New aheadWorks CEO Natallia Kukuruzina: “We Implement New Advanced Development Principles”
Today we talk to Natallia Kukuruzina, a new aheadWorks CEO, who brings new approaches to the development of our products and company as a whole.
AHEADWORKS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering.
Natallia Kukuruzina is a highly-experienced strategic manager working for 10 years in IT mainly focusing on foreign contractors and early project launches. Natallia possesses vast experience in team building, process establishing, and business administration.
aW: Hi, Natallia! Do you mind answering a few questions about the future of aheadWorks, the prospects of Magento 2, and the market in general?
Natallia: Sure! I’ll be glad to take this chance to talk to our customers and share our plans for the future.
aW: Great! Let’s start with an introduction then.
Natallia: Well, I’m an involved person, I love working with other people, I enjoy my work and I welcome challenges. (smiling…) I’ve been an aheadWorks CMO for over a year now and today I’m excited to join the company as a CEO. I’m extremely intrigued with the Magento 2 platform and new opportunities it promises.
Our primary task is to provide early adopters with must-have tools and ensure quick and smooth uptake of the new technology.
aW: Welcome aboard! And, since you mentioned it, let’s focus on Magento 2 for a minute. What are your expectations for the platform and how does it affect aheadWorks? Scared? Excited?
Natallia: A little bit of both, naturally. But, it’s worth mentioning that we came prepared for Magento 2. By the time it launched we already had 5 fully tested extensions in our M2 portfolio which are available for the purchase now and we are planning to expand it by a few more before the year runs out. So, for now, our primary task is to provide early adopters with must-have tools and ensure quick and smooth uptake of the new technology.
As to the platform itself, I expect great things. Magento 2 is extremely powerful, compared to the first version it provides store owners with many more e-commerce opportunities. Recent innovations have streamlined the checkout process, created wider SEO opportunities, offered improved admin grid, better PCI compliance, and much more.
As an extension provider, our job is to embrace these changes and find a way to take them a step further. We look carefully at new opportunities, at needs of our clients, and we find ways to add value to their business.
We already have 5 fully tested extensions in our Magento 2 portfolio.
aW: Are you planning any changes in your business strategy and product development process with the advent of Magento 2?
Natallia:Yes, it’s inevitable. We currently stand on the edge of new era, when previous approaches are no longer applicable, while the new ones are not yet entirely formed. And I’m not just talking about the code, the whole ecosystem is about to change.
At the moment we work at adapting our internal processes to match continuously growing demand for quality and performance that comes with Magento 2. Naturally, we have revised the scope of technical development, but, above all, we have outlined the guiding principles for the delivery of our future products.
First, we clearly understand that each ecommerce business is unique and it is hard to imagine a product that would be a perfect match for everyone; so customizations are inevitable. Thus, we implement new advanced development principles aiming to improve not only products’ reliability and performance, but especially customization opportunities. We hope that it will help our customers and partners to have a painless start with their newborn Magento 2 stores.
We treat our products not just as a scope of features, but as a business tool.
Second, we treat our products not just as a scope of features, but as a business tool to be used daily to satisfy specific business needs. We try to predict how our products will be used and arrange the workflow in the way that ensures intuitive and “time-saving” backend experience. With this improvement we hope to simplify the life of Magento admins and save time and money for store owners.
aW: You talk a lot about client needs, business needs, and making assumptions about how your products are going to be used. Is there a methodology behind that?
Natallia: This is where another change comes in. As a part of our commitment to creating a better match between our products and our clients we are working on making our clients a part of the development process. Starting back in August we have been actively collecting feedback on our Magento 2 products and have accumulated over 400 tips for functionality improvements. We hope that it becomes a common practice for our company and greatly appreciate the participation of our clients.
aW: Back to Magento 2. Clearly it’s here to stay. How would you sum up your expectations?
Natallia: Magento 2 is supposed to have excellent perspectives as the product is now more powerful and functionally equipped than ever. It embraces all the advantages of the tremendous ecommerce experience and recent innovations. So, we are very optimistic about the future and believe that Magento 2 will stimulate the creation of new stores, enhancing the experience of both sellers and buyers.
We are very optimistic about the future and believe that Magento 2 will stimulate the creation of new stores.
aW: We believe the question on everyone’s mind is now when Magento 2 is here, how is the ecosystem going to change? How do you go from Magento 1 to Magento 2?
Natallia: Obviously there is going to be a transition period, but it’s not going to start immediately. For Magento 1 stores, particularly for our clients, there is no reason to hurry – we’ve built good products, they’ll keep working, and, for at least three more years, we’ll keep supporting them.
We are also here for anyone willing to start using Magento 2 platform. We are working non-stop to deliver new extensions and equip startups with must-have tools. From our partners we also know that there is a number of Magento 2 projects already in progress, which means that resources are all here for anyone starting on Magento 2.
Naturally, the ecosystem is far from fully formed, but neither Magento 1 nor Magento 2 businesses will lack the infrastructure for the foreseeable future.
It is the time for inspired work, interesting tasks, new opportunities, and wins.
aW: Thank you very much, Natallia, for you detailed answers. We wish fair wind to your endeavors! And you are welcome to leave a short final statement.
Natallia: Today we all are going through a challenging time, but it is also the time for inspired work, interesting tasks, new opportunities, and wins. I wish the Magento team and all participants of the ecosystem boundless energy and great success.