How Acquia, Drupal, and Development Agencies Collaborate

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For companies looking to make a Digital Transformation

Or a digital evolution (depending on how you look at it). The following four players below (in alpha order) have come to produce winning outcomes for mid-market and enterprise organizations:

  • Acquia
  • Client
  • Drupal
  • EDUCO (and/or other talented Drupal development partners)

This approach is helpful for organizations that are looking to build a very unique website that can:

  • House multiple separate websites within a single CMS
  • Power several separate businesses (that may or may not be eCommerce)
  • Integrate multiple types of complex 3rd party software
  • Scale without compromise
  • Have guaranteed uptime if it's a mission critical website

Depending on the Client those needs will vary in priority and complexity.

If we consider what needs to go into a project of this scale there are, broadly speaking, 3 key phases (each of the players listed above has a part in the 3 phases, but to keep it brief we'll just focus on Acquia and EDUCO):

  1. Drupal Architecture
  2. Drupal Development
  3. Drupal Support

Drupal Architecture

This involves planning the nuanced complexity of the blueprint that needs to be created organizationally, technologically, administratively, and transfer-ably for the end client.

•  Acquia: Has planned and assisted in many SAP and other complex integrations and they have established best practices. 

•  EDUCO: Our development team has extensive knowledge of Drupal and works with the Acquia team to plan the work that needs to be executed based on Acquia's best practices and what we know to be Drupal best practices.

Drupal Development

Once the client, Acquia and our development team is on the same page with regards to what needs to be built. We will begin implementing the CMS and customizing it to the specification that we planned for during the architecture phase.

•  Acquia: Doesn't actually do the development work (they only partner with web development agencies like us).

•  EDUCO: We do all the technical development in house and make sure everything is working to the spec that was planned during the architecture workshop.

Drupal Support

Support means different things to different people. Essentially support can be broken down into three parts.

1.) Server Side Support: Hosting, routine offsite backups, PCI compliance, guaranteed uptime

2.) Drupal Support: CMS upgrades, security patches and other proactive work to ensure the CMS is secure (being on the current version of any Open Source software is the only way to ensure the website is secure)

3.) Web Marketing Support: Help with different web based marketing campaigns, micro-sites, landing pages, analytics and performance consulting, and many other services.

•  Acquia: Can provide support for #'s 1 + 2. Server Side Support and Drupal Support. PCI complaint hosting, 99.95% uptime, they also provide CMS upgrades, security patches and can do some other services depending on the client needs.

•  EDUCO: We can and often does provide all three, but we recommend Acquia for Server Side and Drupal Support so that our team can help focus on help with activities that will generate more value from a marketing and business perspective like web marketing projects, analytics analysis, and other strategic development projects.

To put it more succinctly Acquia focuses on infrastructure planning and supporting the Drupal application layer. Our team has extensive knowledge of Drupal development best practices (we're Druapl/Acquia Certified) and handle all of the actual design, development and technical execution.

If this was not totally obvious at first don't feel bad. Forrester and Garnter could not quite understand this relationship between Acquia, Development Agencies, the Drupal CMS and has only recently started including Acquia in their Leadership Matrix reports.

About the Author

Marty Vernon

Marty is Co-founder/Strategic Director at EDUCO. Connect with Marty on , , or Google+