WebMakers Talks - business side of Sylius
We are starting a new series called WebMakersTalks! On our blog we will present you interviews with our business partners, in which we will ask them about the genesis of their creation, the way they operate and their biggest successes and failures.
In the first episode of our series, Agnieszka talked to Sylius CEO Pawel Jędrzejewski about topics related to the functioning of this platform.
Hi, my name is Agnieszka. I'd like to welcome you to our new WebMakers Talks series. Today we're in Lodz, where we'll be talking to Paweł Jędrzejewski - CEO of Sylius.
I would like to ask you at the beginning, what is Sylius? How did it come into existence? What are your origins?
Sylius is an open sourced headless e-commerce engine. In simpler terms, it's a software on which medium and larger businesses create their websites that sell online.
Where did the idea for Sylius come from?
The story goes back to my high school days, when I created the first online store for my mother and sister, selling cosmetics. Within that company, a small family business, the first software was just created.
And where did the name Sylius come from?
The name is a combination of two names - Sylwia and Justyna, which is how the business selling cosmetics was named.
A family business? (Laughter)
Family business. That's right.
For whom will Sylius be the best solution?
Yes, as I mentioned, for medium and larger companies. It's definitely not a software for starting your e-commerce adventure. Rather, we are talking about more technologically mature organizations. About companies that have already walked some path in e-commerce - they have experience and want more. They want more flexibility, more extensibility, etc.
How is Sylius different from ready-made platforms like WooComerce or Magento?
I would start by comparing CMSs, frameworks and platforms. CMSs are ready-made, boxed solutions that are dedicated even to technology laymen, that is, a non-developer is able to fully configure such an online store, for example, on WooCommerce.
Platforms are functionally rich software, which is also boxed, only dedicated to larger organizations. However, in the middle of it is somethig that we define as a framework, which is more of a tools for developers with basic core e-commerce functionalities, with high extensibility, thanks to which it is much easier to implement dedicated solutions.
Does Sylius have a lot of pre-built integrations and plugins that we can use?
Currently there are about a hundred verified integration plugins in our Sylius Store. So globally, there are about four hundred of them in the community. There are two types of extensions that can be installed. The first are plugins - specifically e-commerce, and the second is the so-called bundle, which also sometimes provide integration with other systems, sometimes tools for developers and there are about two thousands of these bundles, so it's quite a large extension.
And is the use of Sylius free? Because you are talking about a lot of plugins, bundles here, it sounds quite advanced. Do we have to pay for it?
Sylius is available under the MIT license. It is a very loose license and totally free. However, we also offer a Plus version with additional functionality, which is already paid for. So basically - Sylius is free.
Could you tell us more about the Plus version?
The Plus version includes several additional functionalities, especially dedicated to larger projects. Multiple warehouses, full multistore, administrators or configuration of administrators per channel. That is, different brands or branches can have their own separate administrators. The returns system, for example, and a few more additional functionalities are included in the Plus version.
I would like to ask you about plans for this year. Do you have any new integrations or plugins planned this year?
When it comes to integrations and plugins, we rather rely on our community. We do not create these integrations ourselves. On the other hand, of the most recent ones, there is an integration with Vue Storefront 2 has appeared. It is a PWA engine for e-commerce systems.
As Sylius has been on the market for several years now, I would also like to ask you about your greatest, most important successes, but also about difficult moments and failures.
When it comes to successes, the stable version in 2017 definitely comes to mind. It was a big event. From last year, definitely SyliusCon, our first conference that gathered over two hundred participants from fifteen countries. When it comes to failures, even before the introduction of Sylius Plus, we had an approach to a completely different, paid product, marketplace. We managed to sell it to only two customers, but unfortunately there was no continuation. It also reminds me of such a failure, but we drew conclusions from it and created Sylius Plus, and this one turned out to be a greater success.
It sounds very cool. Coming back to SyliusCon - as we are your partner, I would also like to ask how to become your partner and what benefits does it bring?
To become our partner, all you have to do is contact us and present your projects, if your company already has one. If not, there is an opportunity to train the development team. And after such verification of the agency's skills, you can join our partner network, which involves exposure to clients, mainly through our partner list. This is the place where clients look for their potential partners just for implementation.
Do your customers mainly come from Poland or are there also foreign customers? What markets are you currently most active in?
Our main market is France, then Germany and Switzerland, in that order. On the other hand, we are also slowly appearing on the Polish market, we have our first customers and first implementation partners, we are also developing here.
Paweł thank you very much for the interview. I wish you continued success. And I keep my fingers crossed for this year and the next.
Thanks a lot. Thanks for the interview.
If you want to see the video version, just click on the video below.