Thursday, December 17, 2009

Magento in Switzerland

Magento is a very promising, and rapidly growing Open Source e-commerce solution. Its incredible flexibility and control over content, functionality, and visual aspects guarantees a unique user experience that is beneficial to both visitors and from an online store management point of view.
In addition Varien offers commercial support for Magento. Varien is a US based company with a R&D center in Ukraine. But what about Magento in Switzerland?

This post is listing a few Swiss Magento references and Partners.

The main Magento partners in Switzerland are: Unic and Cross Agency. Other companies present in Switzerland are Magento partners as SQLI and Optaros. Some small player as WnG and dotBase have some Magento experience. You will also find few freelancer with some strong experience (contact me if you are looking for some).

I was not able to find many Swiss Magento references:
1. Korean and Russian eShop of Nespresso (by Cross Agency)
2. German site of QCNS Fribourg (by Optaros)
3. Wander-Ovomaltine (by Unic)
4. Vinome (by WnG)

I will try to update this list as soon as possible, keep tuned and checkout Magento Forum

To get more information on Magento contact Open Web Technology the Magento Partener

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who do we trust ?

The search strategies are very different within Europe: while in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, people are looking for info on a concept or topic, in France they would first trust ... a media brand.

In France the top 3 searches are: Le Monde, Figaro and TF1 (the three big media groups!)
In the rest of Europe it is: Michael Jackson, Obama and the Swine Flu.

This shows clearly that in France people trust their media groups. What about the other countries who do they trust and what is the future of their media groups?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Online Media - New generation of electronic readers

Five of the world’s (US) biggest publishers are preparing to launch a joint venture this week aimed at regaining control of their content on the new generation of online reading devices.

These 5 majors have decided to build their own digital newsstand. Cosmopolitan, Time, Vogue, Vanity Fair and The Wall Street Journal and many other titles and will soon be available online from a common portal where it will be possible to purchase an item, a copy or even subscribe to a magazine in its printed or virtual. Online purchases can then be read regardless of the medium of reading (electronic book, cell phone or computer). Ultimately, this service should allow the reading of books, comics and even blogs.

Will the new platform be the new standard for news content as iTune is for music. This at least is the bet of John Squires, Executive Vice President and Digital Futurist for Time, Inc.

The content will be formatted for use on the iPhone, BlackBerry and other digital devices as Apple Tablets. The new solution will create a shopping experience that people are already familiar with – “a store where you can buy new and distinct iterations of The New Yorker or Time. Print magazines will also be for sale.”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What is your digital footprint?

It's no longer enough to think of your websites as destinations - you've got to think of the myriad of ways of getting your products, services, and content in front of users - where they are.

Individuals want to determine where, when and in what format they interact with your company. Until now, companies have been forced to take a custom, create once-use once approach for each microsite, iphone app, Facebook app, flash tool, rich media ad, widget, etc. This is a costly approach to create, cumbersome to manage and makes it very challenging to capture engagement level analytics and conduct A/B and multi-variate testing in-market.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Shopping Cart Network for Facebook

The assembled web becomes reality thanks to Payvment. The startup company Payvment offers online shopping cart technologies and makes use of PayPal’s new platform to implement the transaction. With Payvment’s Facebook app, anyone can directly open up an e-commerce storefront on Facebook.

Payvment’s shopping cart is also integrated with any other shop using its application. So if you put a shirt from store “x” in your cart and also placed a shirt from store “y” in the cart, both would show up on either retail site. Basically, Payvment creates a unified shopping cart across Facebook for buyers.

Payvment offers their shopping cart technology as a free web service. The only incurred costs are the PayPal fees. Unfortunately the Payvment technology is only for use in the US.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Drupal + Alfresco = Flexibility

Drupal plus Alfresco delivers flexibility in terms of cost, user interface, and thanks to both platform's support for the steadily progressing Content Management Interoperability Specification (CMIS), interoperability as well.

A recent implementation of a hybrid Drupal-Alfresco intranet for Activision (the gaming company) has been done by Optaros. The project used Drupal for the presentation layer, allowing the developers to leverage the 4000+ existing modules.

A PHP solution on the front end has the advantage of quick development, while the robust Alfesco repository handles file protocols, and things like the workflow engine. Updating content can be handled in a number of ways, through an API or webDAV, for instance.

