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With more and more businesses looking to climb on the Web 2.0
bandwagon, there’s got to be a lot of opportunity for IT solution
providers who can bring the benefits of a Web 2.0 implementation to
end-user companies.
Looking to capitalize on that trend, Acquia has created a distribution
of open source Web 2.0 platform Drupal for blogs, communities, wikis
and other content forms, in addition to providing subscriptions to
support. The model follows how Red Hat has commercialized a Linux
distribution and subscription support, according to Jeff Whatcott, vice
president of marketing for Acquia.

Acquia announced its distribution of Drupal the first week in October,
and on Oct. 14 the company embraced the indirect model by introducing a
channel partner program targeted at IT consultants, hosting providers,
ISVs with complementary technologies, and value-added distributors and

The program functions more like an affiliate program than a true
reseller program, with partners realizing most of their revenues from
the consulting fee they charge to customers for putting together their
Web 2.0 implementation. Typically, implementations start at around
$25,000, according to Whatcott. Partners also receive a commission
ranging from 4 percent to 8 percent, depending on their tier in the

"Most partners make their businesses out of building sites on Drupal,"
said Chuck D’Antonio, channel chief at the company. "But when the site
was done, the end customer had nowhere to go to ask ongoing questions
other than to call integrator that built the site for them. Most of the
solution providers that do this aren’t in that business." So this
business model provides end customers with ongoing support that the
channel partner doesn’t necessarily want to provide.

Target end customers range from very small businesses to very large
ones, Whatcott said. For example, typical Drupal end-user organizations
include newspapers, publishing organizations, universities and
corporations such as Yahoo and AOL, which are using Drupal to power
developer communities, according to Whatcott.

And although Acquia’s partner program is launching with just 14
solution providers onboard, there are thousands of Drupal solution
providers working in the market today, according to Acquia estimates.

The four-tiered program offers Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels. Gold
partners do $15,000 of Acquia revenue per year and their own revenues
must be $2 million or more. Platinum partners must drive $100,000 or
more of Acquia revenues per year and their own revenues must be $4
million or more. Silver partners must sell three subscriptions per year.
Diamond partners are individually negotiated, and the company currently
does not have any Diamond partners.

Acquia will be vetting partner applications, and D’Antonio said the company will also be providing partners with customer leads.

In terms of commissions, Silver partners get about 4 percent, Gold
partners get about 6 percent and Platinum partners get about 8