The Elephants Are Coming

More Major Enterprise Projects Line Up For Drupal - But Are We Ready?
A cuddle, or... ?
Affectionate, or dangerous?
This really does seem to be the year of Drupal's breakthrough into the enterprise market - but tourists have to be careful near elephants, writes Steve Parks...

No sooner have Capgemini and Acquia announced their partnership to deliver a Drupal solution for the UK’s Royal Mail, than word is starting to emerge of a second major enterprise project from the same team.

Denis Lafont, a technical director at Capgemini, responded to news of the Royal Mail site with this comment on Rob Knight’s blog:

I am working within Capgemini Drupal Factory ( http://capgemini.drupal-factory.com/ ), and we are also working on a very high profile / high volume web site , similar to RMG [Royal Mail Group]. I can not make the reference public yet, like RMG was in the past quarters ;-)

(Editor’s note: Anyone want to send us any hints as to who the client might be on this one?)

Capgemini’s ‘Drupal factory’ has a team of 50 but is now recruiting for more on groups.drupal.org, and on various Indian jobsites for Drupal development posts in Bangalore. They’ve also built Capgemini’s internal Knowledge Management system in Drupal - so all 93,000 employees are familiar now with what Drupal can do.

Further details have also been revealed of the system that Capgemini have been assembling for their enterprise clients. Rob Knight has been contracting for Capgemini on their Drupal work, and says in his blog post:

What Capgemini is building is a fully-fledged framework of components for delivery of enterprise-scale web projects, with Drupal as a central component. This framework is called Immediate, and working on making this a great product, suitable for many customers, is where the main focus of my efforts are going. This means making use of great Drupal technologies such as Features, Drush (& make files) and CTools exportables to build a packageable system. It also means integrating with a wide variety of third-party providers for e-commerce, identity and authentication, CRM and more.
For such large-scale sites, performance is critical and we have great support from David Strauss and Four Kitchens. Pressflow, memcached, APC and a highly-tuned MySQL server all go into the mix, and Zeus provides an excellent reverse proxy and load balancing solution.

This is one of the world’s largest, most profitable, technology consultancies, and it’s taking Drupal very seriously indeed.

But what will this mean for the community? For a start - will Capgemini contribute any code back from these big projects? I asked Dries Buytaert, Drupal’s project lead, if he’d had any indication from them and he said:

I can reach out to Capgemini to see if they have any plans to contribute code back. My guess is that it is too early to tell.

I’ve asked Capgemini too, and will update this article when I hear back from them.

The Elephants Are Coming

In his blog post earlier this week, Dries referenced his Drupalcon ‘State of Drupal’ speech in which he said that this would be the year that the elephants would come to Drupal - meaning that large enterprises would start to use the CMS. That prediction is proving to be accurate.

Acquia already has IBM as well as Capgemini signed up as ‘Global System Integrator’ partners - and these firms don’t adopt a technology just for one project.

Word is also reaching me that other Drupal agencies are seeing sites put out to tender from large organisations, specifically requesting a Drupal solution.

Of course, we’ve had big projects use Drupal before - Lullabot did the Grammy awards website, helped Sony music do their artist websites, and more; Development Seed have done sites for the UN and World Bank; and Chapter Three, Phase2, and other well known agencies all have big clients under their belt.

But those clients were cool media companies, or worthwhile non-profits - companies with a passion or a cause bigger than money. Now, the big-money corporate world is coming - and that brings a bigger challenge.

Elephants and Tourists

One of my most interesting assignments as a journalist in the 90’s was to report from South Africa on the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s election victory. So much of that 3 week trip sticks in my mind - but one of the really compelling images that I can still picture so clearly is from a day when I visited the Kruger National Park.

My report that day was on tourism becoming a vital boost to the South African economy, with floods of visitors coming from the US, Japan and Europe. At the Kruger Park these tourists could drive round in their own cars to see wild animals in their natural habitat. But there, at the entrance to the park was a stark warning to be wary - a car, with the passenger compartment crushed to almost 30cm in height, was displayed on a plinth. It had been a car belonging to some tourists who - used to being able to go close to the elephants in the zoo - had decided to get too close to the elephants in the wild. One of the herd had been provoked, probably because the car got too close to their young - to stand on the car and crush it.

