Why do we need to work with trusted technology partners?
Hello! It’s Tadhg here. I’m a Magento Solution Specialist at Monsoon Consulting. Thanks for tuning in. “Apex” is our new industry-leading B2B accelerator package for Magento Commerce.
The Apex team at Monsoon Consulting has been building our base platform over the last 12 months, combining new and innovative B2B features along with industry insights in UX and UI to create a mobile-first interface addressing all key areas of user functionality and conversion.
I’m very proud to be part of this growing product. It’s a real living thing with further enhancements already in progress or queued in the backlog. We will also be giving our Apex clients the chance to shape the future of the product. We believe that the best users are real users.
Magento Commerce and Apex together comes with some fantastic features as standard. But we can’t do everything. And that’s where our technology partnerships come into play.
Magento has a very active community and technology space. The Marketplace is proof of this with the many thousands of plugins available for the platform. Monsoon Consulting recognises some of these extension providers as trusted providers. We have two types:
Extension purchase and install from an extension provider who we approve of.
Extension install from a technology partner which is typically a SaaS-based offering.
The Magento marketplace is packed full of extensions that offer every kind of enhancement to the base platform. However, we have strict coding standards at Monsoon Consulting. All extensions purchased are evaluated thoroughly. Not all of them pass our stringent tests. So, as a general rule, we approach all extension installs with great caution.
Please note: a third party extension must be kept up to date as the platform continues to improve via its patching and major updates. A trusted extension provider should always have their extensions compatible with the latest version as soon as possible. Adobe has a well-established beta program allowing companies early access to future releases.
I’ve been working in the Magento ecosystem for over 10 years now. I have to admit that there has never been a better time in the technology partner space. Just to clarify, these are independent companies who partner with Magento to provide the client with a specific piece of technology and functionality needed to enhance their online business. Tech partners offer their own software or service. They will normally live and breathe a distinct area of eCommerce. They would be considered leading experts in their particular field.
When we set out to build Apex we never had any intention of rewriting what some of our extension providers and technology partners do very well. Our Apex feature set is quite unique. It is very much design-driven development. Every enhancement goes through many iterations of design first because customer experience is vital to eCommerce success. B2B users are very different to B2C. Focus can more often be about the speed of service - how quickly can that order be submitted.
So, why is Magento Commerce not good enough out of the box? For many clients yes it will be a very good starting point. But eCommerce now covers a huge area. For example, there’s a whole industry based around what happens on the checkout order thank you page!
Magento Commerce has plenty of new and exciting features coming in its own backlog. We will soon be welcoming version 2.4. One of its strongest selling points is that it can be customised to suit your specific needs. B2B more often than not contains some complexities. Every client is different. Integration to external systems like ERP and PIM are common.
The acquisition of Magento by Adobe has introduced the whole new world of Adobe Experience Cloud. Magento now talks about the “Unified Commerce” experience. There are many solutions in the Adobe suite now ready to integrate into Magento. Modern eCommerce and that includes B2B need to focus on the customer user journey.
Here are some key areas where technology partners can help you elevate your eCommerce solution to the next level:
Helpdesk & Chatbot
Payment Gateway & Finance
Marketing & Customer Engagement
Apex aims to help get businesses online within six to eight weeks. It’s an accelerator package that gives you an attractive suite of additional features pre-built and ready to use. Another term being used quite often now is Strategic Commerce. The first step must be to have your website on the correct eCommerce platform that’s ready for growth. Then with careful planning, you can introduce some fantastic technology partners in a phased approach. We’re seeing more and more eCommerce managers struggling to keep up with all the advances in technology. They need software to help make their lives easier - automation and applications of Artificial Intelligence are all coming to the forefront in many of these exciting technologies.
If you would like to know more about some of our technology partners please do reach out. I’m a proud and active member of the Magento eCommerce community. Always happy to share my thoughts on any of your specific needs.