Magento partner meeting – Part 1

Last Wednesday (22nd June 2011), I attended the Magento Strategic Partner meeting with our CEO, David Walsh, and our eBusiness Director, Tom Meehan. The event was a great chance to meet the Magento team, understand what exciting new developments are in the pipeline and meet (or should that be to size up?!) the competition.

I found the event really useful and it was great to finally be able to put a face to some of the names that I have been communicating with at Magento over these past weeks (Scott, Bob, Kristel, Michel et al).

Of course, the topic of the day was the recent acquisition of Magento by eBay and it’s expected impact on the future of Magento and its partners. “Will Magento continue to exist in its current incarnation?”, “What impact will there be on partner revenues?”, “Will the platform remain open source?” were some of the questions rattling around in my head. Although, the best I could manage when asked was a somewhat strangled “eBay, ….erm what does it all mean?”. And I guess the difficulty when discussing this subject is that it is so early in the process that we are all (partners, customers and Magento themselves) still trying to get some perspective on the announcement to figure out what the longer term implications of this acquisition will be.

Intuitively one has to feel that the purchase by one of the world’s truly huge online businesses can only be a good thing for Magento’s long term future. Magento President, Bob Schwarz’s view on this, after discussions with the eBay team, is that eBay are committed to “bringing buyers and sellers together online”. In this model, X.commerce is not an alternative eCommerce solution, but rather a “collection of eCommerce-enabling technologies” among which Magento is the core eCommerce engine. From a partner perspective, the option is open for us to then harness the full suite of technologies to drive our customer’s online businesses forward.

So, on balance, my view is that we are in for exciting times ahead.

That’s probably enough from me for now. I’ll cover the other highlights from the evening in a later post.