As explained in the [p2p type=”id” value=”41″ text=”post about the decision to migrate to Magento”], there were many other enterprise-grade e-commerce platforms included in the selection process. While we moved quite far into the sales pipeline with most, GSI Commerce, ATG & Fry are amongst the platforms that were not scrutinized as thoroughly.
These platforms have a long list of enterprise clients that include such top brands as BestBuy™, Levi’s™, QVC™, RadioShack™. This allows these providers to have very up-to-date development road maps with most of the latest and greatest features of the e-commerce industry available in a relatively short period of time after being proven ROI-friendly. However, the very clients that facilitate this, mandate heavy customization and specialization of features. This results in the costly development of highly-specialized features to serve needs such as order management, reporting, testing and personalization. I believe it is this approach that forces them to project a need for a la carte and fully-customized approach to e-commerce platforms—at least during my sales-level interactions with them—that may prove too expensive and sometimes even wasteful for many small business as well as larger enterprises.
In my opinion, this inflates the final price of implementation as well as the recurring cost of maintenance for years to come. However, until now, the alternative was to settle for modules and customizations by development firms with a fraction of the traffic exposure of these larger platforms, which translates into more buggy, less efficient code and user interface.
Even with open-source platforms and their considerable traffic exposure, the development power was never well-harnessed into a central entity not only skilled in the platform’s development but also fiscally able to structure and offer enterprise-grade service and support on a large scale.
GSI, Fry, ATG and other high-end platform providers have features to salivate over, however Magento brings the popular aspects of these features to most businesses at considerably lower cost and is able leverage its community edition traffic to direct the enterprise edition road map, hence not falling short in platform feedback due to lack of large enterprise customer base. Furthermore, as Varien continues to lure more monster clients to its enterprise edition, I hope to see even more features comparable to the giants in the industry.