Welcome back to the second part of my recap of Magento Imagine 2017 retrospective! If you missed the first part, check it out here: Magento Imagine 2017 Retrospective – Part 1: Build Up

This time round I’ll be covering the main event content: the general sessions and keynote talks from Tuesday and Wednesday.

These all took place in the main room, large enough to hold all 2700 attendees so the size of the room and screens was pretty impressive.

General Session & Keynotes 1

I won’t lie, we missed the first 45 minutes of the first keynote session due to having our channel partner meeting, so I’ll have to rely on Twitter to fill in the gaps here!

Jamie Clarke

The first session (and all following) was opened up by the always energetic and enigmatic resident MC Jamie Clarke of LiveOutThere.com, inclusive of a very impressive beard (more of which to come later on!) Jamie provided some good motivational tips to get everyone inspired, underline the importance of everyone in the Magento community coming together for Imagine and advice for how to make the most out of the event.

Jamie Clarke

 

 

Mark Lavelle

Next up Magento CEO Mark Lavelle took to the stage to outline the theme of years Imagine: “Powering Tomorrow” and show the growth and product releases / acquisitions Magento has made in the past year.

Magento Growth

Following this Mark outlined the “Fundamentals of Commerce”:

 

And there was also a nice little nod to us ‘Shrewsbury folk’ with a reference to Charles Darwin:

Charles Darwin Quote - Imagine 2017

 

Andrea Ward

Magento’s new Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Ward then took to the stage with her first appearance at Imagine to interview Canon on their experience working with and launching a Magento site and then presented a video on Helly Hansen’s experience with the platform.

 

PayPal / Braintree

Juan Benitez was next with an overview of how fast mobile technology has been advancing since the release of the original iPhone in 2007 (hint: it’s never been advancing faster than it is now!) and gave an example of a very impressive ‘contextual commerce’ project they’ve been working on with Uber via Facebook that provides a seamless transaction experience.

 

Jessica Herrin

The final speaker of the first morning session was Jessica Herrin, founder of Stella & Dot Family Brands, who brought just as much energy to her talk as Jamie Clarke! She gave a masterclass in ‘always thinking like an entrepreneur’ and told everyone their new role at their company was Chief Innovation Officer!

This talk more than any other at this years event seemed to capture the attention and imagination of every single person in the room, and for good reason.

Jessica Herrin

And with that the first Keynote session was over, but it wasn’t too long before we we’re back the same evening…

 

General Session & Keynotes 2

The evening session began with the annual awards section celebrating both ‘Excellence Awards’ for successful client / partner projects as well as celebrating the top individuals in the Magento community, the ‘Magento Masters’.

Magento Imagine Excellence Awards

 

Excellence Awards

I won’t go into detail on these awards, but I can’t escape without a shameless mention / self promotion of the fact that we ourselves won the award for ‘Most Innovative’ website along with our client Virginia Hayward!

 

Magento Masters

Following that it was great to see so many recognisable faces who play a major part in the Magento community be recognised by collecting their Masters awards on stage from the two pillars of the Magento community, Sherrie Rohde and Ben Marks.

 

Trailblazer Awards

The final awards for ‘trailblazers’ went to Troy Brown of Zumiez, Erik Burbank of Helly Hansen and Magento’s very own (co-founder) Roy Rubin!

 

Serena Williams

There was then only one way to end the evening… with the headline attraction: Serena Williams!

This was less of talk and more of an interview with Serena, hosted by Andrea Ward.  Whilst I am personally a big tennis fan, there did seem to be little relevant to commerce other than the odd bit of dialogue here and there, but nevertheless it was still a privilege to listen to Serena’s journey and challenges along the way with many entrepreneurial words of wisdom being shared.

Also, she certainly made it clear how she felt about being judged as potentially the greatest female athlete of all time!

 

General Session & Keynotes 3

The final keynote session was held on the final morning of the event following the ‘Legendary party’ the night before – which was obvious given the much smaller number of attendees and epitomised by Jamie Clarke crawling on stage to kick things off (and minus the beard!)

 

This was probably one of the most anticipated sessions given it was Magento’s time to announce new products and updates.

 

However, before the product announcements CEO Mark Lavelle provided a brief recap before introducing Magento’s SVP of Product & Technology Jason Woosley for a special interview.

 

Interview with Roy Rubin

Magento co-founder and recent re-addition to the Magento board, Roy Rubin joined both Mark and Jason on stage for a discussion about Magento’s product strategy and vision and the correlation between the early days and where Magento at are today as well as explaining how the community helped guide the product to where it is today.

 

Product Vision

Jason Woosley then gave a further talk on the future product vision, highlighting 3 key points:

  1. Customer experiences shaping technology
  2. Breaking down silos
  3. Ingenuity of the Magento ecosystem

As well as outlining how Magento are rising to the challenge to aid the above.

How Magento is rising to the challenge

 

Product Announcements

The rest of the final keynote was focused on product announcements and Magento’s very own ‘Product Paul’ (Paul Boisvert) joined Jason on stage to kick off the proceedings.

The first point to note before diving into any of the individual product announcements was Magento’s change of marketing of their offerings, with all their products now being branded under the umbrella of ‘Magento Commerce Cloud’, highlighting a clear direction for the future of the product range.

 

Magento Social

First up was news of the acquisition of a platform to enable easy integration with Facebook to link and list products.  This has been rebranded as ‘Magento Social‘ and is available as a free download from Magento Marketplace.

 

Magento Advanced CMS

Formerly know as ‘BlueFoot CMS’, which was acquired by Magento in December 2016, this was the first public appearance under it’s new name and the inclusion within Magento Enterprise 2.3 release was reaffirmed with a date of late 2017.

 

Magento Shipping

The next was another acquisition / collaboration of sorts between Magento and Temando – ‘Magento Shipping‘.  Billed as an ‘intelligent multi-carrier shipping solution’ it allows connection with global carrier services and promises automation of fulfilment amongst other features.

 

Magento Business Intelligence

Another previous acquisition, Magento BI is a an advanced analytics and reporting tool and was promoted due to it now having multiple tiers: ‘essentials’ and ‘pro’, with costs now starting from as low as $100/month.

 

Magento B2B (Business 2 Business)

This was the ‘big one’ so to speak and most in the community already knew it was coming, including as part of Magento Enterprise 2.2, however for the first time it has now been given a tentative release date of summer 2017.

 

Summary

That’s all for part 2 and I’ll be impressed if you made it to the end 😉, next up I’ll be reviewing the remaining talks given during Imagine so check back soon!