Adobe buying Omniture? What's the deal?

The news about Adobe buying Omniture came as a surprise to a lot of us who are following industry trends closely.

It's difficult to find out the synergies between the two companies: product wise or culture wise. Adobe is one of the leaders in creative software, desktop publishing and design tools. So it is essentially a tools developer company. I cannot see where does web analytics fit in this picture, and I am not surprised to see this as Adobe's attempt to diversify its product line given the fact that creative suite did not as much business the last year as Adobe expected it to do.

Given the way market is moving away from shrinkwrap products to SAAS model, Adobe is sure channeling its energy to venture into the next big thing. But I have my doubts about Omniture. They offer web analytics service for which they charge a fortune and its competition is Google that offers the service for free. Omniture has couple of valus adds over Google analytics but mind you, they are expensive and difficult to deploy! On top of it, Omniture charges its customers by page views, which gets really expensive. So it's essentially same as competing with a free product, which is not a very sustainable business model unless a company has a solid sustainable value preposition (and I will harp on the word "sustainable" here)

As far as cultural synergies go, Omniture is not looked at as a customer friendly company and people are unhappy with the company's billing practices and lack of professionalism. (Here I will clarify this is a second hand information floating around. As far as I am concerned, I am an Omniture user but not the interface with the Omniture folks in my company). On the other hand, Adobe is a highly respected company and has a huge, satisfied customer base. They are extremely efficient, quick and have a good reputation with their customers (having been in the company, I can vouch for that). So not sure where's the cultural synergy, but I am sure that can change.

Saying all this, Adobe has a track record of always looking ahead and making good investments (I hope folks remember Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia and its flash technology). I am sure Adobe has plans, but it would be interesting to see them unfurl.


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Neena Pandey

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