More change…

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Only a week after the event, but I learn today that Omniture is preparing to IPO and that Coremetrics has bought IBM SurfAid Analytics. The Omniture IPO I could see coming, but the Coremetrics/IBM announcement is more of a curveball. However, given Coremetrics’ focus on the e-commerce sector and IBM’s strength in the field (with WebSphere Commerce), it’s not such a surprise. I suppose it’s not so unusual for IBM to be selling off bits of itself to other companies (cf. Lenovo), but it all seems a bit entrepreneurial for Big Blue.

As for Omniture’s IPO, of course it’s a natural next step for them (particularly given the amount of VC funding they now have – those folks surely want some kind of exit) – but I’m unsure where Omniture goes from here. I guess they’ll use the IPO money to finance a bunch of acquisitions to broaden their appeal out from pure web analytics.

My favourite prediction for the industry is that, in a few years, there’ll be no such thing as an independent ‘web analytics industry’ – I believe that vendors will be absorbed by (or absorb) vendors and service providers in related fields such as media planning, data mining, infrastructure management and so on. So whilst Omniture is shaping up to be a real leviathan in the industry (though still smaller than WebTrends), it still remains to be seen if it can achieve sufficient critical mass through acquisition or perhaps a merger to deliver value to its shareholders.