Acquia CEO Dries Buytaert
Acquia CTO Dries Buytaert on stage this morning at Acquia Engage at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston. PHOTO: Dom Nicastro

BOSTON — Acquia, a Boston-based provider of digital experience technology, has embarked on what it calls its "most aggressive product launch" and continues to embrace its open-source roots as it expands its cloud-computing technologies.

The company touted advances to its Acquia Platform this morning at its 700-attendee Acquia Engage customer conference at the InterContinental Hotel on the Boston waterfront. 

Acquia offers a platform-as-a-service cloud environment for the Drupal web content management system (CMS) through its Acquia Platform.

Acquia CTO Dries Buytaert, creator of the open-source Drupal web CMS, told attendees this morning at the company's fourth annual conference about an "aggressive" product expansion that embraces cloud- and microservices-based, headless and decoupled architectures.

"The evolution from open source to the cloud will always be critical for what we do," Buytaert said.

Although he didn't dive deeply into details of Acquia's product releases, Buytaert cited Acquia's product news last week, which included Acquia Journey, Acquia Digital Asset Management and support for Node.js for developers for the Acquia Cloud.

About DAM Time?

Acquia's move to offer a digital asset management (DAM) system fills a gap in the native tool suite because Acquia previously relied on third-party DAM integrations.

That was a weakness, according to Carl Agers of digital consultancy Hero Digital, which helps implement Acquia's technology among others. Agers told CMSWire last year after Engage 2016 that the lack of a native DAM was a challenge for Acquia. 

Competitor Adobe's DAM, he said, "has progressed at a rapid pace, while Acquia has done little to address it and it is a big issue for clients."

Agers, responding to an email from CMSWire this morning, said Acquia adding a native DAM solution this month was a "critical component." 

"The DAM market has been accelerating," Agers said, "and, in fact, we now see clients starting with DAM and then addressing CMS/CXM."

Offering native technology is a good thing if you want to move up the Forrester Digital Experience Platforms Wave chain. Acquia dropped in this year's Wave because it lacks a native commerce and service solution.

Journeys Meets Marketing Automation

The DAM release comes packaged with another update to the Acquia Platform that the company announced Oct. 11. Acquia debuted Acquia Journey, which is designed to help users create data-driven customer journeys. 

Acquia officials said the Journey and DAM product releases build upon solutions for web content management, Site Factory for multisite delivery and Acquia Lift personalization.

Acquia Journey is designed to integrate marketing automation with customer profiles and journey maps. It includes journey mapping tools, customer profiles and an automated decision engine that relies on rules-based triggers and logic.

Headless CMS Growth

Buytaert this morning discussed the need for organizations to embrace digital customer journeys beyond pure web content management. With thousands of sites, companies need to embraced decoupled architectures. 

This cloud-first headless CMS model provides tangible benefits, some say, because it decouples the content and the presentation.

"I've never seen anything grow as fast as headless and decoupled architectures," Buytaert said. "Organizations have thousands of websites. The complexity of going from a CMS to a more complex digital experience platform becomes a real challenge."

Acquia's Executive Leadership Changes

Acquia is still undergoing executive leadership changes as it hosts its fourth conference on its home turf. 

Before his keynote, Buytaert confirmed with CMSWire Acquia is still searching for a new CEO.

Acquia in May created an “Office of the CEO” shared by CEO Tom Erickson and Buytaert. As part of the change, Erickson will step down as CEO when the company finds his replacement to assume the role of chairman of the board. Buytaert will take on a more "prominent role" with the new office.

Lynne Capozzi, now the CMO, took the stage first this morning. She was named CMO for the second time with Acquia late last year. She previously served as CMO from 2009 to 2011 before going to a nonprofit.

This time around, she took over for Loren Jarrett, a former vice president of product management and marketing at FatWire and Oracle. Jarrett left Acquia in December 2016 for a role as CMO of Progress.