A few weeks ago, Scott Shefler and I had the opportunity to sit down with the Adobe Business Catalyst team in Bucharest, Romania. Trips like these pleasantly remind me that despite the proliferation of tools and technologies that make collaborating around the world a breeze, there is even greater value to meeting in person. On a personal level, Scott and I really enjoyed learning about another culture and spending time getting to know the Business Catalyst team.
Getting Down to Business
For 3 days we met with various members of the Business Catalyst team to discuss a variety of topics all with the intention of how we can put our heads together to make Business Catalyst better. This ranged from talking about the very specific features/improvements to high level business and marketing strategies. I will not go into the specifics about what was discussed, but I will say we had very productive discussions that led to tangible takeaways. We have returned with even more excitement about the future of Business Catalyst and the team behind it.
Listening to the Community is Important
It really says a lot about the Business Catalyst team that they invite partners out to Romania to get feedback on the product (Pretty went out a few months earlier). We are honored to represent the Business Catalyst community and we take the position seriously. I believe that the trips to Romania are a symbol for the rest of the community that BC values the feedback from the entire community.
What's Going on with the BC Community?
Now, I do want to dive deeper into the topic of the BC community. Chicago Digital has been an active partner for over 5 years and one of the most enjoyable parts of being a BC Partner is the community. When we first jumped all-in to the community, it was a small, passionate community willing to openly help others as we were all excited that we shared "the best kept secret in the industry". Thankfully, the community is still passionate and caring after Business Catalyst has become more popular and many changes have taken place to the product and in the community.
To Improve, We Must Change
A lot has changed in the last 5 years: a new team at Adobe is running BC, some partners have stepped up into leadership positions while others have moved away, an app store launched allowing 3rd party developers to contribute, BC is becoming more of a developers platform, training resources emerged and online communities formed across social media channels. With any sort of change there is going to be both positive and negative consequences; some people will rally behind the change while others will leave discouraged.
Business Catalyst is Growing
I want to take this opportunity to squash a misconception that might be lurking out in the community: the misconception (or fear) that Business Catalyst as a product and as a community is dying. While BC has not seen the crazy growth that some partners were hoping for (and banking on), Business Catalyst is growing and is a healthy business. More importantly, as a BC Partner, you still have one the best tools out there to build websites for Small and Medium Businesses. While some CMSs have been generating a lot of hype, they lack the substance of Business Catalyst.
Get Ready to Fall In Love With BC All Over Again
Marketing has not been a strength of the BC team in recent years but the good news is that BC has really focused their efforts on making the platform even better. We are months away from the completion of the most significant upgrades we have seen to Business Catalyst in our time. The combination of Open Platform, BC.Next and Liquid will make BC a powerful, yet flexible platform that you can scale a business on. We have been building websites on the new rendering engine and using liquid for about 5 months now and have fallen in love with BC all over again.
Come Explore the New Frontier With Us
As a community, we are about to enter a new frontier. The landscape is changing, the boundaries are moving, and the products potential is seemingly limitless. As a company who has enjoyed pushing the boundaries of BC for many years we are once again excited to find where those boundaries are and how we can creatively solve business problems on the chance we find one.