Is Drupal Right for You?

The Advantages of Open Source

Mon, 03/17/2008 - 11:47pm

I talk about Drupal pretty much all the time.  The reasons for this vary greatly, but one of the primary reasons is that it's really easy to get passionate about something this big.  See Drupal is kind of new to Oklahoma, and Oklahoma web design shops for sure, but that doesn't mean that it's "new".  Drupal's been around for more than 6 years now and in that time, it has become a force to be reckoned with.  There were literally over 700 developers who helped to work on Drupal 6, to make it the best product they could.  And already those same developers are getting geared up to create Drupal 7, talking about where it will go, and what features it will have, and how they're going to really grow this product.

We got into Drupal over 2 years ago now, and since then, we've switched over completely from our own proprietary content management system to this one.  We've helped to create new modules, we've contributed to the core of Drupal 6, and soon we'll start releasing our own product lines based on Drupal.  We freed our customer base to do business with us, not because they HAVE to, but because they want to, and we've freed our developers to the nearly limitless expanse of other developers willing and ready to help us create new products, not just for ourselves, but for this greater community we now participate in.

I'm sure our local Oklahoma based competition thinks that we're nuts, but then we think the same of them.  Politics often works that way.  Very similar people can agree on all the major points of conflict and still come to completely different end results.

Ultimately, I have to do what's best for my customers, and I just don't see locking them into a proprietary solution as being the proper choice for any of them.  We don't have lines of products that we sell here... not to say that's a bad thing... marketing-wise it's pure genius, and I'd love to see us get to that point... but with that said, what we do have that makes us unique among all our competitors are a couple of things:

  1. None of our competitors have been around for 25 years
  2. None of them (that I know) are offering a CMS solution you can take with you

The Worx Company hasn't been around for 25  years either, but Meridian Data Systems, our parent company, has. Meridian has built stuff you know... if you drive across any of the TurnPikes in Oklahoma, then you're probably familiar with the PikePass.  Meridian was significant in the implementation of that solution.  If you've tried to keep up with the weather ever, chances are you've seen StormTracker, which Meridian also built.  If you're from elsewhere in America, it's almost certainly the same StormTracker they talk about on your local TV stations because it was sold and installed in at least 83 other locations nationwide after it's initial development by Meridian.

As I said, none of our competitors are offering you a CMS solution that you can keep... that's not to say there aren't freelancers in Oklahoma who wouldn't put Drupal, or some other Open Source solution in place for you, but I don't know of any of our corporate competitors who would even suggest such a thing.  In the 25 years of business that Meridian has existed, we've never signed a contract with any company requiring us to sell a quota of their product... this is because we want the flexibility to do what's right for our customers.  Drupal happens to be "right" for almost every because it just happens to be that flexible.  Does that mean we won't implement other things?  Of course not, we will find the tool that fits the job and apply it properly, but it does mean that we've been here for a very long time, doing word of mouth business with one company and then another, and then another... all because we're committed to doing a good job for each one of them.  We'd love to tell you more about it it in person, so do feel free to contact us.

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