Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on January 11th, 2010

A Total Cost of Ownership Comparison For Open Source Social Publishing

Acquia – a commercial enterprise founded by the Drupal project leader (Dries Buytaert) to provide essential community modules, enterprise-grade support, expertise, and services on top of their free core Drupal offering – has released a new whitepaper that compares the total cost of ownership for Open Source Social Publishing over proprietary Content Management systems, Social Business alternatives, and other community building software programs. You can download the whitepaper for free (upon registration) at the hyperlink above. Read on for a broad overview of the findings.

Money, Money, Money

Acquia’s analysis compares the cost of license and support, professional services, and overall momentum of the free Open Source platform, Drupal, to other proprietary products. The study provides data to support that Open Source is now not only a cost alternative, but an innovation alternative, to proprietary products.

Acquia Drupal license costs are zero, whether used for a single domain that only receives a few hundred visitors a year, or driving hundreds of micro sites on a global music publisher’s site handling thousands of visitors an hour. Acquia also offers a Drupal Network Enterprise premium support package at $8,000 a year, or $40,000 for five years. This support cost is only 2 to 11 percent the cost of proprietary or white label alternatives for social publishing.

Overall, Drupal provides a significant project cost savings of roughly 25 to 30 percent over a proprietary vendors’ professional services.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Tired of having a private, proprietary group of less than a few dozen management wizards whip you up the platform you need for a “special” price? There are currently around 700 contributors to the Drupal core (again, which is free). As an annual release, this means that Drupal development receives 35-person years behind each major version.

With the advent of more social interaction and user-generated content being the main driver of online commerce, online marketing success is no longer driven by “outbound” techniques – where businesses are buying contacts and relationships. Companies must now embrace “inbound” techniques, creating engaging, highly interactive relationships with their user communities. Social Publishing is now imperative for any organization looking to do business in the 21st Century.

Power Shift

Online buyer behavior has matured over the last decade, fervently seeding competition and allowing more innovative solutions to address evolving needs. As Acquia states it so clearly in their whitepaper conclusion: “the Drupal Open Source project and community has without question reached critical mass”.

Volacci is a strong supporter of Open Source, Acquia, and the Drupal community, and we are very grateful to be a leader in Drupal Search Engine Optimization. If you would like to learn more about the total cost savings of Open Source, Drupal, Search Engine Optimization, or Internet Marketing for your business and website, give us a call or fill out our contact sheet and our amazingly gentle and pleasant Account Manager, Josh Ward, will give you a call at your convenience.