November 3, 2022

Experiencing Digital Freedom at Acquia Engage

Josh Hoekwater

SVP of Strategic Partnerships

As a long-standing Acquia partner we were thrilled to be a part of this year's Acquia Engage conference in Miami, FL – the first in-person Engage since 2019 – both as a participant and a sponsor. With travel budgets and comfort levels with large-scale live events not necessarily restored to pre-pandemic levels, the format was a little different than years past. The Miami event served as the kickoff for Acquia’s global Digital Freedom Tour that will include condensed versions of the Miami Engage agenda in cities across North America, Asia and Europe between now and the middle of 2023. 

It was exciting to reconnect with our industry peers, subject matter experts from across the Acquia ecosystem, and some of the world’s most recognizable brands who are building and managing compelling digital experiences on the Acquia platform. Beyond making connections (and soaking up a little warm weather and sunshine while we were at it), we found the content of this year’s event to be especially well-curated and crafted – providing a really nice mix of Acquia product messaging with real-world customer stories and experiences to prove out the promise of the Acquia toolset. We’ve captured three of our biggest takeaways below. 


  1. Scale and speed to market remain top-of-mind from brands. Three of the many featured Acquia customer stories at the conference focused on addressing the challenges that accompany deploying and managing large numbers of sites at scale. Digital leaders from Stanley Black & Decker, MARS and Bayer all touched on how their organizations leveraged Acquia’s purpose-built toolset, including Acquia Site Factory and Site Studio, to help marketers efficiently build, deploy and maintain sites while providing flexibility to build the experiences they need for their business. Speakers focused on the need for governance and enablement – two topics that are very close to our hearts. As an agency with extensive experience in helping our clients architect, build and maintain multi-site experiences (see case studies for J&J, UL, and MedDeviceCo), we were encouraged by the continued emphasis on real-world use cases for Acquia’s multi-site solution and we’re eager to bring that expertise to our clients and prospects.                         
  2. Acquia has a DAM fine [ahem] DAM. Pun definitely-intended, as it was the dozens of times it was used throughout the event. Puns aside, Acquia’s acquisition of Widen, announced just over a year ago, was truly a game changer for the Acquia DXP. And with a year of integration and shared customers under their belt, the story of Acquia DAM (Widen) took center stage in Miami. Representatives from McCormick, Phillips 66, and Autodesk (one of whom even had the title of “DAM librarian”!) shared their particular challenges with managing large volumes of brand assets, ensuring consistency and governance of the brand, and making global changes at scale. While the nuances for each customer situation were different, it was clear why Widen has been the market leader in the space for years as the flexibility and configurability of the solution were elements that the panelists highlighted. Additionally, speakers provided practical tips and watch outs for brands who may be just beginning to embark on their DAM journey. We’re excited for the additional integrations and connections that Acquia DAM has in the works, ensuring that many of our clients – even those utilizing a different platform for their content management needs – can take advantage of the best-in-breed tool that is Acquia DAM.
  3. The future is composable. A big part of “experiencing digital freedom” is choice. Choice for marketers to utilize the tools and features that best fit their needs and integrate them into their martech stack. Acquia has made it clear that they strive to be the most open digital experience platform available on the market. Smart product innovations coupled with strategic acquisitions in recent years demonstrate their commitment to marketers, developers and data scientists. Acquia products include features such as journey orchestration interfaces, low-code/no-code site builders, purpose-built devops tooling and machine learning rule builders to compose the digital experiences that will help move businesses forward. This commitment to helping customers experience digital freedom was emphasized in the last session of the conference that highlighted Acquia’s composable commerce solution powered by commercetools. As more of our clients continue on their transformation journeys, we’re excited about the prospect of deploying a composable commerce solution that seamlessly integrates content and commerce in support of an exceptional customer experience.


The product deep dives, customer stories, and practical digital transformation tips were extremely informative and enriching throughout the event. But our business, like most other industries, still comes down to relationships. And for us, that was the most important takeaway from our Engage visit. Acquia truly values the ecosystem of employees, partners and customers that have fueled its growth over the last decade and demonstrated that commitment throughout the event by providing unique and memorable ways for attendees to create connections. From the Genuine-sponsored smoothie bike (a huge hit!) to thoughtfully curated evening receptions, Acquia’s carefully planned event gave attendees the freedom to learn, grow and connect. But that’s just the beginning. We’re looking forward to catching up with Acquia’s Digital Freedom Tour at several stops in the months ahead. 

Planning to attend? Let us know! Whether you’re considering exploring Acquia for the first time, or you’re a seasoned Acquia customer looking to extract the most value out of your investment, we’d love to help. Drop us a line!