Industry Insights

CMS-Connected Takes the Partner Pavilion at Acquia Engage

In mid-November, a digital experience conference was held in the jazz music and creole cuisine capital, only a stone’s throw from the home of the New Orleans Saints NFL team. That DX event was Acquia Engage, and CMC-Connected was delighted to be in attendance. We conducted our usual business of capturing many of the engaging (pun intended) conversations taking place and were wowed by the organization and the content of the event. You can read CMS-Connected’s event recap about Acquia Engage 2019 here.

For our opening video piece from the event, CMS-Connected took to Acquia Engage’s Partner Pavilion to record insightful exchanges with event sponsors made up of representatives from Acquia’s partner organizations. Eager to become better familiar with the collaborated relationships between partners and vendor, we set about to find out what brought them to Acquia’s Engage and delve into how each of their companies’ shared value propositions aligned with Acquia’s.

Acquia Engage’s central theme was ‘Experience Digital Freedom’ so we were also focused on learning about how each partner has seen its customers, and even their company itself, achieve true digital freedom.

CMS-Connected’s presentation features eight of Acquia’s largest partners in our video interviews, including:

  • Phase2
  • R2Integrated 
  • Third and Grove 
  • EPAM Systems
  • Bounteous,
  • FFW
  • Evolving Web 
  • Elastic Path


Why are you at Engage?

Recurrent among the partners we spoke to, was just how much this group believes in best-of-breed, open-source infrastructure. In some way or another, everyone touched upon their appreciation for the flexibility and freedom that this type of platform provides and clearly, was the thrust for why these partners sponsored and attended Acquia Engage.

“We do a lot of work with open source,” said Sal Visca, CTO of Elastic Path. “Acquia has done a great job of taking front-end Drupal content and really providing innovation around how people build user experiences. We have a long-term relationship, we do a lot of work together in the field, and we have great customers together really innovating on both platforms.”

On top of those who were enthused to be working with Acquia’s premier open-source technology, partners also expressed their commitment to Acquia after maintaining long partnerships with both the platform and Drupal.

“We’ve been partners with Acquia for about 10 years, we’re really committed to the Drupal ecosystem [and] have a lot of expertise in the Acquia product so [it’s] really, really exciting to be here and see what they have coming up for the next year,” FFW’s Sr. Director of Client & Partner Engagement, Ricardo Osuna told us.

Many of the partners were at the event alongside their current clients as well as prospective customers. As always, the forum was a great place to bring everyone together to share their stories about fabulous digital experiences that they created with Acquia products over the year. “One of our clients won an Acquia Engage Award, so we wanted to support them and also give a session on stage and talk about the work we did together,” said Justin Emond, CEO of Third and Grove. “So, it’s a great event to connect with clients and potential clients.”

Engage hosted an impressive collection of incredible moments and stories around the digital experience; from many of the attendees, Acquia’s executives, not to mention the partners and customers. Based upon what the partners I interviewed had to tell me, it seemed everyone was motivated to learn and connect.

“We’re really excited about Engage because it’s a place where our customers come, and our potential customers come, and the people that work in our space come to share how they're doing digital experience,” said Jeff Walpole, CEO, and Co-founder of Phase2.

Freedom to Collaborate with Open-Source

CMS-Connected is always interested in tapping into the relationships between vendors and partners from a value proposition standpoint. What do they align on, and where do their goals match up? The partner group provided a host of varying answers, but many of them commonly circled back to the concept of enabling customers to have incredible digital experiences.

“We both believe in providing great experiences, and we’re able to take the Acquia products and use them with our customers to deliver those experiences across different platforms [and] different devices,” Jon Meck, Senior Marketing Director from Bounteous tell us. Jon describes the offer of responsive digital experiences as a shared value between Bounteous and Acquia. Responsive digital experiences are so important today with the array of devices that people are using to view content.

John Wynn, VP of R2Integrated, described the core value for his team as “orchestrating the digital experience for our visitors and customers.” With its Acquia partnership, R2Integrated can create an ecosystem where digital experience is of high importance at every digital touchpoint.

Suzanne Dergacheva, Co-founder & Drupal Practice Lead at Evolving Web, tells us, “That open-source philosophy is a value that we both share.” Once again, this question highlighted how many of the partners frequently cited the open-source framework on which Acquia is built. The freedom and frictionless environment that a best-in-breed system enables are of significant importance to Acquia’s partners.

“You have componentry that can be assembled together in very innovative ways,” said Elastic Path’s Sal Visca. “So, marketing teams feel really unshackled from the constraints of, you know, these big black box projects and products and having these monolithic solutions. Having these kinds of separate solutions really gives our customers the ability to do many different things that really weren't foreseen in the past.”

Not only do all the partners align on open-source, but they are also intent on using the platform to create the most impressive digital experiences. As Ricardo Osuna tells us, “focusing on leveraging the platform to help clients, organizations, and brands really achieve ambitious digital experiences.”

Experience Digital Freedom

As previously commented on throughout this article, the Acquia Engage’s theme was, ‘Experience Digital Freedom,’ and I set on canvassing the partners as to how they could relate the notion to their companies. I was especially interested to hear customer stories or how Acquia has directly empowered them to offer a digital freedom experience.

I was told stories about seamless integrations and frictionless options. Once again, the “best-of-breed, open, heterogeneous digital experience platform,” as Jeff Walpole put it, was a major area where these partners were able to provide an experience that offered digital freedom to their customers.

“Because [Acquia is] open, it allows us to integrate very easily with our existing customers back-office suite of tools and whatever services and systems they may already use in their enterprise,” said Seth Gregory, Director of Software Engineering at EPAM Systems. In essence, if a customer comes to them and that customer already has systems in place, Acquia facilitates the freedom to work with those solutions and propel them to place of success.

“I just think it's frictionless... you're not constrained by any limitations or restrictions,” said John Wynn of R2Integrated. With no limitations, partners are seeing the benefit for customers on the Acquia platform.

When all is said and done, it is about the customers. The customers know who their audience is and how they should be interacting with them. As FFW’s Ricardo Osuna said, “It's all about giving those brands and companies the freedom to engage with their audiences the way they know is best.”

Erika Jones

Erika Jones

Erika Jones is a Tech Reporter and Content Marketer with CMSC Media. Erika enjoys combining her creativity with her technical skills through graphic design. She has a background in communications and marketing and has a flair for social media and content creation. Erika is an avid traveller and enjoys seeing firsthand how technology connects us all in business and pleasure.

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