The Drupal-Powered Enterprise
Three ways to capitalize on Drupal as a unified platform for low-cost, central management of multiple websites
Delivering Extraordinary Web Experiences without Extraordinary Burdens What an enterprise expects
Today, digitally savvy companies manage a growing set of web experiences, targeting specific channels, audiences, markets, and outcomes. When promising opportunities arise, smart firms move quickly to launch new experiences. But the willy-nilly addition of standalone sites within the enterprise – typically built on an array of technologies by disparate groups — leads to wasted efforts, unnecessary expenses, and problems sharing content or capabilities. Customers also feel the pain, as they are bombarded by mixed messages and disconnected websites. When juggling multiple sites and experiences, enterprises face the dilemma of scale: how best to leverage IT investments for an economical yet sustainable solution. Here are a few problems that companies typically face: n A pharmaceutical company invests considerable effort developing product information that meets regulatory mandates. To limit the risk of distributing incorrect or inconsistent information to various markets and segments, the firm needs to centrally manage the content. Yet it must also ensure that individual segment owners can easily produce compelling web experiences for their target audiences and update them at the speed of business. n A consumer products company maintains several lines of business, each with a unique branded experience. The firm needs to control its IT infrastructure, while ensuring that brand managers can promote their products through websites designed to meet their own needs and publishing their own content on their own schedule.
Acquia • acquia.com
The Drupal-Powered Enterprise
A media and entertainment firm fuels fan loyalty by producing targeted websites about its various stars. Rock fans want to groove to favorite tunes and performers, and track concert schedules. By comparison, film buffs are enthralled with storylines and video downloads. The company seeks the capabilities of a unified platform while maintaining multiple web experiences.
Every company needs to coordinate content delivery, control costs, and optimize investment across multiple websites. The solution is a consistent platform for content delivery — one that is sufficiently flexible to meet both current requirements and future growth opportunities. It is essential to rely on a scalable content infrastructure that can maintain multiple web experiences, while also reducing development and operating costs. To date, this has been a need unfulfilled. Drupal, however, changes the landscape.
How Drupal delivers
Drupal provides an integrated platform for powering content-rich web experiences across the enterprise. These experiences, in turn, are maintained by one or more discrete websites. Drupal delivers the unparalleled flexibility and extensibility for supporting a diversity of business activities on the web. Being an open-source project, Drupal does all this at vastly lower costs than proprietary or customer-built solutions while harnessing the innovation of a global community of web developers. Drupal relies on a contemporary, component-based architecture. As shown in Illustration 1, discrete modules encapsulate features, invoke actions, and perform functions. A Drupal-powered site manages content as self-contained nodes (or unique objects separated from “pages” or delivery channels) in a database. Nodes are tagged with extensive, context-specific metadata. A Drupal-powered website then displays content through a series of views and themes. The same text, image, or video stored in Drupal can be delivered across multiple websites or mobile applications and “mashed up” with other content in almost any desired way. As a result, Drupal dynamically adapts web experiences to varied devices and...
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