Chai Break with Neeraj Kumar, CEO, Valuebound

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For this segment of Chai Break, we caught up with Neeraj Kumar, CEO of Valuebound, a Drupal development company, actively involved in developing content management solutions for Media, Publishing, and IT industries apart from other large enterprises in various sectors. Neeraj emphasized on the emerging landscape of Content Management System (CMS), and how Drupal could help in creating a more secure web space going forward.

PW: What are three key points to remember when choosing a CMS platform?

Neeraj: Business requirement is the key criteria when narrowing down on a CMS platform to opt for. As per a Forrester Report, two important considerations are‒ a solution that allows for more customization and flexibility, as well as integrations with other solutions to support digital customer experiences, and a system which is focused on more than just cost reduction.

An open source application allows for downloading the entire systems to evaluate different criteria. Even after that, different types of enterprises would have different priorities. For instance, for a platform like Commonfloor, which used Drupal as a backend CMS, scalability, API driven content syndication across multiple products and content authoring workflow were deciding factors. For a company like weather.com, getting live updates for 250 million+ user without delay is the necessity. For government sites like NASA, security is of prime importance.

PW: What will be a key trend in CMS that will define or disrupt the future?

Neeraj: CMS is continuously evolving. For instance, Drupal, which is supported by a community of developers, upgrades regularly, or new functionalities are released almost every other day. The best way to stay relevant is to stay ahead of the crowd. Be in sync with what technology has to offer. The major disruptors are likely to be:

  1. CMS as a Service: has great potential to deliver richer, faster, and unified user experiences across different channels including touchscreen devices.
  2. Adaptive CMS: where content itself is separate from CMS. CMS doesn’t own your content. Content can be hosted separately on a different server as backend services. CMS would become part of the framework which will provide different adapters to connect to different services.
  3. Artificial Intelligence: will help businesses deliver personalized content, intelligent campaigns, and experience-driven commerce.
  4. Data Driven Content Personalization: is vital for businesses as it helps in building a relationship and trust with the customer. Now having only personalized content is not enough, it has to be delivered in context.

PW: What do you think is pivotal to creating a successful omnichannel content strategy?

Neeraj: Omnichannel is all about providing a seamless user experience across all channels. While creating a device-agnostic content strategy, we need to put emphasis on context, have relevant information about prospects/customers, and more importantly, focus on creating an experience which adapts to channels. Keeping your marketing technology stacks handy can be another crucial step that can bolster reader’s engagement.

PW: What is one of your defining moments in your professional space?

Neeraj: We were one of the first Drupal firms which started working on Drupal 8. This was way back in 2015, when Drupal 8 was not even launched. TIME Inc. was looking for a partner in Bangalore that had good capability to work on their idea which could be implemented on their future Drupal 8 based platform and we were selected for the same. It was a great success story. We became one of the leading firms providing development and consulting for Drupal 8 Migration.

PW: How is Drupal solving growing concern among web security?

Neeraj: Well, there are different myths debunked around open source CMS being insecure. I’d argue that Drupal is one of the most secure open source CMS, constantly being watched by a team of 40 security experts hailing from different geographical locations across three continents. They work in tandem for security enhancement. In fact, their job is to identify the vulnerabilities, make security patches, and release vulnerabilities documentation and security advisories to prevent security-related issues in codebase.

However, if you don’t update your Drupal CMS, there are chances that it may not be secure. Updating it as and when required makes it a secure CMS. This is the reason why large enterprises and organizations with sensitive data are using Drupal as a preferred CMS. UNESCO, NASA, Tesla Motors and Cartier are some of the most prominent users.

PW: Why should Indian startups adopt Drupal as their preferred CMS platform?

Neeraj: For startups, priorities are different. Quite a few of them are still to see the light of profitability. One of the biggest decision points for them is which marketing technology platform they can choose that isn’t too expensive, can scale up with their aspirations, and still remain flexible enough to accommodate the changes of a constantly evolving business scenario. Drupal, with a community of one million plus developers, with no yearly licensing cost and a system that can be integrated with every other system suits the needs of startups well. This has been already proven by many successful startups in India. Flipkart uses Drupal to manage the sellers learning platform, Zoho is using Drupal to run their website as a marketing platform, Commonfloor uses Drupal in their back-end to manage their content generation workflow and for re-purposing the content across different platforms.

Profile

Neeraj Kumar, the CEO of Valuebound is a senior consultant with a proven track record as project manager/Drupal Architect with a result-oriented drive.

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