At its second annual conference at the end of April, ecommerce platform Magento announced several new developments, including the launch of its native HTML 5 mobile version, and several updates to the community and enterprise editions of its ecommerce software.
What is perhaps the most telling announcement from the Imagine Conference held in Las Vegas is the growth of its ecosystem, which doubled since the same time last year to more than 800,000 developers. In terms of solution providers like web hosts, Magento saw an 82 percent growth since 2011. At this point, there are about 400,000 Magento solution providers worldwide.
Matthew Mengerink, vice president and general manager of X.Commerce at eBay, jokes that another example of Magento’s success is the fact that despite being held in Las Vegas, conference attendees were avoiding the strip.
All kidding aside, Mengerink says the Magento ecosystem, and the open ecommerce platform that eBay built with it, called X.Commerce, is successfully bringing together merchants and developers of ecommerce technology.
“Merchants are critical for growth of ecosystem because they’re funding it, but their incentive for being part of the ecosystem is having developers,” Mengerink says in a phone interview with the WHIR. “For merchants it’s difficult for them to innovate without highly qualified developers.”
The platform makes it possible for merchants to connect with these developers, and implement innovative ecommerce technologies into their online stores.
“We’re already a billion dollar ecosystem for our developers,” he says. “This doesn’t mean that we’re making a billion dollars this means that external to eBay Inc. people are making a billion dollars selling technology and working on integrations within X.Commerce and Magento.”
Even before Magento’s acqusition by eBay in June 2011 web hosts have offered hosting solutions tailored to Magento storefronts. Web hosts can also make money through its affiliate program, or revenue share program, Mengerink says.
“There’s a really nice incentive for hosting providers to press Magento and from a scalability perspective, since as the merchants grow, they benefit heavily from the raw computational power that’s drawn as people grow in the commerce space,” Mengerink says.
Mengerink says the acqusition by eBay helped fund the development, repairs and security measures of the open ecommerce platform, and pushed its distribution worldwide. Magento is now doing work in Europe, China, and Australia.
“I think most importantly this whole notion of an X.Commerce fabric shouldn’t go understated,” he says. “we’ve taken partners and incentivized them to say if you build on the fabric, not only are you building for Magento, but you can be building for GSI, and that has 180 of the IR 500 (North America’s 500 largest e-retailers based on annual web sales),” he says.
The X.Commerce fabric is built on OpenStack, and leverages Rackspace infrastructure. According to Adrianna Bustamante, commerce channel development at Rackspace, Magento has been a Rackspace partner since before it was even called Magento.
“Magento has been a part of the Rackspace partner family since 2007,” she says in a phone interview with the WHIR. “This originally started when the company was still known as Varien and they were getting ready to create and launch what is now the community version of Magento.”
In 2009, Bustamante says that Rackspace created a stronger partnership with them as one of its first larger, global hosting partners. Since the launch of Magento’s enterprise software, in early April 2009, it has worked with the Magento partner community, with merchants to provide hosting and infrastructure, and now as a hosting partner for Magento Go which is its hosted, on-demand platform targeted for emerging retailers.
Bustamante says that Magento’s open standards and open community around its X.Commerce fabric aligned with Rackspace’s fundamental pillars in the OpenStack philosophy.
“What’s really exciting from a Rackspace perspective in creating a partnership with Magento and X.Commerce is that we are a hosting enabler for Magento merchants and the X.Commerce family of all sizes,” she says.
“We have Magento merchants that are running in our public cloud, community and enterprise, what they consider on-premise solution, we have that hosted within our public cloud, and we have that hosted within our dedicated and managed hosting offering,” she says. “We work with solution partners that will refer to the clients and merchants to us directly and they’re involved in doing the implementation and development services.”
“Then we work with reseller partners that are leveraging Rackspace as the backend hosting as they’re creating a whole turnkey hosted solution offering. We are working at a large-scale level as a hosting partner for Magento Go and then for the X.Commerce fabric that they’re building. We really have the exciting opportunity to touch the ecosystem at all different levels.”
Talk back: Are you part of Magento’s partner ecosystem? How has its growth affected your business? Let us know in a comment.