Even the largest Drupal companies are relatively small, and often made up of developers who just ended up running businesses. In the enterprise world we’re the tourists. When we enter their natural habitat we’re going to have to be careful.

Consider that this is also the week that the Drupal community started serious discussions on moving away from MySQL to use MariaDB. MySQL was once a growing and much-liked open source project like Drupal - which was then discovered by enterprise customers, and the big global consultancies. It wasn’t guided by an independent association like Drupal, and it ended up in commercial hands, changing owners until it became part of Oracle - who don’t seem so keen on its enduring success.

I’m not saying at all that Drupal’s adoption by enterprise clients is a bad thing. I genuinely think it’s fantastic, and to be celebrated - and we’ll be celebrating each new big project here on DrupalRadar.

But it is a challenge to us as a community. How do we ensure the project endures as a thriving open source project with a happy community? I believe Dries has made a lot of wise decisions in recent years to contribute to that, and the formation of the Drupal Association has been key. But we have a lot big issues to consider still.

What happens to the small Drupal shops and freelancers that have made Drupal what it is now? How can we ensure that they survive and thrive? Can we enable them to benefit from these big projects - or will they only ever be able to pick up the small projects? Will it become too difficult for them to recruit more developers and grow when enterprise customers start sucking the talent out of the market with large pay packets? How can we encourage large companies to engage with the community? Does it matter if they just take the software and ignore the community? If we want them to, how can we encourage them to allow their staff and consultants to contribute back to the community? And what else do we need to consider to make sure this coming opportunity benefits Drupal and its community long term?

These are the questions, over to you in the comments for some answers…

Comments

Steve,

You raise good questions, I would be happy to share my views.

First, big “elephants” have just one target: help their customers. Whatever the need is, whatever the solutions are, we must be targeted on just one thing: helping our customer to be successful. Big elephants will not have all the expertise, all the resources needed. Like we did in the past, we’ll onboard niche players. The Lullabot, Four kitchen & others will stay key players for us. Same for other shops that have expertise.

Second, there is the contribution and community management thing. This is very exciting time. The community is one of the critical strength of Drupal. The way we can collaborate with the community is a mix of classical approach ( we’ve been sponsoring a d.o sprint, DrupalCon Paris, contribution to modules & translations) and more innovative ones. I’ve been discussing with Dries about Business User Groups and the way our customers can help the community understand what they are waiting from Drupal, and helping Drupal with the power of its business customers. I thing this is a major step in the way our Drupal community can evolve.

That is a very exciting topic, you can count on us in the future to be part of it.

First, big “elephants” have just one target: help their customers. Whatever the need is, whatever the solutions are, we must be targeted on just one thing: helping our customer to be successful. Big elephants will not have all the expertise, all the resources needed. Like we did in the past, we’ll onboard niche players. The Lullabot, Four kitchen & others will stay key players for us. Same for other shops that have expertise. Lawyer

Engaging with the community is a sign of healthy engagement with Drupal itself. Companies that are willing to release their code are demonstrating their confidence in their own code and its usefulness to the wider community, and this will help to boost their reputation (one might argue that massive IT consultancies do not need to do this. cedar decks | cedar decking | western red cedar price | buy western red cedar | deck boards

I want to discuss on the web schooling as well as their own growing importance within the students and IT professionals.Here

are some the IT certifications qualifications you’ll be able to choose anyone of these:

000-102
642-457
mb2-868
000-105
000-107
mb2-867
000-106

That is correct in my opinion.
Grappig

This is a nice blog. Good clean UI and nice informative blog. Book of ra online

Thanks Your Post has a lot of great information and it has really helped me alot. Excellent post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it u.agra apartments

Very useful information. I was very pleased. Thanks

boyaci | boya | dekorasyon | çati
| dış cephe

My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

sewa sound system

I am glad to found such useful post. I really increased my knowledge after read your post which will be beneficial for me.check it out

I do wish there were more people like you around on the interwebs. Not many people are careful with their words, including myself sometimes. I have written things I would love to take back, goo work, keep it up. sewa mobil semarang

Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! all the best!
bingo

For such large-scale sites, performance is critical and we have great support from David Strauss and Four Kitchens. Pressflow, memcached, APC and a highly-tuned MySQL server all go into the mix, and Zeus provides an excellent reverse proxy and load balancing solution. Hausbaufirmen

This is a great inspiring Article.I am pretty much pleased with your good Work.You put really very helpful information .. online craps

Thanks for the points. I’m glad that I had pick up a few good ideas. We should all learn from each other to better equip ourselves with useful new knowledge. Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners. Thank you.

