Magento Imagine 2014 Wrap-up

Posted by: Karen Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Once again companies and individuals from around the world headed to Vegas for 4 days of Magento, networking, keynotes, casino’s and partying.  The conference moved from it’s remote M Resort location to the slightly less remote Hard Rock Hotel.  Here we mingled in with tourists, listened to crazy music blaring whilst trying to have breakfast meetings, and I’d say it generally felt a little less personal than when we literally took over the M Resort venue. But it’s location nearer to the strip was certainly welcomed, and well, its nice to have a change.

The People

The keynotes introduced some new faces, most significantly Mark Lavelle, who has a frighteningly long title of Head of Global Product and Strategy at eBay Enterprise & GM Magento. Another name for the future was Brent Peters, the CTO of eBay Enterprise.

The guest keynote speakers were of top quality once again. My particular favourite was Malcom Gladwell. Apart from the fact he spoke about shipping for a good 30 minutes (which I hope for once made it non-boring!) he brought up the argument that being disagreeable was actually a good thing. So that justified the last 20 years I’ve been in IT, finally I found someone who was telling me standing up and being counted and not worrying about what people think is a good idea!

Roy Rubin was at his last Imagine as an employee of eBay. It was certainly sad to see him go, but in a way I’m pleased we can now move on and focus on the future.

Product Highlights

CE 1.9/EE1.14 was introduced via a great video from The Buzz Lab about Classy Llama and 3M.  CE1.9 is a collaboration between Magento and Classy Llama/Brendan Falkowski

which gives us a theme with jQuery, a responsive design and CSS5 built in. It’s great to see Magento/eBay working with the community here, I’d encourage them to do this more, use the resources you have as we have the expertise, plus also the drive and passion to make things happen.

Magento 2 was discussed, and some very broad timelines given. It seems a Release Candidate may be out by March 2015, though they are taking an iterative agile approach so it sounds like some features won’t be added until Q3 2015. Magento 2 does look pretty cool tho, from my discussions I get the impression they now have a good team on this, with good overall direction and a focus on delivering a MVP as opposed to a ‘perfect solution’ (which we all know is non-achievable).  They seem to be thinking for the first time about how this will be used/extended, over and above some of the lower technological aspects that really won’t mean much to merchants/agencies/developers.

There was a fair amount of talk about Magento Enterprise and eBay Enterprise, personally I find the fact that both are called Enterprise confusing, and it seems clear where this could go. It seems eBay is building out features for eBay Enterprise, and I can see this floating down to the Magento Enterprise offering. Personally I think this will be a bad move, as the companies in the community are building far more superior offerings already, eBay should look to partner/white label rather than trying to build in house – the whole success of Magento has been built on the foundation of a community marketplace, changing that seems wrong.


The topic of the conference was ‘Transform’, so I thought I’d take a look at some of the companies there that I saw were transforming themselves.

1) Classy Llama – They are offering a ‘turnkey’ type Magento offering where you can get hosting, a default Magento platform, extensions, etc and from there adapt to create your Magento store. This is really aimed at being a beefed up Magento Go, and I have a feeling they will do it better!

2) WebShopApps – was launched at Imagine, this is a cloud based shipping rate solution encompassing the best of the WebShopApps extensions into a single cohesive solution. This was met with great feedback at Imagine and we are now working with a number of Enterprise clients doing a managed rollout of this great solution. Expect a lot more info over coming months!

3) UK company Red Box Digital won the Magento Site of the Year – Best Design award at Imagine with This is a great company WebShopApps work with a lot, congratulations to them on this well-deserved award.



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