It was a humid day in Basel, Switzerland, and there was a pre-conference buzz in the lobby of Pathe Küchlin Theatre. As the coffees flowed, the time soon came for that buzz to simmer down for the welcoming keynote of Magnolia’s Co-Founder, Pascal Mangold.
Mangold kicked off the event by taking us through Magnolia's impressive yearly revenue totals, as well as their projected totals up until 2018 (a year which they predict will bring in over $26M).
He also revealed some new high profile clients, including the likes of; Maserati, The New York Times, Tesco, Verizon, and American Express.
Boris Kraft soon took over, and the Chief Visionary Officer picked up where Mangold left off.
Both of their presentations were filled with highly professional videos, interesting factoids, and a few jokes to wake the crowd up, too. I found myself genuinely enjoying each section, particularly because they were discussing something pretty big, and pretty new. Speaking of which...
Magnolia Now Announced
Day one of the Magnolia Conference 2016 was marked with the official announcement of Magnolia Now, a cloud-hosted enterprise CMS solution.
To put it simply, Magnolia Now has been released to help companies shorten their time to market. And of course, it will bring with it the traditional benefits of a cloud-based enterprise CMS, including; updates, backups, and premium support.
Mangold and Kraft both leaned on the metaphor of a car to describe their new product. In the analogy, Magnolia CMS itself is the engine, while the extra moving parts that make it easy for a driver to get in and drive, are the parts that make up Magnolia Now.
The release date is set for November 15th 2016, although the cheapest Magnolia Now plan for small-to-medium sized businesses (which comes at a fee of $999 per month) won't be available until 2017.
Following the announcement of Magnolia Now, I had the chance to converse with Magnolia’s new CMO, Lars Boeddener and IBM’s Dele Atanda – who was due to give a presentation of his own towards the end of the day.
We had a light-hearted discussion about the motivations behind – as well as the objectives of – the release of Magnolia Now. We all agreed that it was indeed an exciting move from Magnolia.
Preseetha Kollamthodi’s presentation was another highlight of the day. The EMEA Channel Leader from IBM Marketing Cloud served up some genuinely useful insights for the marketers who were in attendance.
Dele Atanda’s presentation also impressed me. As the Chief Digital Innovation Officer at IBM Interactive Experience. Atanda’s focus was on IoT (Internet of Things).
He touched on the types of technology that was already in production – like this Bacon scent emitting iPhone accessory – and dropped some interesting statistics about the future of IoT.
Atanda also gave us a glimpse into how IBM Watson was Working with a company called Cognitoy to change the way children learn by adding personalization into the mix.
Magnolia showcased some of their client's success stories today, too.
Migros.ch and all its associated websites boast over 5,500 pages, which are available in three different languages. They presented the ways in which Magnolia facilitated a complete re-design of their digital presence, as well as how it continues to help them personalize customer experiences across different channels.
Day One Take Aways
I'll level with you. I attended the Magnolia Conference in 2014, and although I enjoyed it, it doesn't compare to what I experienced today.
Mangold and Kraft delivered honed and entertaining keynotes, Magnolia Now was announced, the IBM duo of Kollamthodi and Atanda impressed, and the atmosphere was splendid.
The snacks weren't bad, either.
Furthermore, Magnolia went to the trouble of creating an iOS, Android, and Windows app specifically for the event. It provided maps, schedules, and even made use of bluetooth beacons around the Theatre to alert you about what was happening in the room you were standing next to.
As you may be able to tell, I thoroughly enjoyed day one of the Magnolia Conference 2016. And the best part is, day two is just a few hours away.
Follow CMS Critic on Twitter for more live tweets from me using the #MConf16 hasthtag, and stay tuned for tomorrows coverage of Magnolia Conference 2016 Day Two.
Also, be sure to explore the Magnolia CMS hub on our CMS Directory.
Looking for Day Two coverage? Here you go.