By Paul Green, Business Development Manager at Tryzens
When Magento 2 was released, in November 2015, it suffered from the inevitable teething issues faced by many software products when they go through an architectural change and the community of loyal partners and developers had their challenges in filling in the blanks. Since then, Magento has made significant investment in the platform to stabilize and mature its feature set. Today it has overcome its immature reputation and has convinced us that it is now a truly enterprise ecommerce platform.
Luckily for Magento this opinion is also now supported publicly by research firm, Gartner. Magento has been named a leader by Gartner in its 2017 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce for the first time. Magento was one of 21 vendors evaluated in the report for their completeness of vision and ability to execute. The report highlights Magento 2’s ability to provide customers with the scalability and flexibility they need. The platform’s low cost of ownership is also mentioned as a strength. In addition, and arguably most importantly, customers reported high satisfaction with Magento. This is a critical factor when you consider there are around 3,500 clients currently using Magento 1 Enterprise versions, who will be considering their strategy for when their version is no longer officially supported.
When does Magento 1 become end of life?
Originally planned for November 2018, there is now a commitment from Magento to continue supporting both Community and Enterprise customers beyond the original date – this is somewhat good news for existing Magento 1 merchants and a move I personally support, but it is only a limited benefit and I can’t help but feel the communication and clarity around this could be improved.
Magento have now stated they are committed to giving a ‘rolling’ notice period of at least 18 months (from the point of any decision regarding the way in which they will support merchants). This means for existing Magento 1 merchants there is now less time pressure to replatform (well, at least 18 months to do so) as the platform will remain operationally supported. However, it should also be remembered that this support is focused around security patches and bug fixes for the core platform, there are no product roadmap releases nor any commitment to new features being brought on to Magento 1. So, whilst the time pressure is technically removed right now, there are considerations for merchants around their long-term goals and roadmap as they will be reliant on the partner community to develop and implement new features they require.
Tryzens advice remains the same, which is that merchants need to start thinking about their next eCommerce platform rationally now. A number of retailers we are talking to, have been waiting, understandably to see how Magento 2 settles and begins to mature. We believe that Magento 2 is now in a position where it can be considered stable and ready to implement and as such can be fairly compared to other solutions available in the market.
Re-platform or migration?
As a quick reminder, a Magento client can’t simply migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2. The core foundations and architecture of Magento 1 have been completely re-written to support scale and longevity and as such you have to rebuild from scratch. Clearly, this is a challenge but the reasons for the re-write and the changes that have been made were long overdue, and ultimately were the right thing to do for the long term objectives of Magento. Some users will be taking the opportunity to review the wider market as much has changed in the last couple of years. The market is significantly more crowded with a number of emerging platforms as well as existing platforms that have continued to evolve and grow. Of course, some have also fallen by the wayside. For many, we expect it will be preferable to maintain their relationship with Magento on the grounds that it’s “more familiar”.
Magento 1 users upgrading to Magento 2 can be confident that Magento 2 will support them as well. The teething issues of 2016 were significant at times but it’s important to assess where the platform is now, and the go forward plan, so as not make a decision based on past issues, rumour or conjecture. As an Enterprise Magento implementation partner, we are finding there is plenty of support from Magento to make the transition process as pain free as possible for Magento 1 clients, after all, Magento recognise they are at risk if they do not look after their existing customer base, but the surge in net new Magento logos choosing and implementing Magento 2 should also bring some comfort for existing clients.
Open & scalable
Magento 2 will win undoubtedly its fair share of new projects based on its own merits – speed, flexibility, performance, ability to scale and support large transaction volumes. We certainly find when evaluating platforms for clients, that Magento can have a lower TCO (but not always!) and therefore is able to support a wide range of clients with differing levels of online maturity.
The open source solution is easily customised and is backed by a large community of developers, technology partners, and system integrators. If the functionality isn’t already in the platform there is likely to be an extension available or a partner that can provide it.
Tryzens have gone through the learning process with Magento 2 and gained the experience and credibility to support the market confidently as evidenced by our work on both B2B portal’s (e.g. for Just Eat) and B2C sites (e.g. London based designer fashion label Erdem). We believe Magento 2 is now able to join the Enterprise players and has earned its place in the Leaders quadrant. However, there is a lot to consider when choosing a platform, and so we will always aim to help our clients explore all the options available and make the right recommendation for their business.
Please get in touch if you would like further information.