Acquia, a provider of paid cloud services specifically designed to support the Drupal open source web content management platform, is introducing a new concept it calls “Open Web Experience Management” or OpenWEM. It looks like digital marketing has officially come to Drupal.

First, let’s examine exactly what Acquia is trying to accomplish with OpenWEM. The vendor says OpenWEM is a combination of Acquia cloud services, the Drupal platform and the Acquia app marketplace that allows users to “create immersive, digital content and campaigns [and] socialize them across multiple communities and channels,” based on an open standards web architecture.

OpenWEM also allows Drupal modules to integrate with most major marketing automation and social analytics solutions. Acquia says other WEM tools are based on proprietary third-party architectures that make them “slow to adapt to changing business needs and keep pace with the speed of the social web.”

Filling the OpenWEM Toolbox

In addition to offering the OpenWEM architecture, Acquia is also launching beta versions of two new tools supporting it: Drupal Commons 3.0 for Drupal 7 and Media Cloud. Drupal Commons 3.0 is designed to allow the creation of online communities for collaboration and content sharing. Acquia says the latest upgrade features enhanced mobile support, analytical capabilities and user experience improvements.

Meanwhile, Media Cloud is a new media management service designed to support native management and sharing of rich media content within the Drupal environment. Acquia is also partnering with gamification software provider Badgeville to include Badgeville for Drupal as a key supporting component of OpenWEM.

To further ease access to OpenWEM, Acquia is partnering with more than 400 digital agencies and developers and integrating APIs for the top Drupal development tools used most frequently by Acquia customers.

Acquia Opens Up to Developers

Through a combination of open source and free services, Acquia is angling to become the standard means of managing activities on the Drupal platform -- the company refers to itself as the “enterprise guide to Drupal."

In addition to its new OpenWEM concept and supporting solutions, back in August, at DrupalCon Munich 2012, Acquia said its Dev Cloud will be permanently free for developing sites. The developer accounts will include all the features of Acquia Cloud: automated developer workflow, separate development, staging and production environments as well as backups, SSH access, Drush integration, Cloud API and Cloud Hooks for continuous integration and more.

Getting In the Digital Marketing Game

Acquia's introduction of OpenWEM, is the real opening of the door for companies to leverage Drupal as a complete customer experience platform. There's the Web CMS, Drupal Commons for Communities, Media Cloud for rich asset management and the ability to integrate digital marketing and social analytics solutions.

This is the kind of end-to-end platform story that many companies are looking for. It's what Sitecore does, Ektron does and a dozen other web content management (aka web experience or customer experience) vendors are doing.

Does the fact that Drupal is open source give them a leg up? These days selling the open source story isn't really a big thing. Some open source solutions can work just as well in an enterprise as proprietary solutions. With a community as large as Drupal's, an enterprise support company like Acquia, and this list of new capabilities, Drupal is well equipped to support the digital marketing needs of an enterprise.