Recognized for its multi-channel ecommerce offering and a flexible architecture, Hybris poses a strong competition to IBM and Oracle (ATG) in the enterprise eCommerce software space. Hybris Multi-Channel Suite offers to build a consistent customer experience across multiple channels like online web storefront, mobile storefront, print, brick & mortar stores, customer services call center and social media.
Hybris Multi-Channel Suite is a J2EE based multi-tiered eCommerce framework that can deliver most use cases in B2C as well as B2B scenarios. Interestingly, similar to Elastic path, Hybris leverages several Open Source project for it’s eCommerce Suite like Spring Framework, Ehcache, Apache Solr, Hibernate Validator, Apache Commons, Google Guava and Jasper Reports. Hybris adopts a loosely coupled product architecture, that’s based on extensions and modules, making it relatively easy to integrate new features and functionality into your deployment.
Hybris is a good mix of product and framework – when deployed, it offers a functional B2C storefront out-of-box so you don’t have to develop your storefronts from scratch; it also offers rich API that allows you to customize as well as develop storefronts from scratch. Hybris also offers templates, accelerators and applications that add rich set of features to your deployments – although charged separately, these can reduce your development efforts and time to market. These components include B2B application, web content management capabilities, product information and content management capabilities, B2b, B2C and multichannel accelerators. Hybris offers a developer friendly Eclipse based development framework and web based interface for administrators and business users.
Predominantly a European player, Hybris had it’s initial share of success in the region. Hybris make inroads into the North American geo thought it’s partnerships and partners network but with limited success. This is expected to change with Hybris acquisition of iCongo in August 2011. iCongo is a Montreal (Canada) based eCommerce vendor and offers Hybris a strong customer base in North America along with an easy access to the market. A strategic move that’ll help Hybris shed it’s European vendor image as well as offers a near shore customer support presence – limitations that has been hindering it’s growth in the region. iCongo also brings Cloud hosting experience, and a strong Order Management and Warehouse Management capabilities to the Hybris product offering.
If you are a non European customer looking to make a decision on the product, do keep in mind that it may not be easy to find experienced Hybris architects and developers; most Hybris partners are also Europe based service providers. That said, I’ve spoken to several service integrators in the recent past (including a few global players) who have started building expertise on Hybris as the number of customers asking for Hybris expertise is on the rise.