Magento unveiled a number of bold new ideas at Imagine 2016. “We Are Magento” appropriately drives home a simple, meaningful pride that we at Classy Llama share with the greater Magento community. We are poised, ready and thrilled to continue building on a platform that keeps churning out newer and newer innovation. With so many bold ideas, unveiled at the Imagine 2016 conference in Las Vegas, we can’t wait to see the ripple effects this will have on the SMB merchant community.
For all of these groundbreaking announcements and events at Imagine 2016, one of the most moving and important moments of Imagine 2016 was during the Partner Summit. Perhaps it was my imagination, but on what seemed the verge of tears, Mark Lavelle detailed the Magento story since the eBay takeover. Many of you in the community have your own version of this story. Regardless of your view, I think everyone in that room would agree, Mark’s account was honest, insightful, and very personal.
It was clear that Magento isn’t just another company for Mark to run. He loves it. He loves Magento’s customers. He loves Magento’s community. He loves Magento’s future—empowering commerce in ways that we have yet to realize. Even though he did not found Magento, it feels like he did, like this is his home—his fifth child. This is absolutely key for Magento’s future. To have a leader who is truly invested and is willing to make sacrifices and hard decisions in order to see it succeed. A leader who believes in Magento and the community.
One part of Mark’s account is particularly important: when Mark realized the precarious position Magento was in, he sat down with Paul Boisvert and they made a commitment—that their say/do ratio needed to be as close to one-to-one as possible. Even prior to knowing this detail, I can tell you the Classy Llama team has been very aware of this position, because Magento has been delivering. And while the split from eBay was an important part of Magento’s evolution, we were able to see Magento was on track before the split even happened.
Mark has done a phenomenal job lifting up and empowering innovative and a diverse set of leaders. Those leaders, in turn, have enabled and empowered their teams to deliver. Not only has Mark empowered the leaders in his organization, but he and his team have recommitted to leaders in the community.
The theme of the conference was “We Are Magento,” and you could feel it. The energy was high. Many people walked away from the conference with the feeling that it was the best Imagine yet. The session content was on point. Shout out to Classy Llama’s Rob Tull for his breakout session talk on requirements gathering, called Winning the Requirements Game. And I want to mention both Rob Tull and Daniel Nettleton for their level of insight on the Payments Panel.
Merchants had peer-to-peer engagement and conversations dedicated to discussing their needs and opportunities. A significant portion of the Marketplace was committed to an Ask Magento forum. Magento polled the SI partners; and is making updates to the SI partner program as a result. At the partner summit, Mark made a definitive statement committing Magento to open source and Magento CE. A commitment that was, frankly, already implied when Magento decided to stay open source. In 2015, the Magento community created over 2,500 pull requests and issues for Magento 2.0.
The outcome of all this is that while certain announcements were previously unrevealed, their innovative and groundbreaking nature was not surprising. And these announcements are definitely groundbreaking. Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition is a Platform as a Service (PaaS)—the first of its kind. It will provide merchants with all the flexibility and features of Magento Enterprise and all the benefits of SaaS at the same time. It’s really the best of both worlds, and we look forward to diving in.
The Magento Marketplace is exciting because of the new quality control standards. Many people have described Magento Connect as the Wild West of extension stores. The Marketplace is intended to be the opposite of that, with robust code and functionality testing, curation, and ease of use.
Magento 2.1 (to be released in June), is chalk full of updates and new features, two of which are particularly exciting:
On a final note, the food, parties, events, design, and vibe of this show were off the hook. Best ever. If you didn’t attend, you really missed out. Make sure you come next year.
Thank you Magento, for hosting the best Imag… no, I’ll go further. Thank you for hosting the best Commerce Conference in the world.
Of course, no tradeshow experience is complete without some of our signature swag. This year we returned with our third annual edition of our legendary plush llama. “Louie,” as we called him, was a complete hit. In addition, we brought some brand new Classy Llama cape and mask kits. As you’ll see, these were a major success with kids and… uh grown up kids, alike.
Still want to know more? Check out the official highlights video from the conference.