Great post, thanks for sharing such nice info that is really very useful, thanks again. airduct cleaning

Thanks a lot for sharing us about this update. Hope you will not get tired on making posts as informative as this. kostenlose casinospiele || backgammon online gratis

I appreciate your work. This information is really cool and lot informative. Keep this work up and make us knowledgeable. glücksrad

I appreciate your work. This information is really cool and lot informative. Keep this work up and make us knowledgeable. superslots

It is important to choose right one since the first time. Thank you for the tips.
Proper care will save money in long term.
spielothek spiele | kostenlos bingo spielen

I try to learn something new on different blogs regularly. It is always refreshing to read other posts of blogger and learn something from them.
spielautomaten online kostenlos spielen

The author has written an excellent article. You made your point and not much to discuss. It’s like this universal truth that you can not argue with the truth is not universal everything has its exception. Thanks for this information.
music network

this is very interesting. buy magic of making up thanks for that. we need more sites like this. magic of making up reviews i commend you on your great content and excellent topic choices.”

I like this concept and the way it is carried out in so light and cool manner. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.Houston Green Rated

your article and the web site all in all! The piece of writing is actually very plainly written Dallas One Story

You’re so cool! I don’t think I’ve read anything like this before. So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Thanks for starting this up. tava tea - sewa mobil semarang

I won’t waste my time watching an exhibition game, and especially not my money. But I will eagerly ready all about it the next day. glücksrad

The General Availability version will be released prior to the first customer shipment so that feedback can be gathered from the community.online kartenspiele | geldspiele

I have written things I would love to take back, goo work, keep it up. Not many people are careful with their words, including myself sometimes. I do wish there were more people like you around on the interwebs. melilea

This page iswhere I got the most useful information for my information gathering. Thanks for posting maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject?
Medical tourism

I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing information that is actually helpful. Good day!
this website

I am very interested for this post. This is by far one of the most good posts I read here and look forward for more such nice post. - toko sepatu online

Thanks for the marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice evening! Cookware Sets

mybet casino
Very interesting and useful discussion for me. I think this is a common problem for all parents so don’t worry about it.

Thanks guys for such a great comments, have a good luck

I try to learn something new on different blogs regularly. It is always refreshing to read other posts of blogger and learn something from them.
spielautomaten online kostenlos spielen

Please keep on posting such quality articles as this is a rare thing to find these days. I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Looking forward to another great blog. Good luck to the author! all the best!
Easily decompile embedded or compiled AutoIT scripts using Exe2Au

It seems that everybody is into this kind of stuff lately. Don’t really understand it though but thanks for trying to explain it. Appreciate you shedding light into this matter. Keep up your work.
wedding anniversary gifts

I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates. The usefulness and significance is overwhelming and has been invaluable to me!
http://www.quinielasnacionales.com

Thanks for taking this opportunity to discuss this.free cell phone spy software
Nokia mobiles

The information you have provided is outstanding. I was searching such type of content since long but finally today my search is over and all thanks to you. Your blog is not only educational but constructive too. Once again appreciation.
free cell phone spy software
cell spyware

This is a good post. This post give truly quality information.I’m definitely going to look into it.Really very useful tips are provided here.thank you so much.Keep up the good works.
clubmz reviews
clubmz e-spy

Your article shows you have a lot of background in this topic. Can you direct me to other articles about this? I will recommend this article to my friends as well. Thanks Korek Api Gas Fighter Indonesia | Margahayuland | Margahayuland | Yurosie | ide bagus

It is becoming increasingly important to maximise the amount you can borrow as banks are asking for larger deposits and offering lower …
rachat de credits | emprunt immobilier au meilleur taux fixe

to reduce body fat? You would be required to search for http://buyphen375customerreviews.blogspot.com/

This framework is called Immediate, and working on making this a great product, suitable for many customers, is where the main focus of my efforts are going. clubmz e-spy

This article contents is very useful to the reader, and the look of the blog is not boring. The next article hopefully better and more interesting the reader’s eye. PH meter

Amazingly insightful article. If only it was as easy to implement some of the solutions as it was to read and nod my head at each of your points :P
http://www.RockinTheHouse.com