Meet our long-term partner: Blackbit
Thank you for taking a moment of your time. Before we begin, could you perhaps introduce yourself very briefly?
My name is Stefano Viani, my beta was through after 9 months, I was released on October 16th, 1964. I founded Blackbit with my current partner Daniel Gerlach and my brother Remo in 1989.
Please tell me a little bit about Blackbit. What do you do?
We see ourselves as a digital commerce agency. This means that the majority of our projects have something to do with digital transactions. This ranges from event ticketing systems to social apps with which users can send congratulations and give gifts to others. Mostly, however, it's about online shops and the integration of peripheral systems. In doing so, we try to look beyond IT and, if desired, also work with our clients on the strategy and marketing of digital platforms.
You have been a Pimcore Gold Partner since 2013. How did you become aware of Pimcore back then?
In 2000, we received venture capital for an inbound marketing system. That put us about 15 years ahead of our time. When the internet bubble burst in 2001 and we couldn't market the system, we used it as a CMS and extended shop and PIM functionality. Unfortunately, the system was based on proprietary technology. So we were always interested to see what our colleagues were up to with Pimcore. When a big project was coming up, we looked at whether it would be more economical to reengineer the rest of our system or join the Pimcore community. We decided to go with Pimcore and haven't regretted it.
With Pimcore, agencies can create very individual solutions for their clients. Is there a particular area you specialize in? If so, why this area in particular?
We built our first B2B online shop in 1998 and specialized in e-commerce in the following years because we realized that this area is more crisis-proof than others. No entrepreneur saws off the branch - i.e. the source of revenue - on which he is sitting. Advertising budgets, on the other hand, can easily be cut, image presentations frozen. Today, we develop multifunctional, highly integrated digital platforms based on Pimcore, if the prerequisites are met. Or, alternatively, we integrate e.g. shop, CRM, and ERP systems with Pimcore according to the best-of-breed approach. Another attraction of e-commerce for us are the clear KPIs by which our success can be measured. We'd rather have a knighthood than a limp handshake.
What makes Pimcore stand out for you?
Pimcore is a great platform on which almost anything can be realized. At the same time, Pimcore offers a stable functional basis on which customized applications can be developed. This way, we don't have to invent the wheel twice and our clients don't have to pay for the development of the prerequisites that need to be in place before we can address the differentiating, mission-critical features of the commissioned platform.
You've just sold the first Pimcore Enterprise Subscription to one of your clients. Congratulations! What benefits do you think this new offering from Pimcore offers agencies and their clients?
For large companies that have chosen Pimcore as their strategic platform for digitization, the Pimcore Enterprise Subscription provides additional security through long-term support, vendor services, and access to great functional extensions that should not be missing from any large company's digital platform. The requirements and capabilities of SMEs and large enterprises differ. The Enterprise Subscription takes this into account. Many small and medium-sized enterprises would be overwhelmed by the scope of functionality and would not use it in practice. The price of the Enterprise Subscription is rather secondary and is more than justified in terms of scope and performance. For us as an agency, the Enterprise Subscription helps us to gain access to the target group of large companies, as it covers their basic requirements, and we can once again take care of the customer-specific, differentiating, and competition-critical requirements. For smaller clients and smaller budgets, we have less complex Pimcore extensions tailored to the needs of SMEs.
Why is it so great to partner with us?
The Pimcore community is an excellent ecosystem for creative and talented agencies, who get a powerful tool in Pimcore and a great sponsor in Pimcore GmbH. The communication is friendly and you always find an open ear. There are no endless hierarchies and in the end, it's always about how to get one step further together.
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