Roy, CEO and Co-Founder of Magento, kicked off his talk by answering the question 'Why are we (Magento) here in the UK', the answer was because the UK is Europe's leading e-commerce market and was valued at £81 billion in 2011.
Roy talked about Magento's orgins, where they are now and the future.
Magento was introduced in 2001, under the name of Varien and operated out of Roy's bedroom – initially they did what ever the clients wanted (don't we all?). As they started to grow, they decided to focus on e-commerce.
Varien kept growing and they found that merchants were becoming increasingly frustrated with the platforms, upgrades were difficult and running multi-stores off one platform was not possible – so they asked the question 'Can we build something better?' and that was the start of Magento, which officially launched in August 2008.
Since then, Magento has gone from strength to strength and now has a large community of partners and developers worldwide. In the UK, it has seen huge growth, with more and more agencies choosing to specialise in Magento. According to research by Tom Robertshaw Magento is not only the largest ecommerce platform in the UK, but also the fastest growing.
Magento currently powers $25 Billion in transactions every year (not sure what the source of these figures were), with the market for Magento systems integrators currently at $1 Billion a year and growing - great figures for a platform that is only 3 years old.
Magento currently offers several products; the community, professional and enterprise editions (Magento is signing up 100 new enterprise clients every month), Magento mobile for iPhone, iPad and Android and Magento Go.
Magento Connect is currently the leading application market place, with over 4,800 modules which generate revenues of $100 million per year for developers. A new version of Magento Connect has also just been released, opening up the market place to Magento Go:
Magento 2 is also in development, with a release date of Q4 2012. Developer releases will be available as soon as possible and the developement process is promised to be transparent - Roy confirmed later in the day that full documentation will be made available.
Magento have also improved a number of their services, in particular Magento U - class room and online training (available free for a limited time). As well as a new certification program, something every developer at GPMD will be doing. For me, this is a huge step forward as it will allow agencies to train developers in Magento far more efficiently.
Roy also annouced a new solution for large enterprise customers - Magento Enterprise Premium, which is to be released in November.
All in all, this was a very upbeat presentation, as expected, with some interesting information.