Read more soon...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10 guiding principles for the Assembled Web

1. You should always be thinking multi-site, multi-interface, multi-project.

2. Success on the web is no longer . . . about driving traffic to your site, or keeping eyeballs there once they arrive.

3. Your brand is not what you say it is, but what . . . the Internet says it is.

4. Design is critical, and design is not about pretty shiny objects.

5. The internet itself, like the *nix operating systems on which it (almost entirely) runs, is a set of small pieces loosely joined.

6. The difference between “behind the firewall” and “out in the cloud” is trending toward zero.

7. There is no defensible reason to invent a proprietary standard wherever an open standard exists.

8. Working in isolation from the rest of the internet is inherently limiting and dangerous.

9. Consumer Technology is beating Enterprise IT, and soundly.

10. Small incremental releases are essential.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Optaros Switzerland and Magento

Optaros is the first Magento worldwide partner active in Switzerland!

With offices located in Germany, Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Zurich), the United Kingdom and the United States, Optaros offers retailers access to the best in open source for their ecommerce planning ( needs. This enterprise partnership enables Optaros to provide assembled ecommerce solutions ( to its clients using the Magento Enterprise Edition eCommerce platform.

The partnership announcement by Magento.

Friday, September 18, 2009

OCentric and Blogs

Blogs allow to drive organic search traffic since keywords and page titles can be easily optimized for product names for search. Unfortunately most Brands are not using blogs to drive traffic, and if they are they are not treating each blog permalink page as a landing page that should drive to conversions.

OCentric allows creation of search engine optimized (SEO) blogs with product detail information of the associated product on the same page.

OCentric Assembled Web

OCentric is an eCommerce solution provided by Optaros Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne, Bern Zurich)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alfresco and Drupal for your Intranet - Webinar

Optaros and Alfresco will present a Webinar on September 15 presenting how you can transform your intranet by integrating Drupal and Alfresco.

Your intranet will become a corporate commmunication tool as well as an engaging community platform, and a rock-solid document repository.

Optaros content management experts Chris Fuller and Jeff Potts will discuss how a game publisher was able to save time and money by leveraging open source for their intranet.

You’ll learn valuable insights that will help you take your Enterprise collaboration to the next level.

Register here

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

eCommerce on the Cloud

Doing some cloud hosting an eCommerce solution seams a very interesting solution to cope with traffic peaks like you might have during Christmas season.
Optaros has done some performance testing Magento (Open Source Ecommerce Solution) in the Amazon EC2.

The optimal cloud environment setup for our tests was:
  • 1 Load balancer – HAProxy on 1 small EC2 instance
  • 1 Database – MySQL on 1 small EC2 instance. We have MySQL replication running, but we did not seem to need it as the database was not the bottleneck.
  • 2 - 4 Magento servers – Medium version of High CPU On-Demand Instances which are 1.7 GB of memory, 5 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2.5 EC2 Compute Units each). Number of servers is the only variable in the test results.
The Test Results:

- Home page test
  • 2 Medium version of High CPU Machines in pool for Magento 125 Threads, 25 loops – 5157ms mean response time serving 23.7 req/s
  • 4 Medium version of High CPU Machines in pool 500 Threads, 25 loops – 8672ms mean response time serving 47.5 req/s
- Add To Cart test
  • 1 Medium version of High CPU Machine in pool 60 Threads, 2 loops – 5069ms mean response time serving 6 req/s
  • 2 Medium version of High CPU Machines in pool 80 Threads, 10 loops – 2206ms mean response time serving 14.1 req/s
Some General Findings:
  • Both homepage and add to cart scenarios scale roughly linearly.
  • The Add To Cart performed 40% slower than the highly cached homepage test scenario.
  • Serving Magento PHP files is primarily a CPU bound task, thus a high CPU machine is more effective than a standard large instance. (4 High CPU machines outperform 4 standard large machines at half the cost)
  • Upgrading the hardware for the MySQL, memcache, and load balancer machines did not help performance numbers at this level of load.
  • A single XL machine was able to serve 37.1 req per second when Jmeter was also placed on a XL instance -- there definitely seems to be solid IO advantages to using an instance rated “high IO”.
  • The actual usable level of CPU and memory on a small instance is very limited and should probably never be used for production.
  • Magento could probably be optimized further to gain additional performance including using a memory filesystem, further gzip/deflate, css/js minimization, etc.
Yes it seems that Magento can scale on Amazon EC2. Of course some additional questions have to be addresses as PCI compliance and data confidentiality.

