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Drupal Digital Experience Platform for Scale, Speed and Innovation

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By Jason Want

Principal Software Engineer

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Nestlé Purina PetCare Company’s new HubX digital platform, developed in partnership with Nerdery, and utilizing Drupal and Acquia, revolutionized a global content publishing process. Today, this central hub provides a clear view of all the digital properties, ensures branding remains consistent across websites, and even standardizes and streamlines content authoring tools, third-party integrations and analytics. 

With success on three fronts — scale, speed and innovation — Nerdery and Purina’s partnership on the project became a recent spotlight for an Acquia webinar. I was honored to speak to the work behind the success of this project alongside Jill Taylor, Senior Digital Product Lead, Purina and Ryan Picchini, Director of Product Marketing, Acquia. 

View the full webinar here, or read on for key insights on how to capitalize on innovation and achieve economies of scale and a fast time to market by utilizing open-source software like Drupal and a customer-centric strategy.

How did Purina and Nerdery utilize Drupal to develop a solution to house 79 sites under one umbrella, creating consistency and governance across the company?

We set out to consolidate disparate website technologies into a single digital experience platform in order to streamline and accelerate the idea-to-launch process and to eliminate costs associated with multiple providers and vendors. To that end, Nerdery and Purina have successfully transitioned many existing Purina customer brand web and digital properties onto this platform.

By utilizing a single platform and by having one product owner and centralized content production teams, Purina now employs a governance model to coordinate and prioritize individual brand initiatives, marketing-driven timelines, compliance and accessibility.

How has using a Drupal-Contrib First approach boosted Purina’s ability to scale and significantly increase their speed to market?

A Drupal Contrib-First Approach guides development teams and client stakeholders to create a development roadmap that aligns with the Drupal core release schedule in order to maximize the reusability and extensibility of Drupal and its free community-contributed solutions.

With this approach, Purina stakeholders partnered with Nerdery to decide which technical solutions to readily adopt from existing solutions and which features needed custom development effort. As active participants within the Drupal community, Nerdery’s Drupal experts know how to evaluate existing secure and supported modules that will satisfy business requirements. This enabled Purina to accelerate feature development by adopting and extending existing solutions, such as PriceSpider and Bazaarvoice Drupal modules, versus creating them from scratch.

This digital experience platform includes content authoring tools and integrations which allowed Purina to scale out usage to Purina Canada and Purina Latin America operations and into new unplanned use cases. These core content authoring tools and the underlying Acquia Site Factory technology enable Purina to quickly create new websites on demand. This allows Purina to spin up sites in response to customer and constituent needs in a manner of days and weeks, such as when they addressed a community need with www.petsupportalliance.com in response to COVID-19. Additionally, Purina is able to extend the use of the platform to serve other internal Purina stakeholder’s needs; for example, creating an online educational program, https://www.dailynutritionmatters.com/, designed to educate consumers about nutrition for dogs and cats.

How did the solution turbo-charge Purina’s innovation?

By employing a Drupal Contrib-Frist Approach, Purina benefits in two ways: unlocking resources for other investments and creating robust and reusable solutions.

When approaching business requirements, Nerdery and Purina choose technical solutions that satisfy the business requirements and deliver the most value with the least effort. In doing so, Purina can refocus their resources on other investments, such as creating innovative experiences like Purina Pet Food Finder Experience and marketing support for innovative products such as Pro Plan LiveClear Allergen Reducing Cat Food.
Additionally, when new brand feature requests are made, Nedery’s contrib-first approach and development methodology prioritizes impact to create secure, robust, flexible and reusable content authoring tools that enable Purina’s stakeholders to communicate effectively with their customers, such as the Multiple 404 Page Not Found error pages and the Cloudflare IP Geolocation Modal modules. Nerdery and Purina collaborate in selecting one-time solutions or innovative solutions that continue to deliver value beyond their original use case.

The combination of Purina’s passion for pets and Nerdery’s passion for Drupal allows our project team members to collaboratively innovate on the right solutions to enable Purina to better meet their customers’ needs. Learn more about our partnership.