Next Stop: OXID Commons 2012
29th May 4 Comments
The show continues: After having visited the Meet Magento conference in Leipzig (Thoughts on Meet Magento 6.12) I travelled to the very south of Germany last week to join the OXID Commons. And it was a journey worthwhile taking.
In terms of setting, the OXID Commons was completely different from Meet Magento. Rather than squeezing the crowd into a (grand) hotel, the OXID organisers used the spacious exhibition hall in Freiburg both for the presentations and the after-show party. The effect was, that although there were similar visitor numbers in Leipzig and Freiburg – namely about 600 – one had more room to move around and find quiet corners to do the occasional phone call. All in all, it was professionally organised, as in the case of the Meet Magento there’s no need to whinge about catering, wifi – it’s a grown-up conference, full stop. A major difference that could be pinpointed is the fact that Meet Magento was a 1 1/2 day conference with 3 tracks, the OXID Commons covered only 1 – yet fully packed – day with 2 tracks.
The keynote was delivered by Roland Fesenmayr, CEO of OXID eSales AG. He talked about the current status of their main product and the whole OXID ecosystem and stressed the fact that much of the innovation and new developments came from the community, either by pushing interesting shop projects based on the OpenSource edition of OXID eShop online or becoming active in the forum (which has gained 5,000 more active users since last year according to his presentation). Fesenmayr emphasized that while fostering the community approach on the one hand, the company also had a clear vision for catering towards Enterprise level customers. This was the reason why the Professional Services unit as well as the Premium Support Level has been introduced. Also, the new 4.6 version brings performance improvements of up to 30% and in the future the focus will be addressing high-performance scenarios by master-slave constructions and enhanced caching.
After this summary, Fesenmayr outlined the areas in which he sees considerable growth in the future and how OXID eSales have positioned themselves: be it B2B, online pure player, longtail or multi-channel, he provided relevant showcases.
And this is also what I liked about it the most: no heartwrenching and emotional commitment to the community “obsessed” with the product (as happened 3 days earlier @ Meet Magento) but a rather down-to-earth look into the Commerce reality (note: the e from eCommerce got also dropped here as well, something we have been preaching for quite some time now). Surely, a keynote cannot fly without some hyperbole and marketing lingo, but at least the examples that were given focused on the German market – something very sensible considering the German audience.
The stage and the floor
You know how it is: there’s action on the stages, but the real show happens on the floor, at the coffee stands and in different corners of the venue. I saw the Best Practices Enterprise Commerce session, which because of its tight timing and a rigid presenter was actually an insightful and fun thing to do. For the rest of the day, I was hopping through the event until finding my way back into the main conference hall for the final session on the future of commerce, with Lars Jankowfsky, Marcus Diekmann, Benjamin Loos and Johannes Altmann. Hosted by Roland Fesenmayr, who asked a couple of quite relevant questions regarding the future of retail, multichannel scenarios etc., this for me was the best thing that happened on stage that day.
I only managed to get into the developer track once, only to witness an extremely boring and way too long presentation about the semantic web and the GoodRelations ontology by Martin Hepp. One thing that struck me, though, was the fact that this track received an amount of management attention that was totally missing from its Meet Magento counterpart: With Oliver Ciupke, Erik Kort and Marco Steinhäuser, three employees of OXID eSales were in the room or on stage all the time – something Magento could only dream of!
Together with a great aftershow party, I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s OXID Commons. Next up is the Shopware Community Day, I’m looking forward for the third and last event of the Commerce spring and hope to be able to give a final verdict afterwards. See you there!