Reboot. Embrace. Grow.” International development, a product roadmap and strategies: Everything you need to know about Unlock 2022!
- 31 Mar 2022
By Samuel Maître-Jean, e-Commerce Solution Manager at Smile
“Akeneo, the jewel of French Tech, made its debut in The Forrester Wave™: Product Information Management, Q2 2021, in June 2021 and was immediately named a Strong Performer. This signifies real international recognition of Akeneo, because it is rare to achieve such a great rating in a first appearance in this kind of report.
On 28 February 2022, Akeneo announced its new certified membership in the MACH Alliance, a group of vendors of Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless solutions, followed by news of a $135 million funding round barely two weeks later, at Akeneo Unlock 2022, to accelerate its product development roadmap, bolster strategic hiring and support its international growth.
When you consider this sequence of events, it is fairly easy to deduce that roadmap’s direction: reinforcement of progress towards the founding principles of the MACH Alliance, and innovation to “redefine product information management”. Given the theme of Unlock 22 – Reboot. Embrace. Grow. – we can see that Akeneo has reached a crucial point in its development, redefining its own lines and reinventing itself.
So, what changes can we expect to see?
1. APIs as the new norm for interacting with Akeneo
The launch of the brand-new Akeneo App Store at Unlock 2022 is the perfect illustration of this. Rebranding of the Akeneo marketplace? Yes, but not just that.
The marketplace offered connectors to third-party solutions, suppliers and data consumers, and you had to go through an integrator to install them and interconnect the systems. That time is over! Connectors are being replaced by apps which you can select directly in the App Store, within your own Akeneo interface. Then, it takes just a few clicks to configure them, just like on your smartphone! An undeniable benefit to clients in terms of UX and speed of rollout.
Of course, Akeneo does not expect the entire ecosystem with which it interacts to go full API. Which is why a Custom Exports functionality has been announced, which would standardize exports and make them reusable with any type of application, without requiring any custom development work to generate them like before.
2. Functional enrichment through apps
Apps are not only redefining the future of connectors to the Akeneo ecosystem but are also standardizing how functional enhancements can be made to the platform. Because it’s not just about connectors now. It’s also about all the developments that partner integrators can produce for clients on the platform (customizable filters, additional custom functionalities, etc.): everything will now become a reusable app.
Akeneo supports this change by providing access to a demo app that provides an accelerator model and the necessary training. There can be no doubt that the roadmap will have more and more functionalities and app development aids in store for us.
3. A loss of interest in on-premise versions
One of the main reasons why clients choose an on-premise solution over a SaaS version is the possibility of functionally enriching the solution through custom development work. Now, such enhancements will be possible in the form of apps, and the SaaS version will enable the installation of those custom developments. And because Akeneo certifies the apps that are available on its App Store, compatibility is guaranteed.
Within this framework, the possibility of custom developments in SaaS mode, combined with the transparent version upgrades which are inherent to that model, will gradually diminish interest in the on-premise version, in which clients have to make an investment for each upgrade.
A new model revolutionizing perspectives on the implementation of PIM/PXM solutions
These profound and substantial changes are raising many questions about how we will be rolling out and using Akeneo.
The developments that we are used to producing in response to specific needs will now be published and available to all as apps in the App Store. This means they will have to be designed to be generic and reusable.
But will a client that invests in the development of an app want to share it with the whole community? Those apps can be free or paid – and the price can even be based on a quote, like some of the apps released by other members of the MACH Alliance – so the client will be able to generate revenue from their apps. This is the birth of a new kind of business model, one that offsets the investment in implementing a company’s PXM solution. This approach is not unlike open source, with its community contributions that are not necessarily synonymous with a zero cost.
This new model could well revolutionize how we look at investments in technology. So, it will be time for us too, along with our clients and integration partners, to reboot our habits, embrace change and grow within this new framework!
Akeneo launched V6 on 23 March 2022. For more information: https://www.akeneo.com/blog/akeneo-pim-v6-is-here.
To master the subject inside out, download our PIM white paper here!