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Jamersan’s CEO TJ Gamble hosted a live stream with special guest Joseph Maxwell director from Swiftotter. They discussed the addition of major features in minor Magento updates and the Community Insider Program. Here is a highlight of the live stream and you can also watch the entire video here.

The minor version releases of Magento have added some major features to the platform, which has its positives and negatives.

 

  • Of note, the releases can add unnecessary complexity to ownership of the platform for merchants, along with added overall expense due to the work that goes into the upgrades. Joseph agreed with TJ that adding modules can cause some problems and bugs. For example, Joseph noted a recent Amazon update creating some issues for his clients.
  • A possible strategy to alleviate this issue could be to add features more slowly in the community edition, so that merchants can work with the updates, fix any issues and ultimately end up being more profitable.
  • Joseph referenced this article by Andreas von Studnitz on removing some of the extra modules. This can be helpful if you won’t want to install some of the packages, so that you can trim down the code size and avoid some of the potential bugs in features that your merchants don’t need.
  • The Community Insider Program is another way that agencies can show their Magento expertise. This is a pseudo-partnership program where agencies get a badge from Magento for a fee of approximately $3,000 per year, but aren’t labelled as an official “partner.” This also has its pros and cons. You can apply to become a part of the Community Insider Program here.
  • Within this program, agencies are able to use this badge to promote themselves as a Community Insider, which can grow their legitimacy with merchants. Magento conducts periodic surveys and solicits feedback from merchants to help ensure some quality control with the Insiders. However, this can also mean that some agencies that are perhaps not as experienced or qualified, but have paid the fee, can tout themselves as Magento Community Insiders.
  • The program does provide accountability for agencies, but there aren’t necessarily imminent consequences for those agencies that aren’t quite up to snuff. Additionally this isn’t a contractual full-blown partnership program, so the terminology of whether you are a partner versus an Insider can be misleading to merchants and potential clients.
  • TJ and Joseph agreed that this is a beneficial program and also noted that there is the ability for merchants to find your agency on the Insider platform (though both indicated that clients usually find them through word of mouth or geographic needs). However, both raised concerns about the level of validity the program may give to unexperienced agencies.

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