You’re having trouble keeping up with demand and need a more powerful and robust website platform.
As business problems go, that’s a great one to have. Especially for enterprise-grade organizations and government entities. The question is: Which website platform is best?
To help you make informed decisions about your platform choice, we’re sharing a look at what Acquia has to offer. In this post, you’ll learn what Acquia is and how it works, who should consider using the platform and who should not. Then you’ll read our thoughts on what should be top of mind when selecting a platform.
Full disclosure: Mobomo is an Acquia partner organization, meaning we help clients make the most of their Acquia technology and services. Far from being a hard sell, however, this post aims solely to provide expert analysis and an honest assessment of the company and its products.
What Acquia Is and How It Works
Acquia is considered a digital experience platform (DXP), which is a collection or suite of products that work in concert to manage and optimize the user’s digital experience. These products can include a CRM, analytics, commerce applications, content management and more.
In its industry report on DXPs, Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms, Gartner defines a digital experience platform as “an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences…Leaders have ample ability to support a variety of DXP use cases and consistently meet customers’ needs over substantial periods. Leaders have delivered significant product innovation in pursuit of DXP requirements and have been successful in selling to new customers across industries.”
Organizations use DXPs to build, deploy and improve websites, portals, mobile and other digital experiences. They combine and coordinate applications, including content management, search and navigation, personalization, integration and aggregation, collaboration, workflow, analytics, mobile and multichannel support.
Acquia is one of the major players in this space, and the only one designed solely for Drupal.
Acquia co-founder Dries Buytaert was in graduate school in 2000 when he created the first Drupal content management framework. Buytaert and Jay Batson then established Acquia in 2007 to provide infrastructure, support and services to enterprise organizations that use Drupal.
Features and Benefits of Acquia
Acquia initially offered managed cloud hosting and fine-tuned services for Drupal. It has since expanded on its Drupal foundation to offer a complete DXP, including but not limited to:
- Acquia Cloud: Provides Drupal hosting, development tools, hosting services and enterprise grade security.
- Acquia Lightning: An open source Drupal 8 distribution with preselected modules and configuration to help developers build sites and run them on Acquia Cloud.
- Acquia Digital Asset Management: A cloud-based digital asset management tool and central library for Drupal sites.
- Acquia Commerce Manager: Provides a secure and flexible platform for content-rich experiential commerce.
- Mautic: A marketing automation platform that enables organizations to send and personalize multi-channel communications at scale.
- Acquia Journey: An omnichannel tool that allows marketers to listen and learn from customers to craft a sequence of personalized touchpoints and trigger what they will see next.
The Acquia platform also shines in its security capabilities, supporting strict compliance programs such as FedRAMP, HIPAA, and PCI, among others. Acquia customers can also internally manage teams at scale with advanced teams and permissions capabilities.
And they’re running with the big dogs. Other DXP companies assessed in the Gartner Magic Quadrants report include Adobe, IBM, Salesforce, Liferay, SAP, Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle.
In that report, Gartner cited Acquia’s key strengths as follows:
- Acquia Experience Cloud offers a wide array of capabilities well-suited to support the B2C use case. Some clients also use it for B2B and B2E use cases.
- The open-source community behind Acquia, which is the main contributor to the underlying Drupal WCM system, is highly active and well-supported by the vendor.
- Acquia’s partner ecosystem continues to grow, offering choices to clients looking for expertise in specific verticals and availability in specific regions.
Who Should Consider Acquia
In a nutshell, Acquia is a good fit for enterprise-grade clients and government entities needing a comprehensive and powerful platform that optimizes the entire user experience while integrating data from multiple sources to support decision-making. Organizations that deploy and manage multiple websites will find Acquia particularly helpful.
One glance at Acquia’s customer page crystalizes the scope and scale of organizations they serve. Brands using Acquia include Wendy’s, ConAgra Brands, University of Virginia, City of Rancho Cucamonga in California and Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy.
According to Website Planet, what sets Acquia apart is their foundation in the open-source Drupal content management framework. Unlike many of their competitors, Acquia allows customers to buy resources and features individually rather than purchasing entire pre-made packages. This can be particularly appealing to organizations who already have a couple of strong individual solutions in place that they want to integrate into their DXP, such as this reviewer in the manufacturing industry:
“A few things drove me to this solution: Decoupled architecture that allowed me to build a completely distributed digital landscape while keeping central control, The Open Platform concept that allowed me to build my own integrations and connect different components of my existing Martech stack without always using the “default” provided options and the comfort/security of relying on a cloud-based solution with full service support on top.
For e-commerce website owners, Acquia’s packages provide a PCI DSS compliant solution that can easily scale to accommodate extensive product catalogs, large transaction volumes and surges in traffic. Acquia’s proprietary e-commerce manager integrates the various content, commerceand user interfaces, allowing you to provide seamless experiences to your customers through a single system.”
Who Should Not Consider Acquia
Acquia is best suited for organizations with both the need for such a powerful suite of tools and the development expertise to easily implement and manage it. Beginners and small businesses lacking the requisite knowledge of programming and Drupal are likely better off with a different provider.
For those who develop their website through an agency, you’ll want to double-check that they will provide developers experienced with Drupal 8. If you do develop in-house, make sure your developers have strong familiarity with it.
Additionally, Acquia’s power comes at a price: Its price point may put it out of reach for small-to-medium businesses.
Acquia: Our Takeaway
As with any other significant investment, the best choice for your organization boils down to your wants and needs of you, the consumer. Keep these points in mind assessing how well Acquia matches up with your master list of must-haves.
- Determine your desired business outcome. Think about what you’re after in terms of improving the business. What does each DXP offer and can you make the most of every feature you’re paying for?
- Know your stack. Document your current technology architecture: what do you have, who uses it, for what and how is it connected?
- Determine use cases. Who will use your technology and how will it make them productive?
- Prepare your people. Your personnel play a massive role in assembling your digital experience technology stack. Don’t set yourself up to spend time and money on a platform that doesn’t get adopted or used to its potential.
By conducting a thorough assessment of your organization’s needs, capabilities, and goals, you can readily determine whether Acquia is the best fit to help you provide an amazing digital experience for your audience.
Contact us today and find out how Mobomo can help you make the most of Acquia.