eCommerce Merchants Demand More
Magento is built on solid ideals, principles and sound engineering. We at Varien are no strangers to the eCommerce marketplace and the other options available, so when we started Magento a few years back, we decided to make sure that Magento was powerful, flexible and open.
Powerful enough to power the next generation of eCommerce stores, flexible to accommodate merchant’s ever evolving needs and open to customization, extension and open to a community of thought leaders and technical enthusiasts that are passionate about one thing--the future of eCommerce.
What was the main factor in that decision? Looking at the eCommerce landscape, it becomes very clear to see that merchants don’t want your run of the mill platform and your average vendor controlled eCommerce solutions, they demand the best and they demand choice. In a sentence, eCommerce Merchants demand more.
Recently, there has been an attempt to spread some FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) around Magento and the Open Source model. Claims that the Magento, along with all Open Source communities are fractured, the myth that Enterprise Open Source platforms are more “complex” and unmanageable, that flexibility and openness somehow lead to lock in and that once you choose an open platform, your vendor will somehow abandon you when it comes time to upgrade. Don’t be surprised if you are confused, it didn’t make sense to us either.
The truth is, the community is not fractured at all, it’s healthy and thriving. The numbers speak for themselves; 120K+ members, 215K+ forum posts, 1K+ wiki posts, and with the Magento Enterprise Edition, you have the full faith, support and backing of Varien, a seasoned player in the eCommerce marketplace, AND the community as an added value. There are also hundreds of extensions developed by companies and developers every day to help you extend your Magento deployment with a community development cycle which provides you with time to test any extensions you might be running before you take them live. Enterprise-level support includes everything from Magento download and installation, to direct assistance on usage issues and configuration along with troubleshooting, and bug fixes. You also get upgrades free as part of your Enterprise Edition subscription and there are enterprise exclusive features such as content staging to allow you to test content on a staging site before anything ever hits your live deployment. This model allows you to obtain great value at both ends of the spectrum.
Magento also gives you the flexibility you need when setting up your technical infrastructure and the flexibility to control your own deployment however you see fit. With the cost of maintaining an Open Source stack very affordable these days, wouldn’t you like the peace of mind knowing that you can control your own software your own way? In fact, a full 87 percent of companies surveyed by Forrester research in a 2008 report entitled ”Open Source paves the way for the next generation of enterprise IT” indicated that they reduced costs using Open Source software. The same Forrester report further explains that the benefits of Open Source reach beyond simple cost savings:
The open source paradigm embraces an even more important long-term benefit--a more innovative IT shop that can rapidly adapt to changing technologies and seize new opportunities as higher-level open source infrastructure projects mature. This combination of upfront cost savings and improved time-to-market will become a powerful weapon for those shops that can wield it strategically as a way to maximize the effectiveness of their software investments.
Sure, you could spend thousands (or in some cases tens or hundreds of thousands) on a pre-canned and pre-seasoned proprietary SaaS platform, but would you buy a car with the hood welded shut?? We sure wouldn’t and you shouldn’t have to worry about the smoothness of the ride either because according to Forrester 92 percent of respondents “have had their quality expectations met or exceeded by open-source software.” With Magento you can rest easy knowing that you are in full control and can adapt based on needs and contingencies.
If you’re looking for a platform backed by a passionate community and a passionate company, a platform that is open, based on the best practices of software development over the last decade, a platform that provides value in its stablity, extendability and power, a platform that treats you as an educated customer who knows whats best for your own business--look no further than Magento. Open Source gives you the freedom to be free, to be informed and to make your own decisions.
When deciding on an eCommerce platform, the questions you need to ask yourself shouldn’t have to be “which vendor will treat me the best for my money,” or “which vendor am I marrying for the length of this contract,” or even “which rights am I signing away,” it should be about freedom and how free, creative and innovative you wish to be when serving your customers. This can be a hard pill to swallow for certain other eCommerce platform providers, after all, they only say that they leverage and “use” Open Source for their own benefit, to provide you with some sort of value on top. We DO Open Source and pass it along with all its benefits, in full, on to you. For some, it’s hard to be on the outside looking in.