Acquia flies flag for Drupal down under

7 January 2013

Sydney office creates new opportunities for local Drupal shops, says Asia Pacific regional director, Chris Harrop

Acquia has set its sights on accelerating adoption of the open source Drupal content management system by large organizations. The company, which was founded by the CMS's creator, Dries Buytaert, opened a Sydney office last month and plans on expanding its sales and business development operations in Australia.

Australia is already home to elements of Acquia's tri-continental 24/7 support setup, and the company's Asia Pacific regional director, Chris Harrop, said he plans to boost the company's local headcount to over the next 12 months, bringing on board field sales and business development staff in Sydney.

Harrop said that Acquia's support network can make switching to the open source more appealing for larger Australian organizations.

"If you're looking at large organizations, I think there's awareness now that you need to have leading digital experiences, be that through web or mobile; those organizations are then looking at either commercial product in order to solve that," Harrop said.

"That's where I think the growth of Acquia and Drupal have gone hand in hand," he said. Acquia "essentially removes the risk associated" with adopting an open source platform like Drupal, he said. "As awareness grows, people consider that Drupal CMS is a viable option for them and they're aware that Acquia can remove that perceived risk associated with that decision. That's where the growth comes from so. My feeling is that it's a global phenomenon, but locally it's been replicated."

Locally, Harrop has been surprised by the adoption of Drupal by finance and insurance organizations, given that "they tend to be more conservative in their approach to technologies". "Pretty much all of the insurance brands that you find online in Australia are now running Drupal," he said

Harrop said that opening a Sydney office will aid local Drupal shops, such as PreviousNext, Technocrat, CrossFunctional and Reality Loop, by giving them "the chance to elevate their solutions to larger enterprises". "If they're a local operation which provides good solutions and good builds backed by a global support network like Acquia it's much more attractive for larger organizations to embrace [Drupal]."

"Acquia doesn't do end-to-end project builds, so any business that comes to us in terms of attraction to Drupal Development we push that out to the partner community and potentially we take on the support of that application after Go-live," Harrop said.

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