Interview with Matthew Mengerink of X.commerce
18th October 3 Comments
After our last post about the future of X.commerce and its importance for future ecommerce we have received an overwhelming feedback, most notably in the shape and form of a comment by Matthew Mengerink of X.commerce. He kindly agreed to answer a couple of questions regarding the current discussion.
Please tell us who you are and what your position is in the eBay/Magento/X.commerce space.
Matthew Mengerink, father of 5 children, married for 20 yrs, nearly 16 yrs of tenure at eBay Inc, and currently VP/GM of X.commerce.
Could you please describe what your plans for the OpenSource version of Magento (Magento 2, respectively) will be?
We will be keeping the open source of Magento around indefinitely and will upgrade and manage it as we have in the past. We are a firm believer, supporter and benefactor from open source.
What happens to the commercial versions (PE and EE)?
We will likely simplify our offering in the future, but we will keep an enterprise level offering with advanced support around.
Will development of the self-hosted versions be affected by the work invested in Magento Go?
Absolutely! We are working to ensure that self-hosted versions can quickly and easily take their efforts and manage/run them from Magento Go. This gives the customizability of the current CE and EE versions with the operational cost advantage and support of Magento Go. That said, we don’t think everyone will want to do this, so we will continue to ensure people can use Magento as they want to do so.
We criticized that X.commerce may turn into a siloed solution because no major ecommerce players (other than those within eBay) are already connected. You replied that a lot of people have taken the X.commerce pledge already. What does this mean exactly? And don’t you think it would have been more convincing to really have an outside company connected to X.commerce in a demo for example?
Kenshoo was on stage having done a demo and having integrated against the fabric. We have TeraPeak, Adobe, Facebook, and others integrated as well. The pledge is the companies that have pledged to be a part of our community and to integrate their services into the X.commerce platform. 384 Individuals and 248 companies have made this pledge. This was overwhelming even for us. We had no idea there would be this much demand.
How important is X.commerce to eBay, really? Is it a project with a few people on it or is it supposed to eventually become mission-critical for the eBay universe?
X.commerce is fundamental to eBay’s future and is only one of 4 core business. You can see from John Donahoe’s presentation that it plays this part. There are over 500 people in X.commerce directly. We are growing quickly. We fundamentally believe we should become the best technology company in the world. We have a unique way of looking at this. We see that being a technology company is being about the technologists. We don’t look to the ones inside our 4 walls, but rather care about the ones that are on the outside. If our platform is the best place for technologists to make a living and to have awesome opportunity, we know for certain we’re doing the right thing and doing well by it.
eBay has not really been especially innovative in the past years and had made the news mostly by means of more or less spectacular acquisitions. How would you like to comment such a statement?
LOL!!! I’d say these people really don’t know what’s going on inside the company! We have amazing fraud systems which are being advanced every single day. The fact that PayPal can process in the diverse, global realm, that they can do mobile and now point of sale all stems from having some of the very best fraud management systems in the world. eBay has been doing a ton in the realms of mobile. There is more mobile commerce on eBay than any other platform on the planet! We’re set to process well over 3.5B in volume on mobile this year.e Bay has a TON of cutting edge experiments here: http://garden.ebay.com/. The amount of innovation in the company is actually at an all time high. Now, I think that I will have to agree with the “spectacular acquisitions” line. GSI, Magento, Where, Fig, Milo, RedLaser, Zong,… These are amazing assets. Do you know what is the best part? The best part is that we’re committed to opening all of this up through X.commerce. Beyond innovative technology, we’re innovating as a business.
A poll that was done by a German Magento Enterprise Partner recently showed that a majority of the people/companies asked felt rather skeptical about what the future would hold for Magento after the eBay deal. What would you like to respond?
I’d say that I don’t ever ask for trust. I ask for patience. Watch my words and most importantly my actions. You’ll see that X.commerce will absolutely be a HUGE win for all of the Magento Partners. At the Innovate conference this year, we had extremely good feedback from the partners who were there. They understood clearly what we’re trying to accomplish and why this is to the benefit of the partners. So, please be skeptical, please keep sending on criticisms, feedback and ideas, but most of all, please remember that this is an open platform that just had a large amount of money poured into it. Roy Rubin & Yoav Kutner, the co-founders of Magento, are still 100% on board and are on the leadership team of X.commerce making this acquisition extremely successful first and foremost for the community.
Anything else you’d like to tell people?
I’d like to say thanks to any existing Magento or X.commerce customers/developers/merchants. I hope they can see as the months progress that we will be true to the expectations we set. Also, we’re really looking forward to seeing all of the innovations in this space. We’re convinced that there will be more changes through the creation of an open platform with commerce than there has been change thus far in history. I hope you and your readers will be a part of this.
Update: During the 2011 LeWeb conference in Paris, Matthew Mengerink was interviewed about the innovations that X.commerce brings to retailers: