How DOI paired OpenPublic and IBM Softlayer Cloud to create “The Next Big Thing” in Drupal Platforms

Experience level: 
Session Track: 

Business and Strategy

The purpose of this track is two-fold - one angle helps you to understand the advantages of Drupal from an organizational leadership angle and the other is to highlight the great Drupal sites and projects you're working on and to show what's possible. These sessions are business focused, and will be non-technical.

Like many federal agencies, the Department of the Interior contended with the cost and complexity of myriad individual web sites. Managed separately – and on disparate stacks – these sites:

  • Induced high fixed operational costs,
  • Limited the department’s flexibility to respond to visitor traffic fluctuations,
  • And made third party integrations and mobile applications expensive and difficult to support.

Sound familiar?

The solution was partnering with IBM and Phase2 to create an agency-wide platform that can be reused by other government agencies. OpenPublic, Phase2’s Drupal distribution for government, provided key functionality, while the IBM SoftLayer cloud provided an enterprise-scalable PaaS infrastructure to create the IBM Drupal PaaS offering for DOI and the Public Sector. Each site migrated to the platform retains its domain, separate database table structure, and site design, and each can be administered and updated separately by the agency team currently managing it. As a result, site administrators kept control of each site, but they are now hosted in a reasonably priced, elastic, enterprise-level cloud environment.

In this case study, members of the DOI, IBM, and Phase2 teams will explore the specs of integrating the OpenPublic distribution on IBM SoftLayer cloud, delving into how it enabled the Department of Interior to enhance its digital strategy and lower its operational costs. We’ll also explore the future of the platform, discussing how other federal agencies can leverage  Interior’s work.