- It follows in the footsteps of Omniture: The largest company in this sector was acquired by Adobe last year, and it was only a matter of time before Omniture’s competitors decided they’d like to be part of a larger company as well.
- The price is low: Although IBM is not divulging the price, given that Coremetrics has 200+ employees, it’s not a huge price. IBM much prefers to buy smaller companies; it blinks when the dollar signs get big (e.g., its decisions to ultimately not buy Stellent or Sun).
- IBM knows Coremetrics, and vice versa: IBM sold its web analytics business, IBM SurfAid Analytics, to Coremetrics back in April 2006, and the two companies then jointly offered Coremetrics integrated with WebSphere Commerce.
The surprising part to me is IBM’s about face. Four years ago, IBM sold off its web analytics business. It told me at the time that web analytics wasn’t core to its business. Now, it wants back in. To quote from Craig Hayman, General Manager, IBM WebSphere: “With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities to give clients greater insight about customer behavior and sentiment about products and services, and give true foresight into their future buying patterns.”
This web analytics “isn’t core/is core” flip-flop is somewhat amusing to someone who’s followed the web analytics market since 1999. Interestingly, the IBM press release and most of the news stories that I could find (e.g., Associated Press, Reuters, ZDNet) didn’t mention the previous sale of IBM SurfAid Analytics to Coremetrics (TechEye was the exception).
Coremetrics is known within the web analytics market for its strength in the online retailer vertical market. It will be interesting to see if IBM can leverage not only its WebSphere capabilities in this acquisition, but its vertical expertise as well.