August 2010
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Painting the Analytics World Blue

I already assumed
That we’re in the felony room
But I ain’t a judge, you don’t have to be nice to me
But please tell that
To your friend in the cowboy hat
You know he keeps on sayin’ ev’rythin’ twice to me

We’ve got some more BlueWashing going on. IBM announced today that they’re acquired analytics and marketing vendor Unica for $480 million. It seems like a lot of cash to me, but then again IBM have got plenty and what do I know. I do know it follows quite shortly after they bought pure analytics vendor CoreMetrics.

The “Farewell to Coremetrics and Web Analytics as you knew it” post from the Unica blog (two months ago) is quite interesting in retrospect:

Now, IBM’s acquisition of Coremetrics follows suit as IBM folds Coremetrics into Websphere with the likely intention of making it part of the Websphere eCommerce technology stack.

With no major standalone contenders remaining in the market (WebTrends had signaled their interest in getting acquired) prospective web analytics buyers must evaluate the core competencies of the parent company in order to determine the best match for their current and future needs.

IBM does NOT appear to be making a play for a broader analytics offering

The wise seem to be saying that IBM isn’t actually going to bother marketing either Unica or CoreMetrics, but rather just add them into the already vast IBM Suite. Which effectively mean they’re being withdrawn from the Analytics battlefield. If that is the case, then the three players that will be slugging it out will be Adobe Omniture, Google Analytics and WebTrends. And although WebTrends are alledgely not trying to put themselves up for sale, I suspect they might be gobbled up quite soon. Maybe AAPL will feel left out of an Adobe vs Google slugfest, and buy WebTrends just to join the fracas. Maybe we should count Nedstat too, but I don’t see much of them. Or have they already been bought?

I’m the kind of guy that likes to believe the IBM <-> HAL thing (although Arthur denies it), and I’ve got this vision of poor IBM acquired vendors trying to wriggle free of the corporation. For no good reason, let’s end on this:

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

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