The Akoova Blog – Online Retailers deserve better!

This first blog is an introduction and talks about Akoova and how it all started. The following blogs will be aimed at talking less about us and provide you with valuable information and insights on e-commerce, cloud, Magento, PaaS etc… Akoova started in June 2013 out of pure frustration with the status quo. Osvaldo Spadano, CEO of Akoova, was previously serving as CTO at Alexandalexa, a fashion online retailer for kids.

As a responsible and experienced CTO he decided to focus the available resources to achieve the business’ objectives: create a solid e-commerce platform based on Magento, internationalisation, localisation, mobile, operational efficiency, merchandising, business intelligence, A/B Testing and the list goes on. Obviously hosting, performance, scalability and security were very important, they are a key foundation layer. Although Osvaldo had many years of experience in building and running large scale infrastructures, he decided to outsource it in a fully managed fashion. He knew what it takes and what a distraction it can be for an e-commerce business.

After looking everywhere and contacting everyone, Osvaldo managed to find the perfect hosting service provider (on paper). It ticked all of the boxes and it was a specialist in e-commerce and Magento in particular. It could fully manage the whole stack. Alexandalexa was migrated to the new infrastructure in July 2012 and ended-up being quite a disaster. After three weeks there was no option left, but to pull the plug and migrate back to the previous infrastructure on Rackspace.

The festivities season was approaching, and in order to avoid the embarrassment of the previous year, a new infrastructure was needed by October.It had to be done the traditional way, there was no much time available. Osvaldo contracted with Rackspace to provision a new managed infrastructure, he hired  an Infrastructure & System specialist, dedicated an experienced Magento developer to the project, and the infrastructure was built from scratch in a manual fashion. After over 6 weeks, in mid-October, the new infrastructure was delivered and the site migrated. It went well, but at what cost and frustration? Osvaldo had £10,000 per month budget to give away a headache, and he ended up with two headaches to deal with: 1) manage the infrastructure in-house 2) there was very little time left before the festivities started.It was frustrating, time consuming, expensive and it had a knock-on effect on other projects (opportunity-cost).

After some further research and customer development, it became clear that the industry’s status quo was immature and that there was a significant gap in the market. Osvaldo, invited Zachary Stevens (Zac) and Florinel Chis to co-found the new venture and Akoova was born. Here is the first landing page:

In the post “Online Retailers deserve better! What you should know about how e-commerce is evolving” on Medium, Osvaldo describes the hypothesis for a new segment in the e-commerce market, envisaged in 2013.

Zac, Chief Architect at Akoova, helped as consultant to set-up the Alexandalexa infrastructure. Zac and Osvaldo worked together for several years at Venda, the pioneer of SaaS e-commerce, respectively as Architect and CTO.

Forinel, Chief Service Officer at Akoova, worked with Osvaldo as Senior Magento Developer at Alexandalexa. Florinel has over a decade of experience in delivering end-to-end solutions for major Online Retailers.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you will keep following us as we share useful information with you, inspired by our quest to help online retailers focus on innovating.


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