Breaking news on Tuesday, September 15, 2009:
On Sept. 15, 2009, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) and Omniture, Inc. (Nasdaq: OMTR) announced the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Adobe to acquire Omniture in a transaction valued at approximately $1.8 billion on a fully diluted equity-value basis. Under the terms of the agreement, Adobe will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Omniture for $21.50 per share in cash.
Hardly anyone in the analytics world saw this one coming! Although the speculations about about major online and database players such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle (who acquired MoniForce in the mean time), … entering the web analytics market via an acquisition of a current vendor have been around for a few months now, I didn’t think it was going to be Omniture that would be acquired, and definitely nobody thought about Adobe as a possible player.
Omniture has been acquiring heavily the last few years (Instadia, WebsideStory, Mercado, Offermatica, …) and seemed really to be moving towards 1 ‘full-service’ integrated marketing platform. That was their goal, and promise towards clients and partners, but when Adobe puts $1.8bn (= 1.23bn €) on the table, I guess Josh James, founder and CEO, forgot quite quickly about that objective. But ok, this acquisition doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t and won’t still move towards 1 enterprise platform.
Web Analytics is gaining importance and ROI is probably the most used word during the current recession. So if you really think about it, Adobe‘s move is not that strange. The time for ‘creativity only’ is behind us, it’s about efficiency and conversion nowadays. With the current merge the developers and creative content builders will now have the opportunity to measure and optimize their creations, or at least they won’t have an excuse anymore to neglect measurement and optimization. This is more or less what we could conclude from the graph below:
In addition, there is a major increase of flash/flex/air desktop and web applications. Some people think that these applications will push pure html out of the picture within 5 years , so based on that assumption I understand Adobe‘s interest in measurement and web analytics. (by the way, our Production Director completely dis-agrees with the html-disappearance thesis, and probably he is right if you take a look at the recent HTML5 development)
So what does this mean for the web analytics market? What can we expect, feature-wise, from this merge ?
- Less and less independant web analytics vendors, but I guess the Omniture solutions will still be positioned and sold as stand-alone tools or integrated optimization platform.
- Web analytics is still a marketing tool so the website production team will need some education
- Easier measurement implementation for rich internet application and flex/flash, but hopefully this will also mean an easier implementation process for non-RIA
- Omniture can further develop its video and streaming measurement
- Free analytics???
- What does this mean for WPP, who invested $25m in Omniture common stock? Stéphane Hamel (Immeria) tweeted: Adobe + OMTR + WPP = Art * Science * Skills, but will WPP remain a part of this deal, or will they take a step back?
Anything you think about? Let us know!
Can we conclude anything?
Not much at this stage. It’s clear that the interest in and the importance of web analytics keeps on growing. For the real impact of this acquisition for Omniture, Adobe and the whole web analytics industry , we’ll need to wait a bit longer. But it’s clear that this industry keeps on moving, and is more fascinating than ever before. I’m curious what’ll be next…
Definitely read following reactions on the acquisition:
- Eric T. Peterson, WebAnalyticsDemystified: http://blog.webanalyticsdemystified.com/weblog/2009/09/thoughts-on-adobe-omniture.html
- Gary Angel, Semphonic: http://semphonic.blogs.com/semangel/2009/09/adobe-buys-omniture-what-are-they-thinking.html
- John Lovett, Forrester: http://blogs.forrester.com/customer_intelligence/2009/09/adobe-flexes-its-online-muscle-and-acquires-omniture.html
- Alex Yoder, Webtrends: http://blogs.webtrends.com/alex/adobe’s-acquisition-of-omniture-benefits-the-entire-industry/
- Bill Bruno, Stratigent: http://analyticsinsightblog.stratigent.com/2009/09/my-take-on-omtradobe.html