June 28, 2018
Denial is the first reaction to change. Adobe acquisition of Magento has put the majority of the ecosystem in this stage. Everyone is expecting or should I say, wishing for Adobe to pull them up along with Magento. The developer community is optimistic that Adobe will respect their contributions to Magento and maintain its Open Source architecture. The partner network has marked the deal with a definitive seal of “Next Leap of Development”.
You, the retailer are doubtful about the effect the acquisition may have on your eCommerce site, related costs and support.
Let’s get you straight to the last stage – “Acceptance” – It’s time for you to move beyond Magento Commerce. Reasons are more than one, but for the sake of time, we will just discuss two of them – The Adobe Acquisition and Magento 2 migration.
Let’s talk about the acquisition! Some will benefit and others will be stuck in a Limbo.
Magento’s Large Customers
Read a little more about the acquisition, and you will figure that the key benefit of the product synergies is focussed on Magento’s large customers, who would benefit from Adobe’s Digital experience product portfolio. No one has so far mentioned a plan or benefit for the small and medium retailers.
Historically, Magento has focussed on small and medium businesses, but its recent entry into Enterprise Grade commerce was the biggest deal maker for the acquisition. It’s fairly obvious where the focus of the combined product will lay.
Adobe’s Big Win
Adobe has been sniffing around to acquire commerce capability to complement their CX (customer experience) suite and compete with others who acquired eCommerce companies in the last decade. The motive is to offer end-to-end digital experience solution to large and extra-large enterprises. And that is where the money is. Additionally, Adobe gets to make in-roads into the vast partner network of Magento that cover businesses from all spectrum.
Who’s going into the State of Limbo?
The Partner Community
The channel partner ecosystem of Adobe consists of 8-10 eCommerce providers and even if we assume that it will keep the integrations open with other platforms, it is uncertain on how technical support and even leads will be prioritised and distributed.
The Magento Partner community has not even stabilised from the re-architecture and release of version 2, how will it deal with another mammoth challenge of waiting a couple of years for Adobe to re-architect again to integrate with the Adobe CX Suite and then integrating with Adobe’s partner network. Magento’s platform is dependent on its partner community with vendors in customer experience platform, web analytics and marketing automation. How will the channels be integrated, if they do, where will the synergies sway?
Adobe may even create a new channel strategy, which may or may not be suitable to Magento’s existing partners owing to conflicting interests. There is a lot of uncertainty around how existing partner apps be impacted and supported for current Magento sites.
The Developer Community
Adobe is a proud proprietary software company with highly orthodox principles on sharing anything. We all know what happened with Flash and the story of its demise. The expectations that it will keep the Magento platform open source for the community is conflicting to the way it has conducted business so far. Even, if it does oblige to let developers leverage Magento’s sources code, how much support will it offer. Will Adobe infuse any money in further nurturing the community or supporting it?
Adobe partners with Microsoft Azure for cloud services while Magento has been reimagined for cloud through Platform.sh on AWS. This creates a fundamental conflict in platform integration and product performance.
Historically, eCommerce software company acquisitions by IBM, Salesforce, Oracle and others have significantly increased the cost of ownership of eCommerce software and restricted focus to large and extra-large customers.
Then, the eCommerce software is offered as part of a big suite, which makes them:
Rigid and cumbersome to deploy
Difficult to integrate with other internal software
Dependant on IT resources for maintenance and updates
The Adobe acquisition of Magento is likely to follow similarly and will ultimately impact your eCommerce site and cost of operations and maintenance.
Current Magento issues will amplify!
Magento 2 is an inherently different platform, so websites running on Magento 1 will need to be rebuilt in order to switch over. Moreover, migration comes at a price. In order to upgrade from Magento 1.x, first merchants need to re-platform to Enterprise Edition 2.x. Then they have to convert to Enterprise Cloud Edition. The cost and effort add up.
If you have to re-platform already, at a higher cost, why not assess the market again? Your customers have evolved and so have the latest generation eCommerce platforms. Take this opportunity to re-assess your customers’ expectations and align your eCommerce goals with it.
It’s not stable Yet!
Moving to Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition is a multi-step process. Magento 2 is not yet stable, and the development community is still catching up on building themes and extensions.
Lose what you own
Since Magento 2 is still relatively new there aren’t yet that number compatible themes and extensions with the new release. It will take time for the development community to catch up.
To make things worse, Magento 1 themes can’t be transferred to Magento 2 and have to be built from scratch. Any extensions you currently have integrated with your Magento 1 platform can’t be ported to Magento 2. So you’ll have to buy them again, and then spend money integrating them with Magento 2.
Every store running on Magento 1.x will have to upgrade or re-platform by a currently undefined date after November 2018. Once Magento 1 phases out completely, community and enterprise users could lose customer and app store support along with their access to upgrades and security patches.
There is a lot more to this but I will stop here to let you absorb all this.
In the overall eCommerce retail, small and medium businesses play a critical role and it is imperative that eCommerce platform providers are considerate of SMB retail and make provisions for them when laying down new product or business rules. With Magento, it now seems impossible for small and medium retailers to fancy a fully functional and optimized digital commerce channel without going through the rigmarole of all the changes happening in the product, business and most importantly, in the mindset.
This presents a timely opportunity for SMB retailers to explore the latest generation of eCommerce platform providers who have built their product ground-up for scalability and agility. Platforms such as Omnicx are built on micro-services and API driven architecture that can help retailers build a future-proof eCommerce store.