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Acquia News & Analysis

News Bites: DIYers, Over-Achievers, Testing-Providers

The latest in growth, apps and testing from the Little Cottonwoods City, the Big Scrapple and the Old Colony State.

Whose Idea Was This? Amazon's Investment in Acquia

Amazon threw a big chunk of change at Acquia yesterday. Perhaps it wants to stake its claim in the startup that provides commercial services around the open-source Drupal content management system before it goes public, which could happen as soon as later this year or in 2015.

Though neither company is disclosing the size of the investment, it certainly makes their relationship more symbiotic than it already was. Consider that Acquia runs on more than 8,000 AWS instances and serves more than 27 billion hits a month (333 TB of bandwidth a month).

Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

customer experience, Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

If it hasn't sunk in yet for digital experience providers, let's remind them: Forrester sees no leaders in digital experience delivery platforms.

The results came from the research giant's first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. So why no leader? 

CMSWire asked Forrester Wave authors Stephen Powers, vice president and research director, and analysts Anjali Yakkundi and Mark Grannan.

Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience Delivery

customer experience, Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience DeliveryWho's driving the digital experience train today?

No one, says Forrester.

In its first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, released today, analysts said no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

"Overall completeness and adoption" in this space is "middling," according to analysts.

Unified platforms are "more myth than reality," they wrote in the Wave.

Despite no leader, Forrester did cite Adobe and hybris (SAP) as "pioneers" that offer the most complete options while IBM and Sitecore "aren't far behind."

Forrester: Move Faster on App Development

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Developing great apps takes time, but in the age of the customer that time is measured in days and weeks -- not months.

Customers simply aren't going to wait for their smartphones to grow outdated while the IT staff designs, hand-codes, tests and finally releases a new app. No wonder there is simmering tension between marketers who want to enhance revenue and the IT staffer who must cope with shrinking resources and rising demands.

Enter "low-code" app development, a process that Forrester says will "speed up development by allowing application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to eliminate barriers to customer participation in projects as well as [expediting] handoffs between phases of projects."

And the Emmy Award for Web CMS Goes to ... Acquia

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No, the Primetime Emmy Awards hasn’t added a category for Best Digital Experience or Best Performing Web CMS.

But Web CMS and customer experience will be a major behind-the-scenes component on the day the television awards show announces its nominees online at the Emmys website.

Acquia, which provides a platform for content, community and commerce, is powering that website with its Acquia Cloud -- which was also the Web CMS engine behind the Grammys -- that includes an elastic infrastructure and delivery solutions for Drupal.

“It's critical that our site performs at its very best,” Marc Wade, executive director of digital for the Television Academy, said in a statement. “That's why we sought a technology partner with the experience and Drupal expertise to ensure TelevisionAcademy.com scales to meet the massive demand generated by the Emmys and other events, and that search led us to Acquia."

In a 'Troubled' WCM Sector, Analysts See 3 Innovators

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Fireworks may explode in the night sky as the US celebrates the Fourth of July weekend, but things are much quieter in the web content management market.

The frenetic pace of nine-figure WCM acquisitions of the past four years ended before Christmas, and the once-deep river of venture capital funding for fledgling players ran dry long ago.

Market shifts and technology trends -- the somewhat surprising strength of mobile, the stampede to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), a growing infatuation with digital marketing -- were missed by many players, leaving the field "fragmented" and "troubled," according to fresh research by Matt Mullen and Alan Pelz-Sharpe at 451 Research.

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

discussion-point

Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year -- especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

Acquia Enhances Personalization with TruCentric Buy

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Acquia is making the most of its revenue growth. The company, a provider of open-source software, services and technical support based on the open source Drupal web content management system (CMS), just acquired TruCentric.

TruCentric is a Toronto, Ontario-based vendor whose SaaS solution includes real time customer profiling for user engagement. The solution uses situational and historical data for marketers.

The buy comes on the heels of 20 consecutive quarters of revenue growth for Acquia. The company has grown its revenue by more than 48,500 percent during the past five years, according to Tom Wentworth, chief marketing officer. Revenue from sales was $44 million in 2012 and exceeded $68 million in 2013. 

Acquia, based in Burlington, Mass., had 450 employees before the acquisition. It did not disclose the number of employees at TruCentric nor the acquisition price.

What's New in May for Open Source CMS

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Joomla kept its promise to release the latest version of its open source content management system (CMS) in April with yesterday's launch of Joomla 3.3.

