Execs from Acquia, MassChallenge, CoachUp make BBJ's 40 Under 40 [Sept. 3, 2014]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 3 septembre 2014h
Boston Business Journal

By Sara Castellanos

Employees and executives from several Boston-area tech companies and startups made the BBJ's 40 Under 40 list this year.

The Boston Business Journal on Tuesday announced the 2014 class of 40 Under 40 honorees — business and civic leaders who already are making a major impact in their respective fields and the civic life of the Boston area. Many of them are in the field of technology and startups.

Judges reviewed nominations for more than 350 individuals. Key factors in picking honorees were professional accomplishments and civic engagement. This year's class is the 17th since the Business Journal launched the program.

The 2014 honorees will be recognized the evening of Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Mandarin Oriental Boston Hotel. Click here for information about the event. Those honored in the field of technology and startups include:

  • Dries Buytaert, Acquia. Recent company story: Amazon invests in IPO-bound digital services company Acquia to improve online shopping.
  • Wayne Chang, Twitter. Chang recently invested in Boston-based nightclub mobile app Tablelist.
  • Laura Esnaola, Recent company story: leases new Waltham HQ, doubling size of current space.
  • Jordan Fliegel, CoachUp. Recent company story: CoachUp gets $6.7M Series A to expand site for athlete-coach matching.
  • John Foristall,
  • Catherine Havasi, Luminoso. Recent company story: MIT spinoff Luminoso taps IBM executive as VP of sales
  • Akhil Nigam, MassChallenge. Recent company story: Meet 10 female founders of MassChallenge startups.
  • Jason Robins, DraftKings. Recent company story: DraftKings lands $41M in funding, buys Cambridge-based StarStreet.
  • John Serafini, Allied Minds. Recent company story: Boston startup working with Los Alamos National Lab to better secure data online.

Acquia Public Sector VP Todd Akers on Why Government Agencies Should be Leveraging Open Source [Sept. 2, 2014]

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mardi, le 2 septembre 2014h
Washington Technology

By Michelle Davis

It’s a good time to be in the business of open source – or at least that’s what companies like Burlington, Mass.-based Acquia are broadcasting.

The company helps clients optimize digital strategies with services and solutions including open cloud hosting, developer tools and support for the open-source content management system, Drupal.

Todd Akers, vice president of the company’s public sector, told us in a recent interview that his optimism stems from the fact that the Drupal platform is enterprise ready and increasingly popular across the federal government. In fact, his team responded to 14 different RFPs and RFIs last quarter alone for Drupal from agencies.

“Today we’re seeing an acceleration in the momentum and adoption of open source, and Drupal in particular, across the federal government,” Akers said. “Whereas there may have once been a misperception that implementation of open source platforms presented a lot of roadblocks, now people are realizing their immense value.”

Acquia is currently the largest Drupal infrastructure provider in the world and serves roughly 27 billion hits, or 333TB of bandwidth, a month, according to Drupal creator and Acquia’s CTO, Dries Buytaert, in a recent blog post.

As if managing a share of government agency websites wasn’t enough, electronic commerce company Amazon Inc. recently became the newest investor in Acquia.

“This investment builds on the recent $50 million financing round that Acquia completed in May, which was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA),” Buytaert wrote in the blog post.

The company uses open source technology to power digital transformation and improve communication and citizen engagement for a range of agencies and government sites – think –, and – and has been heavily involved in re-platforming projects for the Justice Department and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“We have well over 100 customers in the federal marketplace and more than 60 customers in state and local,” Akers said. “The fact that these agencies have chosen Acquia is testament to the fact that open source is an ideal choice for federal, state and local agencies that want to deliver and share critical information to the public.”

In our interview, Akers told us about his favorite commercial application and walked us through the open source landscape — explaining the value in open source platforms like Drupal, outlining why the technology drives digital innovation within government, and how to mitigate security concerns.

WashingtonExec: What is the largest roadblock you face when promoting open source platforms within government agencies?

Todd Akers: Well, there are still some lingering roadblocks when it comes to adopting open source platforms in the public sector. Namely, that it’s not secure enough, it’s too open, and that it’s not enterprise-grade.


Drupal-based Defense-in-depth Strategy Protects Data [August 28, 2014]

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jeudi, le 28 août 2014h
Government Computer News

By Todd Akers

In medieval times, an intricate combination of towers, drawbridges, city walls, moats and harbors protected castles from all fronts. This intricate system provided an effective and layered defense from potential threats.

