In the City of Ottawa's Drupal implementation we focused on the implementation of mapping services, improving accessibility and managing the thousands of old URLs to the new location. We also implemented a bilingual and accessible Drupal distribution which was developed as part of the Government of Canada's Web Experience Toolkit.
By Mike Gifford
This past week we completed the final steps to become a Acquia Silver Partner. This is something we've had a number of discussions about within the shop and are happy with the opportunities that this partnership provides for us and our larger clients.
OpenConcept is already the premier Drupal shop supporting the Canadian government, federal unions and national non-profit organizations. Our longstanding work with multi-lingual content management systems has placed us in a great space to work with bilingual organizations. The work we've done on accessibility leads us to help support more and more entities which will be required to make their information easier for everyone to read. We've already got a fast implementation strategy. We've been developing with Drupal for years, so have access and knowledge about many Drupal modules and have contributed others. We're keen on security issues, and work to ensure our client's to keep their sites up-to-date.
So why also sign onto Acquia?
Firstly I was impressed at the presentation at the Boston DrupalCon in 2008. The members of the Acquia team were active participants in the conference and their workshop gave me a lot of confidence in their abilities to keep with the spirit of Drupal.
When it came down to it though, we wanted to have an option that provided a greater safety-net for our clients. When dealing with FUD from Microsoft certified techies about open source, it is good to be able to assure our client's that there is commercial support out there that we can provide them for this open source software. Many people, particularly in government, are concerned about who has the 'Moral Authority' for open source software. Clearly, Acquia has that by involving Drupal founder Dries Buytaert.
We also know that through the expertise that Acquia has gathered, that we can offer our clients with a higher level of support for Drupal than we could do internally. The Acquia team built so much of Drupal and knows it so well that a distribution and network that is available for this social publishing system commercially will have a very high degree of oversight.
It's a nice additional option that we can throw in which may give some potential clients more confidence in their choice of this system. Some people want to pay for the additional assurance that their site and all of the critical communications that it contains, is being monitored closely.
We offer up-time monitoring, and generally take care of update notifications and upgrades. However, Acquia's networked approach, the patches they've tested and approved as well as Mollom spam blocking will make maintenance easier for everyone.
We've always seen our involvement with our clients as long term, and so know from personal experience how complex maintaining software with our client's data in it can be. Acquia will be working to simplify this process so that upgrades can be done with more confidence.