Drupal company Acquia acquires Cohesion, supporting agile working

Drupal was founded 18-years ago — and a lot has changed, since then, to put it mildly. Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, also founded Acquia five years after the formation of Drupal. Now, Acquia has acquired UK company Cohesion, in a move which is expected to create a four-fold decrease in Drupal development time. But as Information Age found out, a key benefit of the Drupal acquisition is the way it can help support agile practices.

“The trend has been all about enabling or empowering less technical people, to build a website faster…in many ways it was slow motion disruption.

There was a time when building a website was a long drawn out affair, even getting a typo fixed seemed to take an age. “At the time, websites were fairly simple, mobile didn’t exist, AT&T had just created text messaging, offshoring didn’t exist,” said Dries Buytaert, describing the market 18-years ago, before there was a Drupal.
“Today, things look different, digital experience, mobile, social and websites aren’t standalone applications anymore, they integrate with all sorts of tools — things have changed a lot. But Drupal survived.”
In fact, Buytaert says that we have seen a 25-year trend where website building evolved from building by HTML and uploading by FTP, to what we have today. “This trend has been all about enabling or empowering less technical people, to build a website faster…in many ways it was slow motion disruption.”
So who is the classic user of Drupal?
It seems that the decision-making process runs through an organisation, from “CIO or a CMO to developers and designers.”
And who would use Drupal, as opposed to say WordPress?
“WordPress is easier to use but there is a trade off in flexibility. Drupal tends to be used by more complex sites that need more flexibility.”

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In fact, Buytaert says that Word Press offers less competition than proprietary systems such as Adobe Experience Manager and Sitecore.
Buytaert sites examples of Drupal users such as Tesla with its car configurator feature making particular use of the Drupal flexibility, and also companies like Johnston & Johnston, Pfizer, Nestle, sports sites, event sites such as the Emmys and weather information sites. “They are standardising on Drupal,using Acquia, often with hundreds of thousands of websites.”
That takes us to agile.
“A combination of Drupal and Aquia can make you quite agile, giving you faster innovation,” says Buytaert. By using Drupal you tap into the Drupal community — with over 8,000 individuals and 8,000 company contributors. “This community is very large and active sharing what they are doing.

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“Organisations need to do more with less. Maybe 20-years ago or five-years ago a company had one website, today a lot of companies have 100s of websites and the complexity of each website has grown exponentially and is highly integrated with social, or e-commerce tools.
“Agile matters as organisations need to go faster do more with less and as competition gets fiercer so they need to out innovate competitors.”
And that takes us to acquisition of Cohesion.
Cohesion is the creator of DX8, the first enterprise-grade, low-code Drupal website builder. With this acquisition, content marketers and site builders with minimal coding skills can create Drupal websites up to four times faster, according to user testing, or so Acquia claims.

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Markus Hugenbach, head of digital marketing platforms at Bayer, said, “Bayer has screened the market searching for an enterprise website builder capable of handling thousands of sites. Cohesion DX8 has the capability to create standardised websites at scale without the need for developer involvement, thereby transforming our website operating model. Since we are also an existing Acquia customer, Cohesion DX8 complements the Acquia product suite by adding a powerful low-code site builder. The combination of the Acquia and Cohesion DX8 solutions together accelerate Bayer forward.”
Finally, Drew Griffiths, Cohesion CEO and founder, said: “Cohesion’s vision was to revolutionise the way Drupal websites are built through low-code, visual solutions. With the addition of Cohesion DX8’s technology, Acquia will make it possible for organisations and agencies with demanding requirements to launch websites faster, while maintaining consistency across multiple brands, regions, or divisions. This allows technical resources to focus on more complex functionality, so organisations can spend more developer time on high value areas of the website and less time pushing pixels.”

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Michael Baxter

.Michael Baxter is a tech, economic and investment journalist. He has written four books, including iDisrupted and Living in the age of the jerk. He is the editor of Techopian.com and the host of the ESG...

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