Dear Sylius community,
As some of you might have noticed, Sylius underwent a restructuring process earlier this year. Sometimes, to move forward, the best thing to do is to stop, reflect on the past, learn some lessons, and plan accordingly. In our yearly review, we mentioned that Paweł Jędrzejewski, Sylius’s founder, opened the business to invite new partners to continue the mission he originally started in 2011. Over the years, Sylius has committed to being a transparent, open-source, community-driven product, which has led it to success over the years. As of 2023, it boasts thousands of community members, 60+ partners worldwide, and approximately 4k online stores, some of which use its commercial license, Sylius Plus, introduced a few years ago. This year, Paweł dedicated most of his time to interviewing potential candidates and finding business partners who would be the best fit to drive the success even further.
Sylius has always prioritized transparency. This is why we are sharing the big news as soon as possible, even though we’re still warming up after the process was finalized from the legal side. More importantly, we want to share what it means to the product and its community.
Paweł has decided to move forward with Mikołaj Król and Damian Murawski, primarily known as the founders of BitBag, a committed Sylius commercial partner and open-source contributor. Some of you may recognize plugins or content that the company distributes. Mikołaj and Damian bet on Sylius over 7 years ago, founding one of the first commercial agencies implementing eCommerce solutions on top of Sylius, even before the 1.0.0 version was released. At the same time, they actively contributed to the ecosystem.
BitBag has collaborated with Sylius since then, delivering professional services to many merchants that use this outstanding vendor and collaborating with other partners and agencies to adapt Sylius to their needs or make the entry process smoother. BitBag has also been close to the open-source community, developing some of the most crucial extensions, integrations, and even their products to fulfill the Sylius ecosystem. The company works with some of the largest Sylius Plus clients. All these aspects give BitBags’ founders a full understanding of the product from each context – the Community Edition, Sylius Plus version, community building factor, implementation agency, and tech partnerships. Besides, BitBag is a Polish company operating fully remotely, with a robust internal culture similar to Sylius, making the move almost plug-and-play.
Most of you might be curious about what this exactly means, some might even be worried about a drastic product shift, so we’ve decided to address those concerns upfront to ensure that we are all on the same page regarding the future. Here is precisely what is (or what is not) going to happen business-wise:
– Sylius will remain a standalone company; there will be no merger between BitBag & Sylius. We plan to utilize the resources of BitBag when necessary and establish a communication loop between the two companies, but we don’t think merging these domains is a good idea or involving the BitBag team full-time. The current Sylius team knows best how to take care of building the product, we think it is best if they keep the lead in this area.
– Sylius will not be rebranded; it will also remain open source as it is today. We value open source immensely and are well aware that it’s one of the strongest factors of Sylius’s success. Therefore, we’re happy to continue the mission, contributing even more to building an outstanding, transparent, and engaging product the way it was before.
– Mikołaj Król will take the lead as a CEO, overseeing the partner and client ecosystem, community, sales, marketing, and product strategy design: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bitbager/
– Damian Murawski will step in as a COO, responsible for cultivating a strong internal culture, strategy execution, and handling various day-to-day operations internally: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damian-murawski/
– Paweł Jędrzejewski will remain as the Head of Product, continuing his excellent work in further developing our product: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pjedrzejewski/
– We will announce a new product roadmap, which will be teased in the next paragraph.
We plan to introduce some new features to the Sylius Community Edition and Sylius Plus. We are considering “facelifting” and transferring some of the most important plugins developed by the community (not only the ones developed by BitBag) so that they can be optionally installed with Sylius CE, similar to the current invoicing plugin. For the Plus, we are probably going to introduce a B2B module and advanced search. All of these will be done respecting backward compatibility, so none of them will be forced during installation. On top of that, we will continue the mission of providing even better API coverage, security maintenance, and updates. This vision will also be carefully discussed with the core team and community before any serious actions, so if you want to share your thoughts on the above, feel free to do so, preferably on the official Sylius Slack channel.
We will also pay close attention to the documentation. As we all know there is a lot of room for improvement. Even though Sylius is a great developer-oriented product, it is only as good as its documentation. There is only a small fraction of developers who prefer reading the core code instead of docs, and even for them, we want this to be a choice, not a necessity. We also must consider creating proper User Docs, making Sylius more user-friendly.
As for the 2.0 or BCs for that matter, we are open to discussions with the community and other core team members, similar to changes that will not break the backward compatibility. We believe that the most significant changes should feature the drop of Semantic UI and replace it with something more modern and popular and perhaps introduce a new way of integrating PSPs that is not dependent on Payum but rather events and workflows, which work great by design for this purpose. Keep in mind that this is just an idea, and even if we proceed, we will take decent care of making the process smooth, introducing legacy bridges, and providing proper upgrade docs.
The product is as good as the people who believe in the values it represents. We would like to keep the community spirit alive and introduce some more engaging activities. These would most likely feature:
– Recurring meetings with the core team and most active contributors to discuss the product direction and ongoing progress
– Recognizing the most active contributors by mentions in the README, gift packs on a monthly basis
– Introducing some new Core Team members
– Engaging the current Core Team members in supporting the mission, consulting (and probably extending) the above-described ideas
– Organizing Meetups more frequently (two Sylius meetups are about to happen in June in France and Germany)
– Announcing SyliusCon, which is going to happen in November 2023
– Building a training certification program
– Working on a more professional and engaging partner program with the current and upcoming partners
All of the above may seem like a lot, and indeed it is. However, as some of you already know, most of these initiatives were already started in the ecosystem and requested for a long time. We believe that with the new blood in the vendor’s veins, the support of the community, and the experience the new executives have gathered over their professional careers, we will make it all possible in no time. Our current mission is to reflect on what we all love about Sylius and what blocks it to be an even better product and take it to the top, where it always belonged.
We hope you are as thrilled as we are to welcome this new chapter and pursue it as the beginning of something great!