Partner Spotlight

Appnovation is an Alfresco Platinum Partner and is a pioneer in Alfresco and Drupal working on integrating the platforms since 2009.

Mercy Health Systems has a network of over 400 healthcare providers, hospitals and clinics throughout the Midwest and last year they partnered with us to develop their intranet portal project called “Baggot Street.”  The goal was to create “One Mercy,” a system to unify their 38,000 employees that were using a mix of different technologies on separate support structures scattered throughout their different locations.

Mercy had already chosen to use the open source CMS Drupal; however, Drupal out of the box did not provide a document management solution flexible enough to meet their business requirements. Mercy determined that Alfresco was the best document platform to serve as its backend content repository for all its Drupal Web properties based on ease of integration, ability to support the enterprise, usability and cost.

For this integration, Appnovation leveraged its existing Canopy solution, which provides a set of services and APIs used to accelerate the integration of Drupal and Alfresco in an enterprise environment. Canopy combines the flexibility of Drupal as a front-end web development platform with the power of Alfresco as an enterprise content management and workflow system.

The project resulted in support cost savings by moving from various platforms into the single instance, increased employee productivity due to the simplified ease-of-use and search functionality as well as audit risk mitigation thanks to the fully audited Policy Tracking application that was implemented.  With Alfresco and Drupal, Mercy now has one unified location where all 38,000 co-workers can access information across Mercy’s various geographic locations and data stores.

Now rewind five years…Appnovation started as a Drupal development shop in 2007 and after high demand from their customers for a true ECM system of record, they turned to Alfresco in 2009. From there, we began to work with customers and partners at Alfresco and Acquia to blaze the trail around integration of Drupal and Alfresco.  As the demand grew, Appnovation developed a solution for its customers that allowed for quick and easy integration of Drupal and Alfresco’s best features in an integrated solution—users could get the benefits of Drupal’s scalable web platform for presentation with the ability to take advantage of the processes around content that Alfresco provided. This early iteration of Canopy ended up winning “Alfresco Partner Solution of the Year in 2012” and was successfully implemented for Canopy anchor customers like Mercy Health.

Just as we had been seeing demand for Drupal/Alfresco integrations, we also began to see even more demand for the tagline of The Canopy Initiative: “Enabling Open Source in the Enterprise.”  This demand came from more integration use cases that required a larger open source enterprise architecture that would include Drupal for the Web presentation layer across multiple Web properties, tied in with Alfresco as the core ECM repository with the use of Mulesoft ESB to integrate multiple other enterprise systems.

In realizing there was no single out of the box solution that could provide this integration platform, Appnovation decided to create the Canopy Initiative that would include seven key pillars put forth to the enterprise community to help “Enable Open Source in the Enterprise.”

The  “Seven Pillars of Canopy “ consist of:

  • Partner Alignment Activities
  • Partner Enablement Activities
  • Reference Architectures
  • Best Practices for Integration
  • An Open Sourced Code Base
  • Customer Councils
  • Customer Case Studies

We recently proposed this initiative to partners at Alfresco, Acquia and Mulesoft and they all agreed that working together to promote enterprise open source adoption would be highly beneficial to all customers involved.

Interested in seeing more? Be sure to check out the full case study on Mercy Health Systems and listen in to the Webinar from this week discussing the launch of The Canopy Initiative.


About the author

James Heise

As the Senior Director of Business Development at Appnovation, James drives the technical vision of the company. He also manages Appnovation’s technology partner relationships and new business development initiatives.

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