Was does a Magento agency have to say about the Meet Magento row?

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We are a long term Magento partner and don’t want to keep our opinion about the ‘scandal lecture’ to ourselves. Jochen G. Fuchs (as editor), Roman Zenner (as consultant and Magneto expert) and Tobias Zander (as developer) have already referred to it.

Harsh Truth Magento - der Vortrag von Tim Bezhashvyly
Tim Bezhashvyly at Meet Magento 2014, photo: Twitter/@sylvainraye

Tim Bezhashvyly’s performance puts us in a conflicted position. First of all: we are convinced of Magento, the Community (CE) as well as the Enterprise Edition (EE) – otherwise we wouldn’t offer them. On the other hand, our enthusiasm for the company has waned and we are not alone in this (as is now for all to see). But before we join the chorus of critics, first the reasons we stick up for Magento:

What the Enterprise Edition does better

Basically is it noticeable that the EE was developed for shops with high site activity, page views, and transactions. In this way for instance, the adjusted indexing process, which works significantly more quickly for shops with many products and product updates, is preferable in comparison with the CE. Were one to instead program an agency version of the CE adjusted for enterprise requirements, the update capability would be lost and the customer would be bound to the agency for update development.

On the topic of modules

Of course, most enterprise functions are also covered by the CE modules, but is this always the better choice? Where Magento offers a guarantee with the EE, with the CE, you are dependent on version updates (which are normally not always available), fitting module updates, or you have to do these yourself. Those who implement multiple modules from different providers can count on conflicts.

Actually, as an agency we could sit back and be happy about this extra maintenance income. But when keeping customer success and the big picture in mind, it doesn’t always make sense to save on licenses and solve problems within the agency, especially above a certain turn over level.

From our perspective, it is also data security concerns, especially when it comes to the dissemination of customer, data that makes the EE attractive. The argument that control happens via the community does not help the customer sleep better at night because of the large number of modules.

Contrary to Time Bezhashvyly’s claims, not all agencies take the easy road and sell everyone the EE. When selecting the right e-commerce system, we always make individual decisions together with the client. If they don’t need the features offered by the Enterprise Edition, we recommend a community edition.

The Dilemma of the Gold Partner: Long Term Client Success vs. Licence Sales

This is exactly where the problems start: Magento does not measure Gold status according to annual licence extensions, qualified developers, successful projects, or satisfied clients. What is best for the client is not rewarded, only new licence turn over in the current partner period counts.

If you want to support larger clients intensely over a number of years, it is nearly impossible to reach these goals. This is why we assume that we, similar to other agencies, will have to give up our gold partner status in the course of the year.

dotSource Magento-Profil
Gold status is dependant on new licenses sold, rather than on qualified developers

The support (for partners as well) is also unacceptable, at least when it comes to DACH. We have already noted this in a previous post on the system discussion. A Meet Magento without a Magento representative is the latest evidence of this.

Despite these politics, we continue to implement Enterprise projects because of our conviction. We will have our developers certified (coincidentally, we had a new round of certification in the same week as the Meet Magento) and hope that Magento gives greater priority to their relationship with partners and the community in the future.

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