Visualize a Finished Merger

It's 2pm Pacific Time. WebSideStory is changing the title of its story. That is, having acquired Visual Sciences early last year the company is now re-branding itself as Visual Sciences altogether as of to-day. In addition, its Q1 earnings call is to-day along with its announcement of a new Platform 5.

The call is actually in about 15 minutes. I'm waiting for it to start while listening to music that makes me feel like I should be getting a facial from Enya, an interesting contrast to the rock-n-pop vibe Omniture served up at their Summit last quarter.

This company has been one of the major players in the Web Analytics space for some time now, and their core architecture is solid. My agency's site currently is tracked via an old version of it (as visible in Viewable Source), as are those of some client accounts I work on. However, despite some of Visual Sciences' tools seeming pretty cool, honestly I've not been able to keep up with them over the past year as much as I'd have preferred. Omniture may have taken market leadership among site-side platforms in recent years, but WebSideStory is still very much a viable and significant player.

OK, here we go. Call's on; time for the numbers and fun.

A new record for them in quarterly revenue: $20.7M in Q1, bringing them to 42% year-over-year growth, ahead of expectations. Nice.

Interesting, they added CitySearch as a customer. That's a good addition to the cadre of notable brands already on their client list. Vulnerable to mischief last I checked, but then many sites are (and that's another topic).

I'm still looking forward to whenever I'll get a chance to use some of their newly integrated engine; the last time I evaluated the state of their stuff thoroughly was a year or two ago. I recall when they announced the buyout, being impressed with how cool the modules looked. But are they as useful as they are aesthetically pleasing?

Well, let's check out what information we see when we go to the Products > Visual Sciences area, on the drop-down navigation on WebSideStory's site - DOH! 😯 The link to "Visual Site" is broken:

Visual Site

... as is the link to "Visual Call"...

Visual Call

...and topping off the subsection, we get one more 404 Error when we try "Platform 4."

Platform 4

Strike 3, I'm out of playing with their official site for the day. I come from a direct development background so tend to be kind of unforgiving about stuff like this under such sensitive circumstances. I'll read the press releases and products info in full detail some other time. Not that I'm not sympathetic and not like I've not been there. Being on Webteams is anything but easy, and sometimes stuff goes down and it's not your fault becuse someone left you out of the loop and/or didn't take it to heart when you warned someone not to try something hastily or at all, as there wasn't enough time to do it right, or it was just a bad idea. It's just, IMHO when one company acquires another the proper thing is to just absorb the purchased company's domains and online properties completely. Do it swiftly and without exceptions, get your 301 redirects (and rewrite rules if needed) all in order. Be absolute and be done with it and have it all in order the midnight before the purchase is announced the next morning, or just after the morning's opening bell, whatever. But don't drag it out, letting the purchased company retain its site for over a year when it's all in the same direct space, if it can be helped at all! Doing so is just asking for trouble (like this).

Seemingly forgetting about QA, now we're onto the Q&A portion of the call. It's 2:30pm and I'm jumping now also onto an Omniture support call on a different matter... I won't get too distracted from the day's deliverables, but I can't help wondering: How am I supposed to feel good about trusting something as sensitive as my clients' info the data warehouse of a vendor that asks everyone to look at them when there are broken links on its site?

The Crow

Believe me, nothing is trivial.

Sorry to be snarky. Part of keepin' it real as promised. Moving on...

One vendor in one ear by phone, and another's earnings call still in the other ear. Funky.

* * *

OK, I'm off all calls now. It's 3:15pm. WebSideStory's links (to pages on that no longer exist) are still broken and I've got some SearchCenter debugging to do. I've got ink all over a couple of my fingers and it feels like a few spots of blood almost (the battle for who's got the top platform rages on; note this came but a day on the heels of Google's rolling out v2 of their Analytics software).

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Based out of Northern California, is a bl.og dedicated to the advocacy and study of high-impact, data driven marketing disciplines and related concerns: Analytics and Data Mining, Marketing Automation, Integrated Advertising (targeting, retargeting), Demand Generation and Lead Nurturing, Social Media / Social Engineering (Crowd-hacking) and the new PR, Privacy, Security, CRM, SEO / SEM, CRO, ROI... more TLAs (three letter acronyms) than any sane person's daily lexicon should include.

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