Corporation (NASDAQ: WEBT) is creating a business unit to provide web
log analysis on an ASP basis. The new unit will offer its services through
code, provided by WebTrends, on every page to be tracked. When a surfer
farm. Traffic analysis information that includes the page view is available
Live offers three products. The high-end product is the eCommerce Edition,
which can track information from a commerce-enabled site, including revenue
by product and the differing behaviors of browsers, first-time buyers,
and repeat buyers. The Enterprise Edition offers a full range of traffic
analysis capabilities. The Personal Edition is offered free to small web
sites that place WebTrends advertising on all pages that are tracked.
don't foresee any major changes in the marketplace. WebTrends has a well-entrenched
leadership position, and will attract customers to this service. But its
two major competitors are Microsoft Site Analyst, a part of its Site Server
product suite, and various freeware and shareware products. Some Site
Analyst customers who would otherwise need a separate server for log analysis
might choose WebTrends Live in preference to SiteAnalyst, but not many,
we think. As far as freeware and shareware (including home-grown solutions),
users who are prone to those solutions make their choices on the basis
of features (or philosophy) rather than cost, and are unlikely to move
to a commercial product.
should capture additional customers through WebTrends Live and will see
an increase in market share, but not so much to change the landscape.
Microsoft may choose to offer some of the components of SiteServer on
an ASP basis if its customers indicate that that would be convenient for
them, but we certainly don't believe that such an offering would increase
Microsoft's market share against WebTrends.
also competes to a small extent with products from companies like Accrue,
NetGenesis and SAS. But, again, these products tend to be more specialized,
and the companies that use them are unlikely to be fazed by the purchase
of an additional server, so there won't be much growth for WebTrends against
those products on the basis of an ASP offering.
It may seem that an ASP solution to traffic analysis for a website that
is being served in-house is another example of a solution seeking a requirement.
But traffic analysis - especially for quickly growing dot-com companies
- takes a lot of processor time and, despite all the automation possibilities,
may require a fair amount of labor - as much as quarter time of a technical
person for a single website in some cases, and at least proportionately
more for a business with multiple sites. Thus WebTrends, by offering the
servers, the software, a rich product offering, security, load balanced
servers and other amenities has an attractive offering.
think the three primary candidates are startups, young companies that
host traffic analysis on production servers and are beginning to feel
a performance pinch, and companies with existing web sites that are about
to launch some form of E-commerce. Any of these may find, after exploring
pricing, that an ASP solution offers more immediate value than a hardware
or software license purchase or the cost (and delay) of hiring or reassigning
someone to baby-sit the logs. Companies that already have the separate
server or the software license are less likely to see any benefits from
caution all newcomers to traffic analysis that there is more to it than
just looking at the graphs. One of the reasons for doing analysis is to
be able to describe your site to potential partners and advertisers, and
you'll quickly find that getting those numbers to be honest takes a fair
amount of work.
one example, that peak of web impressions last week that was ten times
as high as you usually get wasn't sudden interest in your new typeface;
it was probably a visit from a robot sent by one of the search engines
or portals to index your site. Advertisers are loath to pay for pages
viewed by robots.
note that WebTrends Live requires you to insert code on every page you
want tracked, where products that actually use the web logs do not require
any page changes. For a site with low labor availability and a large content
base, taking time to change all those pages may be something you'll just
never get around to. If so, spend the money on a more traditional solution,
because traffic analysis in some form is the most important investment
you can make in your site.