The Art and Science of MACH – MACH Two Conference Recap
AWS for Retail is proud to have sponsored MACH Two, a retail conference that took place June 12-14 in Amsterdam. MACH Two is an executive thought leadership forum for brands and retailers with a strategy to understand the benefits of composability or looking to learn more about the next big technological shift. MACH is an architectural approach to delivering the best commerce experience for consumers while supporting improved business agility, optimized operations, and best-of-breed functionality. MACH stands for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless, all of which are important ingredients in orchestrating a flexible solution from multiple vendors.
The MACH Two conference is the MACH community’s big stage to discuss progress, share ideas, and showcase real business impact. MACH Two delivered deep insights into the projects and technologies that are delivering value faster and offered panel discussions and debates on the buy/build/remain questions surrounding MACH compared to monolithic platforms.
AWS joined as an Enabler member of the MACH Alliance (January 2022) being the first cloud provider to join the MACH Alliance. MACH is the architectural approach we recommend to retailers looking to modernize their ecommerce, POS, mobile app, or order management, where Amazon Web Services (AWS) can help assemble a strong MACH solution leveraging AWS and Partner technologies.
There were 36 presentations and thought leadership round tables from industry leaders such as MARS, The Very Group, ASICS, Interflora, Screwfix, PUMA, The White Company, Specsavers, IKEA, Cartier, Philips, Vorwerk, Primark, EasyJet and PepsiCo. The industries represented were Retail, CPG, Travel and Hospitality, Healthcare, along with MACH software as a service (SaaS) ISV, SI and Enabler members. The overall MACH membership has also grown 41% since June of 2022 to 87 members that are all certified on MACH standards.
So what were the key takeaways from the event?
MACH is expanding beyond the speed of word of mouth!
From the attendance increase at this event, the evidence is clear that the MACH Alliance is gaining momentum. In June of 2022, it hosted its first annual user conference, MACH One, in London with 330 attendees. The 2023 MACH Two Conference was a three-day event where 531 people from 37 countries attended, which represents a 64% increase over 2022. All the more impressive in the current context of budgetary constraints.
Education around MACH is maturing
Originally the MACH One, and previous MACH City Chapters, were focused around educating the audience on ‘What is MACH’. The MACH Two conference evolved and presentations were clearly more focused on ‘How to do MACH effectively’. There were still sessions for those exploring MACH and those part way through their journey, but there were also sessions for those who are already MACH active—talking about how to get to the next level or achieve greater return on investments.
MACH goes beyond Composable Commerce to just Composable
The same reasons that are driving organizations to adopt a MACH architecture in retail or consumer packaged goods, such as business agility, optimized operations, and best-of-breed functionality, is actually very relevant to other industries. We see this evident in the various industries represented in the talks and in the winners themselves. Thirteen different industry sectors were represented from Food and Beverage to Utilities, to Pharma and Education. Companies don’t need to choose to be all-in on MACH or not at all. Different companies are on different stages of their MACH journey and there’s clear benefit to be had from advancing one component at a time quickly to see what works rather than waiting many months for a big bang approach.
MACH has a vibrant Member community
The MACH Alliance has a vibrant community of 87 member partners which includes System Integrators (SIs), Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Startups and Enablers. This tight-nit community works closely together to ensure end customers improve time to value through close collaboration in integrating their components together. AWS is proud to support this endeavor as an Enabler and thought leader in the space.
Women in MACH
There were many different networking opportunities during the conference as well. One of them was Women in MACH which works to nurture the success of women and advance gender equality. Through practical action steps companies can sign up to pledge to drive change in their own organizations as an example to others. We also saw the launch of the Women in MACH mentoring program which focuses on cultivating career-specific skills, boosting confidence, fostering effective communication, and seizing promising opportunities. The mentorship platform provides mentors (both women and men) and mentees with accessible and user-friendly resources to facilitate their journey throughout the program.
And finally, congratulations to the MACH Impact Award Winners!
- Best Retail Project: John Lewis Partnership
- Best B2B Project: MKM Building Supplies
- Best Digital Experience: Paul Smith
- Best Health/Pharma Project: Thommen Medical
- Best Hospitality Project: Just Eat Takeaway (see case study below)
- Best Overall Change Project: American Bath Group
- Best Overall Change Project: WWF
- Contributor of the Year: Paul Hornby, The Very Group (see case study in Further Reading)
- Team of the Year: Mars
So what’s next? In furthering advocating for open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems, AWS is doubling down on our commitment to the MACH Alliance. We’re looking to collaborate on future initiatives such as local meetups, MACH US Symposium, and of course, we look forward to MACH Three next year which will be in the US.
Algolia, Bluestone PIM, Capgemini, Cloudinary, commercetools, Constructor, Contentful, Contentstack, Edgio, EPAM, Fastly, Fluent Commerce, Grid Dynamics, Kin + Carta, Mindcurv, MongoDB, Netlify, NewStore, Pivotree, Sitoo, Storyblok, Stripe, tenovos, VTEX, Vercel, Wunderman Thompson
- Great MACH runs on AWS
- Build modern commerce MACH solutions on AWS
- How Just Eat Takeaway.com added 50,000 SKUs and experienced a massive 75% increase in transactions per minute.
- MACH architecture from commercetools. Cloud-nativity from AWS. This is the story of The Very Group’s commerce modernization