It’s the end of Magento Imagine as we know it (and I feel fine)

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Magento Imagine 2019 was the last Magento flagship conference of its kind. It will take a different outlook next year alongside Adobe Summit 2020.

And since what happens in Vegas never really stays in Vegas, here are the main takeaways from this year’s gathering of Who’s Who in Magento and eCommerce.

Adobe takes over, but in a friendly way

I remember walking into Wynn for Imagine conference in 2015 – you couldn’t see Magento mentioned almost anywhere. That was the time eBay came marching in and they were forcing eBay Enterprise as an overarching theme of the event. It was so unnatural, confusing, awkward for everyone involved, and there was huge uncertainty as to how that transition would roll out. Luckily, we know what happened afterwards.

This time around, Adobe is also clearly taking over, make no mistake about that, but they are doing it in a much more digestible way. They’re not twisting anyone’s arm, the transition feels like more of an evolution and a blend of the service and product offerings between Magento and Adobe.

However, it is ultimately a numbers game, we should not forget that – and Magento and the entire ecosystem that comes along with it into Adobe family, will also be judged on that merit.

Partners Assemble!

Even during the Partner Summit, and that poured over to the main event, there was a clear and strong call to all the partners (solution and technology alike) to find ways of working together to meet the growing and evolving needs of the merchants and their customers.

We saw some really good examples of the cooperation taking place, and during the merchant awards both technology and solution partners were given the shout out.

This is a hugely important message because there can be so much friction between different vendors on any given eCommerce project that the merchants often find themselves confused and frustrated. What better incentive is there to consider SaaS when you come into this type of a blame game?

So, we need to pull together. But, making sure we’re all accountable for our work – and that includes everyone involved, Magento team as well, especially in cloud deployments 🙂

PWAs are the future, and they’re already here!

And if you were on the fence about PWAs, it’s time to jump it! There was a huge push in this direction with the numbers on mobile evolution showing up all over the place – in speeches by Magento and Adobe people.

We’ve also seen some of the first real-life builds in action (or announced as soon to be rolled out), and we’re excited to be among the frontrunners in the progressive web apps game. It felt nice to be mentioned during the breakout sessions and keynotes alongside other drivers of this change.

Guardians of the Community – Magento Association!

If you haven’t already, sign up to become a member of the new community-driven association that is expanding on what Meet Magento Association started back in the days.

The announced committees should cover many topics, and I look forward to engaging with the team in the coming months. Magento Association looks like the beacon of Magento community in the Adobe realm, and everyone’s invited to join in. So you should – check out the benefits and fill out the form to get started!

And btw, one of the best moments of the conference is the Magento Masters class of 2019 getting the recognition on the main stage. Congratulations, everyone!

New products in the Adobe Commerce Cloud

It was very clear that Adobe is not going to let Magento steer away from Adobe’s cloud game, and that’s reasonable. So, Magento Commerce Cloud becomes Adobe Commerce Cloud, and an integral part of the Adobe Experience Cloud.

And if you’re a larger business, you will get access to a lot of new nice things coming the cloud way – Adobe Analytics and Adobe Sensei (Adobe’s AI and machine learning program) will become available for merchants using the Adobe Commerce Cloud, even if they don’t opt for other Cloud products offered by Adobe.

Imagine Sneaks – Innovations Lab presentations

The neat new introduction to Imagine conference was “Sneaks” – something that happens quite regularly at Adobe events. This is essentially a central-stage showcase of some community-driven innovations around the products various partners and individuals have been working on.

This time around, we saw great live demos of AR capabilities by Phoenix Media and Imagination Media teams, VisualPartsFinder by Classy Llama and Kraken Commerce, Machine learning for product search by Webkul, Visual Designer by Perficient Digital and Advanced A/B testing capabilities by Best Worlds.

The winner by popular vote was the AR presentation by Phoenix Media – congratulations!

What’s next for partners and merchants?

If you’re a Magento partner, you can stay as experts in Magento, and there will be room for you and your clients. This is because Magento is keeping its focus on the mid market (however you want to describe this particular segment) for their commercial product. For those partners that will want to engage with Adobe products in a more hands-on way, there are plenty of opportunities, and Adobe also has a partner program in place.

For merchants – Magento Open Source will keep its attractiveness for the SMBs. And with Magento Commerce licensing coming now with the Cloud cost included, it is a strong incentive for merchants who might otherwise want to have an on-premise deployment.

New product announcements, still a very vibrant community of developers, partners and innovators, now extended by the entire Adobe organization – all of these pose a true invitation to take on this new, exciting ride that’s in front of us together.

And together, like Karen Baker mentioned in one of her posts leading up to Magento Imagine, is the only way we can succeed:

Between us we have more experience than any other ecommerce ecosystem — and we can go from very small to very large sites, that’s unique, and it’s precious. Trust us, trust you, and stand together and be counted.

See you at Magento Imagine 2020 (alongside Adobe Summit)! 🙂

Here’s a rundown of good reviews you should keep an eye on:

This list will be updated as new reviews come pouring in.

And a cherry on top – here’s the official video and link to the official event photos:

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