As Blue Acorn’s strategic partner manager, I have the pleasure of managing both our partnerships and our events, and I’m happy to say that this was arguably the best Imagine conference we’ve ever attended. It wasn’t just because we won the eCommerce Partner of the Year award, though that did help. The quality level of partners and providers continues to rise, the recognition of partners and retailers was much improved over last year, and the timing for all of this couldn’t have been better!
Timing and the State of eBay/Magento
Back in January, when eBay announced it may soon sell off eBay Enterprise, including Magento, a wave of uncertainty could be felt within the Magento community. Since then, eBay Enterprise and Magento were recognized as the top eCommerce platforms to the 2015 IR500 and announced some very notable additions to EE 1.14.2 to cap off their 2015 Imagine conference at arguably the most beautiful resort in Las Vegas.
Our week at Imagine was another giant confidence booster.
The Blue Acorn team had some insightful meetings with some very important people. Some of them were confidential, but what I can say is this: the future of Magento is bright. The pending separation of eBay’s entities doesn’t represent a failure to succeed, but rather, it represents a realization that while all of these business units share a similar industry, they don’t need to be so tightly bound together. I, for one, believe that less ties mean more focus.
Partner and Client Love
This year, clients and partners were featured everywhere. Awards were given at a much more consumable pace, and both partners and their clients were acknowledged on stage and presented with a trophy. There was even an award for developers! Imagine that (see what I did there). Eight Magento clients were featured poolside for hours of passive publicity during the Client Showcase, which was beautifully integrated into the opening night networking party. Awards and showcases aside, every partner had a chance to participate in Pitchfest, which was as educational and entertaining as giving elevator pitches at 8am in Vegas could be. We had front rows seats from our booth and didn’t miss any of it. Bottom line: it was great to see Magento making every effort possible to give as much time and recognition as possible to those who give so much to the ecosystem.
While we’re on the topic (and being completely honest), what mattered most to me was seeing Blue Acorn, our clients, and our partners being heavily showcased throughout the event.
- Blue Acorn and Rebecca Minkoff were featured in the opening keynote on Day 1.
- Our Founder & CEO, Kevin Eichelberger spoke in two sessions, Behind the Scenes of Rebecca Minkoff’s Omnichannel Innovation and Priceless Information: Business Analytics on Magento.
- Blue Acorn client, SCOUT, was one of the eight merchants featured in Magento’s Client Showcase.
- We were featured during the keynote on Day 2 for building Magento’s New Relic module.
- Three of our clients – Rebecca Minkoff, Signature Hardware, and VIETRI – were nominated for awards.
- Signature Hardware won the award for best Customer Service.
- Blue Acorn was named Magento’s North American eCommerce Partner of the Year.
- Our partners at Avalara, Bronto, Rackspace, and SLI Systems were all recognized for their exceptional work as well.
Quality Time with Quality People
One of my favorite things about Imagine has always been getting to meet and spend time with other members of the Magento community, who we may only get to see once a year. Some of them are other Solution Partners, some are Technology Partners, and some haven’t even made the formal move into one of Magento’s partner programs yet. What they all share in common is that, collectively, they seem to get more and more impressive each year. Like I said, Magento’s future is bright.
We’ve also noticed a growing number of European providers crossing the pond into North America, and we couldn’t be happier. Competition is good for everyone, and Blue Acorn is constantly evaluating partners to see who are the best fits for our clients’ needs, which means we’ve got a lot of vetting still left to do. I don’t see an end in sight until sometime in July. I’ll keep it brief for now, but I can’t help but share how impressed I was by the solutions we saw from Nosto and Klevu, both based out of Finland. Welcome to the US!
Until Next Time
Thanks to everyone at Magento for an amazing event and all of the sponsors and clients who made it out. We look forward to seeing all of you at Imagine next year!