As the federal government seeks ways to contain and manage massive influxes of data, IT managers are taking pages out of the medieval defense rulebook by adopting “defense-in-depth” strategies that use complex, multi-layered approaches to information security. With defense-in-depth, federal IT managers use holistic strategies to analyze and identify potential threat vectors, including internal and external threats. In the process, they can secure their defenses as if they were leading the king’s protection forces.

Federal IT managers are practicing defense-in-depth while using open source software like Drupal for web development and content management. In fact, hundreds of federal sites – all of which demand a high level of security – are powered by Drupal.

Drupal offers a firm foundation for the strategy, specifically because it uses open source software that enjoys the support of a global community. This includes tens of thousands of users who regularly engage in peer reviews and vulnerability scanning, resulting in increased reliability and strengthening of core APIs and mitigation of common vulnerabilities. Further, the software is backed by a global team of some of the world’s leading web security experts who are always on-call and available to assess, evaluate and address issues.


Inside Los Angeles’ move to Drupal with Acquia’s Todd Akers [August 26, 2014]

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mardi, le 26 août 2014h

By David Stegon

The city of Los Angeles became the latest public sector organization to announce it is moving a number of its public-facing websites to the Drupal enterprise web content management system.

Todd Akers, the vice president of public sector for Acquia, the Massachusetts-based company that will build, manage and govern the Los Angeles Web pages using its Cloud Site Factory, joined StateScoop Radio to discuss the project and how more and more state and local governments are going to open source platforms like Drupal.

Akers also discussed the federal government’s recently released Digital Services Playbook, which offers 13 steps or “plays” that the government can take to increase digital services and will also likely be adopted – on some scale – by state and local organizations going forward as well.

As for the Los Angeles project, Akers said the city plans to migrate more than 20 separate websites to Drupal, the leading enterprise web content management system. Through Acquia’s Enablement Program, the city’s Information Technology Agency is working closely with the company during the initial migration of three of the its most visited sites:, and, helping ITA develop its Drupal expertise to lead the remaining migrations. The city joins the Los Angeles Public Library, the LA Philharmonic, Discover Los Angeles and thousands more that rely on Drupal.


Los Angeles Undertakes Massive Website Relaunch with Drupal [August 21, 2014]

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jeudi, le 21 août 2014h
Government Technology

By Jason Shueh

On Thursday, Aug. 21, the city of Los Angeles announced plans to replace its city-run websites with a set of open sourced alternatives.

Ted Ross, the city’s assistant general manager for technology solutions, confirmed the deal brokered between Acquia, the tech firm known for its Drupal content management system, and the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency (ITA), which is coordinating the project. The announcement follows nearly a year of research and talks with Acquia and ends the city's partnership with Oracle and its legacy CMS “Stellent.”

There are more than 20 websites to relaunch through the Drupal overhaul, with the most visited sites — the city’s home page, public television channel, and its transportation department — slated for first releases. The city sites join the Los Angeles Public Library, the LA Philharmonic and the Visit Los Angeles tourism site, all of which are already on Drupal.

No specific dates were given for estimated relaunches, and in email, Ross said the city did not wish to say more about the development until the first sites were closer to completion.

However, Todd Akers, Acquia's vice president of public sector development, said the collaboration was a huge win for company that now has the state of New York, the city of San Francisco and a variety of federal agencies on the open sourced Drupal platform.

Amazon Invests in IPO-bound Acquia [August 14, 2014]

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jeudi, le 14 août 2014h
Boston Business Journal

By Sara Castellanos

Acquia, a digital services company based in Burlington, announced Wednesday it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon.

The funding follows a $50 million financing round announced in late May, led by New Enterprise Associates and including Split Rock Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Prime Ventures.

Amazon's latest investment will help Acquia accelerate the development of technology that would improve online shopping, according to Acquia.
Acquia CEO Tom Erickson said in a previous interview that the company plans to expand its website development services for e-commerce sites to provide online customers with a better shopping experience.

Acquia would do that by creating websites that appeal to a customer's "persona," giving customers a more personalized experience, Erickson said.
"We have this vision to enhance (e-commerce websites) by identifying your persona," he said in a previous interview. "You might be coming to the site looking (for products) from a fashion or sports perspective, or functionality or technical perspective."


Amazon Makes an Undisclosed Investment in Cloud Services Company Acquia [August 13, 2014]

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mercredi, le 13 août 2014h

By Tricia Duryee

Amazon has made a rare investment in Acquia, a Burlington, Mass.-based digital marketing company that operates on Amazon’s cloud services.

The undisclosed investment piggybacks on a $50 million round closed in May from major investors, including Sigma Partners and New Enterprise Associates. In all, the company has raised more than $100 million over several rounds of funding.

The company said the money will be used to help deliver an open cloud platform for content, community and commerce.

