Today is the first day of the conference and there where several large announcements worth noting to people that engage the Magento platform at any level. As a quick summary those major announcements include:
There were major upgrades applied to both editions of Magento sharing the ability to set group base pricing and allowing more flexibility in specifying customer groups. Other notable "global" enhancements include significant upgrades in the coupon system with regard to auto-generation, and for the developers a HUGE thank goodness on the addition of a REST API.
This was a natural segway into detailed discussion on the major enhancements coming in Magento version 2 where features that greatly automated management of store layouts and design were introduced/presented during the opening keynote. Also the new ability to preview and adjust pages that required workflow steps first (such as the checkout process) without having to step through that process will greatly increase the efficiency of development firms making critical adjustments. The Magento 2 release is estimated to be sometime in the first two quarters of 2013 and will truly help retailers/developers make high value adjustments to the shopping experience in a quarter of the time it takes today. There is a very serious focus right now for the platform on making the backend and frontend experience become more streamlined.
With regard to eBay's aquisition of Magento and the larger group that governs their efforts, X.Commerce is making serious strides to assist in the consolidation of technology while introducing new capabilities in a constantly evolving consumer technology setting. Their focus will be on adding valuable software packages that help provide new optionsto business challenges facing retailers today. These challenges include multi-channel management, order fulfillment, and general logistics (to name a few).
Magento is clearly defining itself as the premium enterprise open source provider in the eRetail marketplace. This is unsettling the industry dramatically as large solution sellers are offering less features lateral scalability for very high investment costs. It will be certainly interesting to see how these previously unchallenged Enterprise vendors respond to Magento's fast moving and feature rich platform.
If you want to know more about the upcoming changes and the future of Magento don't hesitate to reach out us. Our team is here to ensure that all of our clients are getting the most out of their storefront platforms.