The new version offers enhanced security, enables microdata for the first time and replaces MooTools-based JavaScript with jQuery equivalents. The company claims these new features make Joomla 3.3 "the most secure, searchable and fastest-loading Joomla CMS yet, ensuring the most efficient developer experience for Joomla out of the box."

Of course, Joomla wasn't the only free and open source CMS provider to make headlines last month. Hippo launched version 7.9 of its CMS last week. A webinar on what’s new in Hippo CMS 7.9 can be found here. Jahia kicked off the month with the release of Jahia 7, which offers a wide range of new features and functions.

And Fusionbox, a Denver-based web design/build firm, introduced its new open source product, Widgy. The company describes Widgy as "a heterogeneous tree editor," "well-suited" for use as a CMS, built on Python/Django. The company maintains: 

Widgy integrates with mezzanine CMS to form a system that is easier to use and has more flexibility than other popular systems. As a tree editor, Widgy couples with mezzanine to create and edit pages as if they were branches on a tree."

Fusionbox President and founder Alexander Groth the company's CMS is "not just an HTML editor" and predicted its "intuitive drag-and-drop interface will appeal to non-technical website owners who want to take control and edit their content."

So what can we expect in the FOSS world this month?

What's New in April for Open Source CMS

Pantheon

San Francisco-based Pantheon expanded the popular web development platform it created for Drupal to WordPress installs this month.

The company's technology, based on a container-based architecture, helps professional developers and designers build and maintain websites and applications. It offers an array of tools like version control, dev/test environments, team management, backups and workflow. (Click image to enlarge.)

Pantheon CEO and co-founder Zack Rosen said the three-year old company initially focused on Drupal because its development team included a number of former Drupal consultants.

But he noted that WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), powering over 76 million websites (19% of the web).

"Owing to its simplicity, WordPress has become the de facto Internet publishing tool for businesses with straightforward content management and design requirements," he wrote in a blog post. "We have a huge amount of respect for what the WordPress community has accomplished. We share the same mission: to build a simpler, easier, more powerful and more democratized World Wide Web."

So what else is new, directly or indirectly, in the world of free and open source CMS this month? Read on — and if you have FOSS CMS news to share, drop us a line so we can include you in our next monthly column.

What's New in March for Open Source CMS

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A round of applause for Drupal, please. Drupal is now powering more than one million websites worldwide, reinforcing its ranking as one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) on the planet. 

According to BuiltWith Research, Drupal powers more than 12 percent of the world’s top 100,000 websites as measured by traffic. That's still far behind Wordpress, which runs more than 43 percent of those top 100,000 sites. But it's still a significant feat, according to Holly Ross, executive director of the Drupal Association, the nonprofit organization that supports the Drupal open source project.

Ross is clearly enamored with Drupal. "Every day, we hear stories from all over the world about how Drupal is changing individual lives for the better," she effused in a statement.

Is there is a direct relationship between open source CMS and better lives? We'll let you make your own decision about that. And as you ponder the question, read on for more news from the world of free and open source CMS. And remember: everyone with FOSS CMS news should drop us a line so we can include you in our next monthly column.

Acquia Lift Makes Drupal Sites Smarter, Revenues Bigger

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It’s every marketer’s dream — delivering the right offer, to the right visitor, at the right time, through the right channel, to drive greater revenue. Simple to say, not so easy to do.

Consider your own experience when visiting websites. How often are you presented with compelling offers that you’re willing to take action on? If you’re like me, not very often.

This could actually change in the near future. Earlier today, Acquia, provider of products, services and technical support for creating web experiences with the open source CMS Drupal, announced Acquia Lift, an optimization platform that promises to make websites smarter, marketers more productive and revenues greater.

If it works as promised and is widely accepted by the Drupal community, you — even as a consumer —could benefit from Acquia’s latest innovation. After all, there are more than million of Drupal sites on the web today.

What's New in February for Open Source CMS

The year is off to a fast start for free and open source content management system (CMS) vendors, with plenty of updates, meetings and more. We're sharing the latest updates — and inviting everyone with FOSS CMS news to drop us a line. We'll include you in our next monthly column.

What's New in January 2014 for Open-Source CMS

Happy holidays out there in CMSWire land. Our gift to you (besides our impeccable journalistic integrity) is a dose of free open source system news. We run this column each and every month, but we don't always capture the spirit of the open source world fully on this page. Fell free to drop us a comment or reply to pr@cmswire.com if you think we've omitted a worthwhile update.

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