Investments made directly by Amazon, and not Jeff Bezos, are fairly infrequent. Recent examples include small investments in e-commerce companies in China or India. Perhaps, domestically, the biggest largest example is an equity stake it took in Washington, D.C.-based LivingSocial. (Another investment was made today into security app Lookout, but it was by Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment fund of Amazon’s CEO, and not the company).

This one is slightly different because Acquia is not consumer-facing. It operates on Amazon’s Web Services.

“We are pleased to help further the development of Acquia’s digital engagement solutions,” said Jeff Blackburn, Amazon’s SVP of business development, in a statement. “Acquia on AWS helps organizations of all sizes leverage cloud computing to power fast and reliable digital experiences at scale.”

Acquia refers to itself as “a digital business company” that works with companies, including Pinterest, Mercedes Benz, Warner Music Group and Stanford University. According to a release, these companies rely on Acquia to generate new revenue, lower costs, and engage audiences by using content, community, commerce and context.


Acquia Adds Amazon as an Investor [August 13, 2014]

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mercredi, le 13 août 2014h

By Jonathan Vanian

Amazon has taken an undisclosed stake in Acquia, a startup that provides commercial services around the open-source Drupal content management system. Acquia relies on Amazon Web Services to help the startup handle the 333 terabytes of bandwidth it serves up each month, Acquia CTO Dries Buytaert wrote in a blog post; the startup runs on over 8,000 AWS instances. In late May, Acquia took in $50 million in a series F funding round, which brought total investment in the Burlington, Mass.-based company to $118.6 million.

Das Netzwerk ist für alle da [6 August 2014]

Submitted on
mercredi, 6. août 2014 Uhr
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

Open-Source-Software ist vielerorts zum Standard geworden. Damit hat sich ein neues Kooperationsmodell etabliert, an dem sich auch die Großkonzerne beteiligen.

Von Helmut Martin-Jung

"Same procedure as every year": Die Menschen im Büro klicken auf der Windows-Oberfläche herum, die alle paar Jahre ein bisschen, manchmal sehr anders aussieht. "Same procedure"? Von wegen! Auch wenn die Computer am Arbeitsplatz noch denen früherer Jahre ähneln, dahinter hat sich so gut wie alles verändert.


Open Data is Giving Power to the People [July 22, 2014]

Submitted on
mardi, le 22 juillet 2014h
Engaging Cities

By Tim Marsh, Acquia

In the 1960’s, the phrase “power to the people” became a popular slogan for citizens who wanted their voices to be heard by the government. It took a few decades, but the open data initiatives being undertaken in communities across the United States have finally made that slogan into a reality.

Open data is information that federal, state and local agencies have made available to citizens in the hopes of creating a well functioning, completely transparent government. Agencies allow pertinent data – the salaries of federal and state workers, for example, or regional property tax records – to be accessible, shared and used by anyone. This results in citizens having unprecedented insight into how their government agencies work, and can improve social and economic value through dissemination of information.

Open data also gives power to the people in another way – the ability to directly interact with the government in real-time.

Historically, citizens have only infrequently influenced government. They may vote every couple of years, or go downtown or online to pay their county taxpayer, and so on.

Open data changes these scenarios completely. Citizens in metro areas that are striving for open data policies now have immediate access to a wealth of information, which they can immediately influence.

For example, OpenOakland is providing opportunities for residents of the California city to contribute to things like the Oakland Wiki, a “site all about Oakland, by Oaklanders,” as well as information about housing projects, early childhood education, and the city budget. The effort is empowering the people of Oakland to help shape the future of their city.

Citizens are only part of a successful open data initiative; in order to make open data initiatives work, municipalities themselves need to do their parts. Many cities across the U.S. have already implemented open data mandates that clearly articulate which data must be made open, and how it can be accessed. Thus, local agencies must be able to effectively process and make data accessible, along with accepting and managing citizens’ input.

To do that, they need technology that runs on systems they already have in place (like the Drupal content management system, which many agencies use for their data), and will help them handle large amounts of data in very agile ways. The best option for many is a combination of open source technology, which works well in virtually any environment, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which benefits from the flexibility of the cloud.

This is why Acquia and Carahsoft have partnered with NuCivic to launch NuCivic Data, the first open source SaaS open data management solution. NuCivic Data provides federal, state and local agencies with the technology backbone to host and manage data, visualize it, put it online, and make it immediately accessible, all while combining the best aspects of SaaS and open source.

Solutions like NuCivic Data help agencies meet open data mandates and goals, while allowing citizens to gain insight and provide input into those agencies. They are the tools that will help create a new form of government – one that is extremely open, highly collaborative, and powered by the people.