James Horne @ Magento Imagine


M2 roadmap is incredible

The Roadmap for Magento 2 is both fantastic and aggressive the number of features planned for future versions of Magento within 2017 is  significant please see link here to the most recent information on this Roadmap

M2 is more flexible and innovative

A number of people questioned the change from Magento 1 to Magento 2.  I’ve come back from Magento Imagine realising that it was absolutely necessary for the platform at a framework level to take this leap into the future, they say innovate or die and if you look at the history of technology and the world, if a platform doesn’t innovate, improve, get faster, better then there is every chance that it will become irrelevant in the future. Magento has taken a bold move to drastically improve its platform at a framework level which was setup for the future and in fact make it more powerful  and more relevant then its key competitors like Demandware and Hybris which are now starting to be based on older and less open technologies.
The key advantages of Magento 1.X are that the modular nature of the framework makes it more flexible and easier to innovate within. This gives f5 like Balance Internet the ability to configure the platform to the customers specific needs but also to provide and develop custom applications plugins and functionalities that will allow the merchant to innovate and create unique IP to give it a competitive advantage in an ever increasingly competitive market.

Magento have employed some great people right across the business

Mal and myself came back from our visit to Imagine very confident that Magento as a business is in very safe hands. Over the last 18 months Magento has employed some incredibly talented and smart individuals and a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences to steer the future of the platform in a very strong way. These people without mentioning any particular names that Magento at a senior level has retained most or all of a key talented executives that have been with the business for over 2 years and augmented that with highly talented and high tactical individuals who provided direct value to both Mal at a product level  and myself at a marketing strategy level. The feedback, guidance and council  given was valuable and was able to put into action almost immediately

Magento has great partners and we share

This visit to Magento Imagine was terrific for me as over a course of 4 days I met and had diallog with over a dozen other key Magento partners in the global market place. Again without mentioning names a number of the key Magento partners in the world are now cooperating with Magento and each other to create a true strategic and tactical global offering with local surface and relevance. Balance Internet are at the forefront of facilitating global cooperation and global opportunities within the Magento community and are open to sharing and licensing IP it has developed around both delivery and functionality innovation that has been developed by others and using this within the Australian and APAC market. This provides enormous tactical and strategic benefits to our key customers and merchants in the Australian Apac market and allows us to aggressively innovate within the Magento framework.

Everyone is talking AI 

If you wanted to know what one of the buzz topics were at Imagine, it was about artificial intelligence and how this level of smarts can be adapted or implemented within the web environment,  at a base level this is personalisation and segmentation of websites in front-end based on customer behaviours and personners but in the future many more advanced AI technologies can be dovetailed into the world digital commerce and there will be some huge advantages in the near future.

Heaps of people talking BI not BS

Another hot topic of conversation at Magento Imagine was data driven commerce. There are a large number of advanced BI and analytical tools now available in the market that allow merchants to make informed tactical decisions on how they sell, what they sell and when they sell it. The digital strategy team at Balance Internet are looking at a wide variety of technologies in this space and will be looking at providing an update to our merchants on best practices, technologies and options in this area.

Options for B2B functionality in M2 are fantastic

One of the future versions of Magento has planned for advanced B2B functionality.

Balance Internet also have extensive experience and capabilities in creating, configuring & customising functionality within the Magento framework. To deliver a unique B2B experience or manufacturers, Wholesalers, Suppliers and Distributors in the Australian and APAC Market.

I like Nosto – Simple and makes sense

When walking the floor in the partner area I always try to look for technologies and solutions that will make sense for Balance Internet’s client partners. We already work extensively with Nosto. It was clear that the idea of personalised popups on websites is a simple tool that makes sense. It delivers relevant messaging to customer personas in real time and allows merchants to gather data which they can use for relevant opt-in marketing data that can be used for future tactical, marketing, automation Campaigns. We will be recommending Nosto to our clients in the future.

dotmailer and Akeneo work well with Magento

I am kind of stating the obvious here, but our old friends  Dotmailer and Akeneo continue to get better at integration and dovetailing in with Magento functionality. We are great supporters of these two complementary platforms and will continue to recommend Dotmailer to clients who require Marketing Automation and recommending Akeneo to client who require a PIM in the Australian and APAC Market.

Security of Magento Community is being addressed

One of the key challenges of a global open source, community platform like Magento is the challenges thrown out my poor implementations. A number of Magento’s competitors, throwout fear, uncertanty and doubt around Magento because of this weak support around poor implementation of community sites across the globe. Magento has aggressively addressed this issue and Mal and I went to a couple of talks which gave us extreme confidence around the quality of implementations as there are now tools being developed to monitore the quality and that this will help protect the brand from incorrect information that is being circulated.

Serena Williams is hard core

The keyenote speaker at Imagine
I personally sat at the front because I was fascinated to hear a story from someone who had been through such a challenging journey. The fact that she went from number 1 to below 400, back to number 1 was an incredible story of how you need to fight through challenges as an individual. I was quite overawed at how strong minded and resilient Serena sounded. It was impressive to hear from a person so successful. She is a great sports person and my opinion of Serena has only been enhanced.
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