Selecting Magento Over Novator, BroadVision & Prosodie for Enterprise E-commerce

Per my [p2p type=”id” value=”43″ text=”post on migrating to Magento”], we have chosen the enterprise edition of this platform as the next generation of our e-commerce platform. While the decision was quite easy when comparing to platforms such as ATG, Fry and GSI as explained in their [p2p type=”id” value=”266″ text=”respective comparative post”], there was more to consider with Novator, Broadvision and Prosodie, three more realistic solutions to enterprise-level e-commerce platforms for viable e-commerce businesses. These platforms bring valuable factors to the selection process, that are only offset by Magento’s relatively low cost and access to community edition traffic volume contributing to its enterprise product road map.

Below is a summary of my personal opinion on each of these platforms based on several sales meetings, demonstrations and dinners.

Novator

This platform aligns most closely with my idea of the perfect solution, since it integrates a data permeation model they call Retail data Model. Their staff is more than open to discussing every small detail at stages of sales and all understand their RDM as well as other features of their platform as if they wrote the code. The offering also includes a great support service model at a premium that could be appealing to very large e-commerce departments interested in outsourcing a large portion of daily operations to the provider. The cost-difference between Magento and Novator is quite large, but will diminish considerably for such larger e-commerce enterprises with several application instances and servers.

Broadvision

Amongst the oldest providers, they have a very customizable system that unlike Novator’s requires heavy involvement of technologists and developers to use to the fullest. That is not to say, that they are not capable of providing the human resources to fulfill all such needs, but the associated cost quickly renders the platform impractical for many businesses. However, their extremely well-trained and obliging sales staff is only matched by Novator and Prosodie, and can be very helpful in guiding a large board of directors and group of executives in making a “big-ticket” decision.

Prosodie

Seemingly the smallest of the three, this French e-commerce platform provider has a friendly and well-informed approach to expanding to the United States. While the actual application seemed to have room for beautification to add to its enterprise appeal, there were many specialized features that exuded attention to usability and customer-centered design. One particularly notable module was a very easy-to-use product family builder to populate product families with children using attributes using a visual attribute multiplication matrix similar to what I have designed internally before, but more polished.

The pricing of Prosodie’s platform makes it particularly appealing, since it is far lower than the rest of the providers at this level, making it more of a contender for Magento. However just as Novator and Broadvision, the lack of vast world-wide development and user communities paired with great entry price—that of having a no more than a few servers—makes Magento the obvious choice to be given the chance to prove its commercial open-source model in a production environment.

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