Predictions for 2014 [Jan. 6, 2014]

Submitted on
Monday, January 6, 2014
,
CMSWire

By Tom Wentworth, Acquia CMO

Technology adoption has become a competitive differentiator for CMOs who strive to out-innovate their competitors. There is so much opportunity for brands to strengthen consumer engagement through their digital channels. So, with 2014 upon us, it’s time to look at how websites and digital experiences will change in the year to come. What is the future of the branded website? How will technology change customers’ online shopping experience?
Here are my top marketing tech predictions for 2014.

1. CMOs Will Take Back Control
Over the core components of the digital customer experience that is. Many of these digital customer channels, like websites, mobile devices and social networks, were offloaded to IT in the past. But in 2014, CMOs will take back the control over this content to ensure the brand image is accurately portrayed on the customer facing end.

2. Evolve or Die
Ok, this might be a bit of an overused statement, but it does hold some truth. Stemming from taking back control from the IT teams, CMOs will put a greater value on agility and integration over single vendor solutions in 2014. In today’s digital age, CMOs must embrace the shift to digital or risk being phased out in favor of digital natives who understand how business and technology meet.

An entirely new job title —Chief Digital Officer — has emerged because marketing leaders, to date, have not fully embraced the disruptive nature of digital. CMOs who don't evolve will face the harsh reality of marketing in a world where digital experiences are customer experiences.

3. Content Meets Commerce
Recent data from Forrester Research shows that Web Content Management and e-commerce are the top two priorities for digital executives. Next year, I believe the lines between these two priorities will blur. Customers want the opportunity to review great content while shopping online, and visa versa.

Tags: 

Software, Web Firms May Dominate 2014’s IPOs [Jan. 2, 2014]

Submitted on
Thursday, January 2, 2014
,
Boston Globe

By Michael Farrell

For the state’s tech workers who wear lab coats, 2013 was a big year. Ten Massachusetts biotech companies debuted on Wall Street. Now, it’s the tech workers in T-shirts’ turn.

At least a dozen Boston-area software and Web companies are poised to go public in 2014, taking advantage of a surging stock market where shares of major technology companies are climbing to new heights.

These won’t be wet-behind-the-ears startups, either. Last year’s IPO market featured many very young biotech companies, but the class of 2014 will probably include many seasoned tech companies, with established customer bases and profits, to boot.

Those getting ready for the public stage include some of the area’s fastest-growing and best-known Web companies, such as Wayfair LLC, a Boston-based seller of home goods, Care.com Inc., a Waltham company that has built a marketplace for dog walkers and home health care nurses, and Karmaloop Inc., an e-commerce company that sells urban streetware.

Lesser-known software companies also appear to be gearing up. There’s the software company Acquia Inc., which earlier this year hired the former top financial officer of Buddy Media Inc., a New York startup that fetched $736 million from Salesforce.com Inc. in 2012. And the cybersecurity firm Veracode Inc. brought on seasoned executive Ed Goldfinger, who helped take Zipcar public in 2011.

A View From The Catbird Seat [Dec. 27, 2013]

Submitted on
Friday, December 27, 2013
,
BostInno

By Jay Batson

This year I switched from an active operating role as founder of Acquia to being a mentor and angel investor in early-stage startups. Between helping companies via Techstars, MassChallenge, and random introductions, I’ve tried to lend a helping hand to many, many dozens of companies this year. Which means I’ve gained a rare place among those who can see the local tech ecosystem from a high perch, and I have a couple of thoughts about our tech culture.

The growth in the number of startups in Boston since I founded Acquia in 2007 has increased phenomenally, and I see no end in sight. Credit what you wish – the emergence of AWS, the "Lean Startup," or the growth in angel capital – the result is that Boston is no longer only the birthplace of old mini-computer or networking companies. Rather, it has re-energized into a full startup ecosystem. These startups have created thousands of jobs in the city, and I’m really happy with where our tech community is at.

It’s particularly exciting to see the vast bulk of these companies locating themselves within half a mile of the Red Line, stretching from Davis Square to the Broadway stop in South Boston. Notably, unless they are in the Cambridge Innovation Center, most startups are no longer in Kendall Square, which has become the home of Big Companies. It’s great; I can bike from company to company in 10 minutes, making it the most geographically concentrated tech center in the country. (Thanks to the City of Boston’s Nicole Freedman for making Boston so bikeable!)

This extended “Red Line Tech Corridor” is what I think Boston will become known for, eclipsing the “128 Corridor." I don’t see this stopping in 2014, and predict most startups will rent office space in the Leather District, Downtown Crossing, Chinatown, or the A St. end of South Boston. (Rents in the Innovation District have quickly gotten too high for startups!) But this concentration in the historic downtown area will only happen if the buildings are updated with credible, fiber-based high-speed Internet. Amazingly, a ton of startup-priced vacant office space in these areas simply does not have fast network access. If the new Mayor wants a meaty, high-impact problem to tackle early in his new administration, here it is. This state of connectivity is embarrassing for the city.

Pages