Jay Batson and Dries presented an introduction to Acquia. This is a report on what was said and is based on my notes at the time.
Dries had the idea to start a company and at Drupalcon in Sunnyvale, Jay "dropped out of the sky". Drupal was finding its way to a tipping point. Its usability has improved, but still could be further improved upon and to be really successful the overall ecosystem must be increased.
Acquia will seek to be a provider of services like Ubuntu, Zend, RedHat, and MySQL all of which have commercial ventures/companies behind them.
Acquia will build out packaged distribution. They then provide network based services as part of the subscription. The company does not seek to be a web house but rather they want to be a consulting venture with a tech center with different levels of service. They want to provide Certification and Training.
Carbon will be the first distro deployed and will include:
- drupal 6 core
- top 30 modules
- packaged installer
- commercial grade documentation
- installation/configuration site building "101" solution cookbooks.
Spokes will be the first service package and will cover:
- covers carbon and dependent systems
- compatibility and security filtering prioritizations
- personalized context aware alerts
- clear and actionable recommendations
- hourly uptime monitoring and alerts
The project roadmap will traverse the following path
- 1 Quarter 08--community directed product development (see http://acquia.com/projects)
- 2 Quarter 08--Spokes enhanced update notifications service Carbon supported Drupal distribution
- Future Directions--solution oriented distros, additional network services, value-added software to complement Drupal
Acquia will set up to the plate to help review contributed module functionality, stability, scalability, and security. They are not seeking to replace maintainers/contributors. There is a desire to collaborate, not pre-empt and to drive business to Drupal shops and vice versa. To this end, Acquia would like to see
- Acquia partner program driving customer leads to Drupal Shops
- Have Drupal Shops build Acquia subscriptions into customer solutions
- Increase your deal close rate
- Reduce your implementation risk
- Acquia eliminate service worries
- Clients gain the same value provided by Redhat, Ubuntu, MySQL, Zend, and sugarCRM (as an example)
- Acquia build and give back to the community
- Acquia invest in the community and market development for example Drupalcon, regional meetings, partner programs, training certification, drupal testing initiatives
- Acquia help with Drupal's overall visibility marketing
All this helps Drupal in several ways and Drupal "wins" when
- Requirements span multiple social publishing categories, CMS, Blogs, Wikis, Forums and social networking
- Software as Services rigidity and concerns of ownership and security
- Adoption is grass roots driven
- build is preferred over buy
Acquia believes that a new category is emerging, that of SOCIAL PUBLISHING
What does it mean for Dries?
Acquia has committed that Dries can:
- spend a minimum of 2 day a week on Drupal project work, Drupal Association Work, Drupal Coding, and or acting as the public face of Drupal
- Make Drupal project decisions independent of their impact on Acquia
- Goals: fairness, community empowerment, and mutual success
Drupal is amazing and the community is more so. Acquia needs to be an asset to the project/community and is looking to the community to help get the venture right. Acquia is no substitute for the community's collective intelligence. Acquia would like members of the community to visit the Acquia Web site, check out projects and give feedback.