Adobe + Omniture, why?

Adobe is buying Omniture, a leading provider of web analytics and analysis provider.What does this mean for online marketers and our clients?

This struck me as an odd combination until I started digging a little further into recent history of these companies and the direction of application development. Adobe makes software such as Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, and Creative Suite; products for creating a managing content of various forms, both online and off. They are a software company. Omniture is a services company that is traditionally associated with powerful (and expensive) web analytics. Recently Omniture has been moving beyond measurement and into optimization of online content, thus beginning to overlap with some of Adobe’s products (Dreamweaver, Contribute, etc.). In fact, Omniture’s Merchandising and Publish products put them squarely into online store and content management arenas.

Omniture and Adobe have a history together, with Omniture providing analytics services for Adobe’s website as well as software products, much to the discomfort of many users that found out that Adobe applications (and some from Apple as well) were sending usage data to Omniture servers.

So why the purchase? Omniture gains by having much better reach into the content development community and easing integration of their technologies into the websites and tools that are built using Adobe’s products. Likewise, Adobe positions the purchase as one to round out their services:

By combining Adobe’s content creation tools and ubiquitous clients with Omniture’s Web analytics, measurement and optimization technologies, Adobe will be well positioned to deliver solutions that can transform the future of engaging experiences and e-commerce across all digital content, platforms and devices. (source)

Analysts see this as an opportunity for Adobe to grow beyond the limitations of a software model, essentially adding services revenue.

So what does this mean for everyone else? Our clients and other businesses may soon have another option for web analytics, that is IF Omniture figures out a way to create and sell something that can compete with Google Analytics, which is both quite capable and free. Their offerings might also provide another content management solution, although there are arguably far too many already available. For small companies with small to no analytics budgets, the acquisition is not likely to have any impact for quite some time. For larger organizations that can or already do afford to use Omniture, it’s not at all clear how long it will take for the combination of products and services to manifest benefits, or even what these benefits are likely to be.

All in all, the acquisition is interesting from a business standpoint, less so from a technology and products standpoint, and not at all important for our clients in the short term.

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