• April 5, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Coremetrics Acquires SurfAid Analytics; WebSideStory Analyzes Streaming Media

The Web-analytics market is alive and well as two vendors in the space made significant announcements this week. On Monday Coremetrics announced it acquired IBM SurfAid Analytics, Big Blue's on-demand Web-analytics service, and is integrating with IBM WebSphere, IBM's business software platform. In addition, yesterday WebSideStory launched HBX Analytics 3.5, the newest version of that company's on-demand analysis application. IBM SurfAid Analytics was launched by IBM Global Services in 1996 and has operated in the Web-analytics community by providing applications that offer ad hoc reporting capabilities, segment analysis, and business language-reporting capabilities, among others. SurfAid Analytics' customer base spans multiple industries including communications, manufacturing, retail, and financial services, which is a key for Coremetrics. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Our strategy has always been to offer highly tailored digital marketing solutions for specific verticals. The approach has led to a dominant position in retail and rapidly growing market share in financial services and travel/transportation," says Joe Davis, president and CEO of Coremetrics. "The addition of the SurfAid team with its customer concentration in content sites enables us to further expand our vertical strategy." Also part of the announcement, IBM WebSphere and Coremetrics have partnered to deliver a best-of-breed, cross-channel business analytics solution for use with IBM WebShere Commerce software. The two product groups will jointly collaborate on a solution to provide insight across multiple channels, including the Web, partner sites, in-store kiosks, contact centers, gift registries, and handheld devices. "Our customers are interested in a convenient way to perform multichannel business analytics, and the announcement of the WebSphere Commerce partnership is to enable that vision," Davis says. The acquisition of SurfAid Analytics and the partnership integration with IBM WebSphere is a good move for both Coremetrics and IBM, according to Mike Schiff, president and principal analyst, MAS Strategies, as both share numerous similarities in technology and customers. "Coremetrics is leveraging IBM to compliment their current technical offerings while securing new customers. They're expanding their multichannel offerings with this acquisition and partnership, which is a big part of this market." In addition, Schiff says the moves bode well for IBM, since it has always been a company that likes to avoid strong competition from other technology vendors. "By selling off SurfAid Analytics, they're perhaps letting go of a business that had a lot of competition. In addition, they partnered with Coremetrics." In other analytics news, WebSideStory launched HBX Analytics 3.5, which expands the product's analysis beyond traditional HTML content to include streaming media and mobile device user behavior. These capabilities are designed to let marketers analyze the activity of an entirely new set of visitor demographics. "We expect mobile-specific content and streaming media advertising to increase exponentially in the coming months and years," said Jeff Lunsford, chairman and CEO of WebSideStory, in a written statement. "Our customers want to capitalize on these new mediums." With streaming media tracking, marketers can use new metrics, including number of views, completion rates, and average duration of viewing, to measure customer interaction with streaming audio and video content served on their Web site. New mobile device user behavior will let marketers receive feedback about customers who access their Web site through mobile devices. This includes defining active segments for all mobile audiences to better understand their navigational behavior and content preference. "The use and importance of streaming media and Internet mobile devices is rapidly growing," Schiff says. "It's important to measure and analyze the behavior of these segments of visitors. WebSideStory is improving their offerings to help meet these needs." Related articles: Tracking Customer Behavior
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