Thoughts on the Magento Acquistion

Allan MacGregor
May 22, 2018 · 3 min read

So Adobe announced the acquisition of Magento, now what? What does this mean for the community and for the ecosystem?

First, let’s address the elephant in the room this is nothing like the eBay acquisition in 2011 the community and the Magento leadership are both more mature to handle something like this. Adobe is also nothing like eBay; this is both a good and a bad thing.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the acquisition from one end I feel extremely happy for the leadership at Magento, getting a deal like this one done and closed is a massive thing and something to be truly proud of, on the other side as developer, a member of the community and now as technically a merchant I have weariness to what the future holds.

I’m not alone on my feelings many of the reactions from long standing community members were far from positive, but that being said there is much unintentional FUD and knee jerk reactions going around. For example:

Magento gets branded as Adobe Commerce

This is highly unlikely to happen, as arguably half of the value of Magento comes from their brand so trying to rebrand or rename it would be monumentally stupid and short sighted.

Adobe will kill Opensource and close down Magento

No indication this will happen, and so far Adobe has made clear they intent to commit to the open-source community build around Magento, and with 24% of the core code being writing by the community they would crazy.

What is likely to happen:

Magento will go cloud only

Magento is going the SaaS route, an interesting notion to think about as I don’t consider M2 Cloud a strong offering, and as far as I understand they still have a — relative– small amount of merchants on it.

Adobe definitively does have the in-house expertise and capital to heavily invest on M2 cloud and make it a strong competitor vs the likes of Shopify and company. The devil is in the details and if they go on the route of Single tenant SaaS, meaning SI and merchants don’t lose the ability to customize and develop on top of the platform then they have a winner in their hands.

This will unfortunately, means bad news for the hosting providers that specialize in Magento and they will need to pivot in the next couple of years.

Magento is entering the real big leagues.

Let’s be frank, Adobe did not buy Magento because they are interesting on the 5, 10, or even 50 million dollar merchants, they are after the big players in the ecosystem both B2C and B2B; this will change the platform focus both in marketing and development. This is not a bad thing but it will have repercussions on the ecosystem.

Many agencies will disappear or pivot to other platforms

Probably the most controversial thing I will say, but I don’t see many of the smaller Magento agencies in the ecosystem surviving on the long term, with the switch to larger enterprise merchants they will have a harder time finding good leads, and staying a float; as I said the game is changing.

We will likely see, some agencies getting acquired, merging or disappearing altogether. Same goes on the way of freelancers.

Conclusions

The Adobe acquisition is the next step in the Magento evolution; and part of the natural cycle most companies will follow, there are many positives and things to look forward, and few to beware of, the community has and will continue keeping the Magento and Adobe leadership honest and nudging in the right direction.

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