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Acquia Rides the Forrester Wave

Today is a big milestone for Acquia, as we were placed in the 2013 Forrester Wave for Web Content Management for Digital Customer Experience. Acquia was named a Contender, and the only open source representative. Placement in the Forrester Wave validates Acquia’s rapid growth. Acquia was founded in late 2007, and is a much younger company than the others covered by Forrester. We’re thrilled!

Here’s what Forrester had to say about Acquia:

Given its alternative pricing model and some organizations’ poor experiences with proprietary solutions, Acquia could prove to be an interesting player.

Interesting indeed! After reading the entire 2013 Wave, what sticks out most to me is how Acquia and Forrester share the same vision for integrated digital experiences. Here’s what Forrester says in the Wave:

WCM buyers should seek solutions that are built on open standards and have pre-built integrations and partnerships with proven, mature best-of-breed applications for DX and online engagement efforts rather than all-in-one suites.

Yes! I’ve been watching Web Content Management vendors like Sitecore, Adobe, Oracle, and IBM attempt to buy (or build) everything-but-the-kitchen-sink into their products in order to try and win a feature war that customers don’t care about. Customers don’t want all-in-one suites, they want the flexibility to pick the right blend of technologies for their needs, and make sure these technologies are tightly integrated.

This is where Drupal and Open Source win.

Proprietary vendors simply cannot innovate as fast as an active open source community like Drupal and worse, they have very little interest in creating an open ecosystem of digital marketing technologies. Adobe wants to sell you its “Marketing Cloud”. Sitecore wants you to buy it’s “Customer Engagement Platform.” IBM wants you to buy its “Customer Experience Suite.” And Oracle wants you to buy, well, everything. But you probably want to use what you already have. Your existing analytics products... Your marketing automation system... Your CRM... etc. And even if you did want to buy a big vendor “suite,” you would have a difficult time justifying the huge (read: millions) up-front license costs that often come with them.

Selecting Drupal is a bet on freedom. Not just freedom from the huge “suite” license costs imposed by proprietary vendors, but more importantly freedom to innovate by building your digital strategy on whatever the right mix of technologies is for your business - not what Adobe, IBM, and Oracle *think* you need. Acquia is building an ecosystem of cloud-based marketing technologies to help marketers easily integrate with other digital marketing technologies. We’ll have more to announce on this topic shortly through a new partner program we’re launching.

Lastly, I think this year’s Forrester Wave captures the continued demise of the legacy proprietary web content management systems like HP/Autonomy/Interwoven, OpenText/Vignette/RedDot, Oracle/Fatwire, etc. If you’re stuck with one of these legacy platforms, now is the perfect time to switch, freeing yourself from the poor usability and mysterious product roadmaps of these former leaders.

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