Not so long time ago Magento Inc. re-branded its main products: Magento Community Edition became Magento Open Source and Magento Enterprise Edition became Magento Commerce. In this blog post we analyse the rationale of this re-branding for Magento Open Source/Magento Community and how it may affect the merchants who using the platform.
What is Magento Open Source?
Essentially Magento Open Source is Magento Community Edition – an open source eCommerce platform that is free to download, install and use. Magento is one of the most popular platforms, the exact place varies on the methodology, but it is constantly placed in at least top-5 most popular platforms on the market. Vast majority of Magento websites are powered by Magento Open Source (Community), smaller share uses Magento Commerce (ex. Magento Enterprise ), a paid version of the platform.
BTW, the name “Magento Open Source” sounds a bit weird for me, because at least at the moment both paid and free versions are open source, Magento Commerce (ex. Enterprise) is distributed with open source as well, the difference is that it isn’t free to use and it has PaaS version.
Change from Magento Community Edition to Magento Open Source
What is pretty interesting that re-branding was very quiet – I haven’t found any official Magento press-release or blog posts. There were just few tweets from Magento employees and when asked, one of them below:
Nope. Cloud is of course emphasis, but both on-premises Magento Commerce (née Enterprise Edition) & Open Source (née CE) remain available.
— Ben Marks (@benmarks) August 7, 2017
Interesting, huh? Usually re-branding in corporate world is a good excuse to launch at least moderate PR campaign to remind the customers about the brand. But not in this case.
Magento Open Source placement on Magento website
In the past Magento Community Edition occupied a modest, but fairly visible space in top navigation. Right now you have to put pretty significant efforts to find it in the footer.
Even if you go to “Solution by Business Needs” and select “Small Business”, there is no link to Magento Open Source from there. What you see there is a link to schedule demo with Magento sales team.
So it looks like Magento Inc. makes it harder for site visitors to discover their own free product and trying hard (IMO too hard) to up-sell a paid one.
It isn’t very surprising and goes in line with other initiatives started after change of Magento ownership, like retiring Magento Connect in favour of Magento Marketplace.
How will it affect the merchants who are on Magento Open Source/Community?
I don’t think that there will be a significant changes, at list in mid-term time horizon. Being open source and hence very flexible is one of the major points of differences for Magento, the way it gains market share, so I don’t think that Magento Inc. makes such a move as discontinuing to support Magento Open Source/Community. There are number of projects that suggest otherwise like Multi Source Inventory.
What is going on now looks more like efforts to very aggressively pump a top line in a preparation to ownership change. Magento was purchased by consortium of private equity firms back in 2015, so it is there for 3 years. Taking into account that in average PE firms hold investments for around 5 years, they are already probably preparing Magento for sale. With that short-term goals pressure, there is no time to let merchants go through evolution Magento Open Source – > Business Growth – > get into Magento Commerce, the metrics increase is required now.
Anyway, Magento stays as a great eCommerce platform and continue to develop and to be a solid solution for businesses who value flexibility, ecosystem and lower cost of ownership.