If you are interested by this subject you should contact (Switzerland eCommerce expert and Magento Partner)

Monday, August 31, 2009

It is time to use social networking to reach customers

Services, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and countless other websites, have had a profound effect on how millions of people — especially those under 35 — interact with others (or don't), shop and view brands.

Some statistics to justify your Social-media strategies:
  • Facebook: More than 10,000 websites use Facebook Connect, a service that lets Facebook users log in to affiliated sites using their Facebook account and share information from those sites with their Facebook friends. About 30 million Facebook members access it through mobile devices.
  • Twitter: Twitter users spend 66% more dollars on the Internet than non-Twitter users, says market researcher ComScore.
  • MySpace: More than 1 million small businesses and individuals promote their goods and services on MySpace.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn has more than 365,000 company profiles. More than 12 million small-business professionals are members of LinkedIn.

Forrester states "the time to build social marketing applications is now". Social technologies continue to grow in 2009. Now more than four in five US online adults use social media at least once a month, and half participate in social networks like Facebook. While young people continue to march toward almost universal adoption of social applications, the most rapid growth occurred among consumers 35 and older. This means the time to build social marketing applications is now.

Do not wait otherwise it might be to late!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Illustration of Assembled Web

How Assembled Web can be explained on a real life example by Nikki Baird.

Today a manufacturer is definitely expected to have detailed information about all of the products it proposes. But depending on the product category they're in, they might also need to provide a community - a place for people to engage and create content about the lifestyle the brand supports (as opposed to just the products that they sell). In addition the brand may decide that selling a limited selection of products - or even the whole catalog - may provide valuable information in convincing retailers to stock a broader assortment of the brand's wares. Therefore manufacturers may approach their online presence from a strength in content, but eventually need to support community and commerce.
On the other side, retailers have commerce down pretty well, but feel they need to do much more around content and community.

The full article on RSR.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Assembled Web and Content Syndication

Optaros (Switzerland) provides with OView an Content and Application Syndication Software that enables companies to place rich media content and applications on 3rd party sites and devices and centrally manage them as if they were on their own sites. For many enterprise applications, OView is a superior choice to widget platforms, microsites or ad networks.

There are two components to OView. The first component is the Application View which is the actual application to be placed on desired websites. The second component is the Syndication Service that provides all the necessary supporting capabilities to enable successful Application Syndication.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Optaros Wins 2009 Red Hat Innovation Award

Optaros (a Swiss and US based company) and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) received the 2009 Red Hat Innovation Award in the JBoss Extensive Ecosystem Category. The award recognizes our work with the MCCA on their custom, open source event management system.

The solution assembled by Optaros, known as ShowBiz, helps streamline the detailed process of setting up large-scale events, and is now completely run on an open source stack that. Approximately 90 percent of the MCCA's day-to-day operations now run on open source solutions from JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

Optaros is one of the leading JBoss partner in the word and has many important Swiss JBoss implementation references such as: Swisscom, Nespresso, ABB, State of Vaud...

Friday, August 7, 2009

What is Assembled Web?

Optaros definition of Assembled Web would be something like: the convergence of content, community (collaboration), commerce (transaction).

Optaro's CMO compares siloed web to assemebled web on Optaro's blog.

An other popular definition of Assembled Web is the one proposed by Sebastian Wohlrapp.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Optaros - Who are our clients?

Optaros works with over 100 companies such as Hearst Corporation, Macy’s, McKesson, NXP (former Philips), Neiman Marcus, Fox, and Travelocity.

In Switzerland Optaros works for companies such as Swisscom, ABB, Atel, Nespresso, State of Vaud, Merck Serono.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Optaros - Who are we

Optaroshas assembled a senior team around the leadership of Bob Gett, former CEO of Viant and President of Cambridge Technology Partners.

In Switzerland our senior team includes top performers from Cambridge Technology Partners and IBM Switzerland.

The Swiss Management team is composed by: Philippe Grossjean, Joel Gardet, Olivier P├ępin and my self (Kay Flieger)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Optaros - What we do?

Our behavior as individuals is rapidly changing online and on-mobile; we now have more control in how we interact with others online and can assemble our personalized view of the world in our homepages, RSS readers, and social networks. Organizations that learn to engage customers and employees effectively under these new conditions will outperform those that don’t.

Optaros helps our clients shape their digital footprint:
• designing, assembling, supporting, and monitoring custom web
applications using open source software
• enhancing existing sites, intranets, and enterprise applications
• syndicating applications, content and API’s to go where customers are
• providing ongoing business agility through open business architectures

You will find some information about Optaros in French on