This continues the trend of various government bodies around the world using Open Source software -- and especially Drupal to power their official websites.
The United States House of Representatives has become the latest large government organization to transition their web presence to Drupal, and in a really big way. Currently the House hosts approximately 520 unique websites on a mix of over a dozen proprietary and open source content management platforms, and soon they'll all be powered by Drupal. When the House went looking for a platform to standardize their web presence on, they chose Drupal because it met their requirements to:
- Accommodate hundreds of independent websites, each with different sets of features.
- Provide the ability to deploy new sites quickly and efficiently.
- Enable House Members to use the web designer or developer of their choice by leveraging the Drupal community.
The House worked with a number of Drupal experts for this project, including Acquia, Phase2 Technology and Ingalls Information Security. The team developed, validated, and delivered the Drupal 7 platform that will be used by both individual House Member sites and Committee sites. Here are some examples of recently deployed sites (a complete list can be found at http://house.gov/house/news.shtml): http://sewell.house.gov, http://hanabusa.house.gov/, http://womack.house.gov/.
With the deployment of the House Drupal platform, the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) of the House of Representatives is soliciting Drupal development firms who wish to be vetted for an Approved Vendors List. These approved vendors may then be called on by various Representative offices and Committees (the End Customers). During the next phase of the project, End Customers will look to engage vendors to create custom websites on the House Drupal platform. These vendors can range from small to large firms and may provide services such as visual design, Drupal theming, custom module development, or other related services that the House may need. Each End Customer will have the authority to independently hire approved vendors to develop on top of the House's new Drupal platform.
The CAO will be accepting submissions to qualify vendors on an ongoing basis and is requesting an initial group of submissions by January 28th. If you are interested in being on the qualified vendor list, then please download this document for more information.
The intent of creating the list of qualified vendors is to make it easy for elected officials and other offices within the House to connect with vendors when they are in need of services. With the new House Drupal platform in production, and the freshmen class of the 112th Congress arriving in Washington this past week, there will be plenty of opportunities for qualified vendors.
Telenet, the largest provider of broadband cable services in Belgium, wants happy customers, and customers are happy when they can solve any problems or answer any questions concerning a company's products on their own, or by simply calling a friendly helpful client advisor.
Telenet recently decided that their proprietary knowledge base -- known as the "Rolls Royce" of knowledge bases, was too expensive, hard to use, and that the vendor behind it was slow to respond to change requests or to fix bugs. Taking matters into their own hands they decided to develop the new knowledge base using Drupal.
Enlisting the help of Dataflow and Acquia, they managed to not only recreate the functionality of the old knowledge base, they enhanced it to have new features as well, such as awesome faceted search powered by Apache Solr. In fact, the new Drupal based solution was developed and launched using just the budget that Telenet had set aside for maintenance and bug fixing for the former proprietary knowledge base software!
One other cool feature is that Telent's client advisors use one copy of the knowledge base inside the Telenet firewall, and have special permissions to see extra inward facing content, while Telenet's customers access a copy of the site that lives outside of the firewall. You can check out the external knowledge base at http://onlinesupport.telenet.be/ .
Telenet is happy enough with the new website that there are more Telenet-built, Telenet-hosted Drupal sites on the way.