With the new year comes reflection and preparation.
We’ve had a string of great years at FFW and we’re preparing for more big changes in 2015. We've grown 1,000 percent since my 2010 New Year’s resolution to use only Drupal as our CMS platform. In 2014 alone we hired 60 new staff to help our clients reach their goals. We’ve made the Inc. fastest growing private companies list for the last 2 years along with our flagship partner Acquia. This year, when Acquia was recognized by both Gartner and Forrester as a leader among web management companies it was another HUGE win for Drupal and the entire Drupal community, especially the enterprises that have built their infrastructures around Drupal.
At FFW the success of our customers has always been our number one focus. Every day we strive to help organizations like Pfizer, NBC, GE, Princeton and Harvard meet and exceed their business goals by leveraging Drupal technologies. A very big part of that process involves listening - specifically listening carefully to their needs around what they want from us and other Drupal providers. Here are a few things we heard them asking for loud and clear:
Drupal expertise with a global presence - It’s not enough to have have one or even several great Drupalists available. The enterprise needs agencies to provide expertise on the ground close to the action to support their success in whatever market they operate.
Follow the sun support - The sun never sets on Drupal and it can’t set on Drupal support either. Only organizations that have a presence in those markets will be able to provide the type of support needed.
Strategic consulting that yields tangible results - Whether it’s around architecture or platforming, enterprise clients want a plan for the future that will also provide results in the near term.
Training, education and adoption services - It's not enough to just build a solution, the solution needs to be sustainable by the client. This is what content and web management systems are all about. We’re helping more and more organizations build internal capacity through training and other services.
They want Drupal to be easier to use and manage - We completed the first major project to be built with Enterprise Drupal Gardens for Warner Music. Since then we’ve seen demand grow rapidly for Drupal based PAAS services like Acquia’s Site Factory. We’re delivering the largest Acquia Cloud Site Factory migrations being done today for life sciences, higher ed, and the media industries.
They want digital engagement - Fantastic websites aren’t enough. Clients want help achieving authentic digital transformation throughout their organization and across brands.
Enterprises want Drupal solutions with results - every engagement needs to be built not only around the Drupal system and platform expertise, but a mastery of enterprise best practices around planning, project management, architecture, security, and performance scaled to large, diverse global teams.
All of these factors contributed to my decision to join forces with Propeople and Intellecta.
Last month we proudly announced plans to reorganize with Propeople to create a new agency under its parent, Intellecta AB, forming the largest Drupal organization of its kind anywhere. The goal of this new agency is to deliver the best web experiences for the largest global enterprises.
This new organization - we’re still working on a name - will offer unprecedented global reach and scale on par with traditional large system integrators and agencies. At our core we will continue to be a Drupal shop. With more than 350 employees working across nine countries, we will continue to offer custom enterprise Drupal solutions built by Drupalists. And, we’ll offer enterprise clients additional opportunities to benefit from the strategic and creative strength of an organization built around Drupal know-how.
The most important things though will remain the same, namely our core values and commitment to client success.
As we move forward we will never forget the importance of the Drupal community and its continued prosperity. We are only as strong and capable as the community is healthy and vibrant.
Our commitment to the Drupal community goes beyond sponsorships of camps and cons, dev days and sprints which we’ve done proudly for many years across the US and in Europe. And, it goes beyond being a DA supporting partner, creating campaigns like Drupal Face to Face, and providing free and reduced price trainings through the FFW Center of Excellence led by Ray Saltini, our own Drupal Evangelist. Last year we hired our first dedicated Drupal project contributor, Drupal 8 Solutions Engineer, Jesus Olivas. He’s spent most of his time leveraging Symfony to build the Console project - an awesome new toolset every Drupal 8 developer can use that was just included by the DA in their new Drupal 8 presentation. Last quarter we launched our new Drupal Contributions Initiative to coordinate and strengthen our efforts to give back to the community. It will help us capture our existing contributions and focus our additional effort where Drupal needs it the most.
Still, I’m convinced we need to do even more and I’m committed to continuing and expanding these efforts as we move forward with Propeople and Intellecta.
And so here we go, into 2015 and beyond. I look forward to continuing our journey together with all of you.