12.12.2020
5 min. read
Categories: Business Ecosystem News
When a swan meets a rooster – Sylius opens a new office in France
With over 300 merchants, agencies and tech vendors, France has become the biggest Sylius market. To seize this potential and meet constantly growing expectations, we have decided to recruit a native Country Manager and open a new office in Lyon.

Teasers

As most of you have probably seen, last week on our social media we published bits of puzzle to solve:

On Twitter, nearly 44% of followers voted for the new office in France, whereas on LinkedIn nearly 60% indicated that this buzz is because we have crossed 1k live stores in France.  

Potential collaboration with #LaFrenchTech has also been a quite popular answer. Sadly, only a few respondents, incl. me, indicated it’s all about ornithology and crossing of bird species.🙁

…So what is true in this world full of fake news and angry birds?

First, a bit of context

It goes without saying that France is the biggest Sylius market. Quite a surprise given we are a Polish startup after all, and it’s not that easy to enter this very powerful but rather hermetic market, even for large corporations.

It has not been planned – it simply happened. Why?

Because Sylius is based on Symfony which originated in Clichy, France over 15 years ago. For PHP developers from the country of croissants, Symfony is almost a religion – everyone knows it. If you add to this +600k programmers worldwide using this technology, you’ll easily understand its potential.

Long before other players recognized this wonderful PHP framework as the most solid codebase for their platforms, Sylius trusted Symfony and since its very inception in 2010 has been fully relying on it.

This has led to a unique relationship we have with the Symfony core team, being present at almost every significant event with our presentations and workshops.

Let’s add some data to this

France is Sylius no. 1 country in multiple dimensions. Here go some proofs:

  • 1st region in our analytics as for October 7, with ~18% growth comparing to the previous year;
  • 250+ live Sylius websites tracked by BuiltWith, but it’s 300+ if we look at our internal sources and could be much more if we think of all projects using only Sylius decoupled components, not the full platform;
  • 35% of all Sylius Business Partners coming from France (doubled if compared to previous year) and we add more every month;
  • 30% of all Sylius Plus customers are from France (also doubled comparing to 2020);
  • 20% of all leads we recieve are French;
  • 350+ #french channel users on Sylius Community Slack – last year it was 150, which means 230% growth, and the biggest dev community of all.

Vive la France! Vive Kevin!

For years, we have been discussing building the first external Sylius bastion in France. From the business development perspective, it’s the most obvious move to make and I am more than happy that all my pursuits have finally come into this day’s reality.

So – let’s say it – to seize all this potential and meet constantly growing expectations, we have decided to recruit a native Country Manager and open a new office (co-work address for starters) in Lyon. 

That being said, Kevin Bessat has become a one-man French Sylius army to expand our operations. Born, educated, living and working in France most of his life. Not only does he bring in the knowledge of local culture, language, and customs, but also a great business experience with a large set of connections in the local network.

With 6 years of web agency experience and 5 years of Sylius projects sales experience, Kevin ensures that system integrators perspective is better heard and understood in our team. 

You may wonder why Lyon, not Paris? Well, because Lyon is simply the biggest Sylius hub in the world. It’s the home of several agencies implementing Sylius, with our Leading Solution Partner Synolia on top, consultants, merchants, and a very active community, organizing local meetups, and developing extensions. 

Sometimes I wonder why we are not a French company with HQ there in the first place.

Finally, let me underline that it wasn’t so easy to get this job. We’ve made sure to hire somebody with true skills and passion for e-commerce, technology, and organizational management. I can say it firmly that Kevin is a great human being, both on the professional and personal level, with 100% fit to our Organization. Mind my words, we’ll do great things together!

If you don’t believe me – change the language and read his version of this announcement in French.

From the left: Tymoteusz Stengert – Sylius Sales & Partners lead (me), Kevin – Country Manager France, and Paweł Jędrzejewski – Sylius Founder.

What’s next?

There are multiple plans as always, but what we can confirm now for sure:

  • Clear and easy access to French native speaker for all our business partners, prospects, customers and the community;
  • Possible physical meetings with Sylius representative in France, Sylius presence on local events;
  • Collaboration with French industry magazines & media;
  • French website already exists, but will be updated more often;
  • Partner & sales materials will be regularly translated – expect Sylius vs Magento FR!;
  • Exclusive FR newsletter – we aim to release it quarterly;
  • French Sylius webinars and events in 2022.
.

Forum PHP 2021

The most important thing today is to know that you can meet Kevin in person on October 21 & 22 in Paris, on Forum PHP at our first-ever physical conference booth in France.

Forum PHP is the biggest PHP conference in France organized by local PHP association – AFUP, and gathering nearly 1000 attendees with CTOs and Lead Architects of great e-commerce projects among them.

We are lucky to have our Partners in the AFUP’s board and as sponsors all around us. However, the biggest thank you goes to our Premium Solution Partner Monsieur Biz who helped us become the Silver Sponsor, and who will support Sylius at our stand and share their experience at one of the presentations.

Contact Kevin now!

If you haven’t been already introduced to our new Country Manager – do it now:

You can also schedule a physical meeting with Sylius or send us a love letter to our new office address: Sylius France, 254 Rue Vendôme, 69003 Lyon.

Au revoir!

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Tymoteusz Stengert
New Business Lead, evolving structure and processes for direct sales and customer service. Sylius Advisor for enterprise projects and strategic technology partnerships. Regularly checking on the competition and bringing market feedback to the development team. One of the first employees of Sylius product company in 2017.
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