OmnitureOn September 15th, Adobe announced its plans to acquire Omniture, a leading web analytics firm. Since then, many have tried to determine the reasoning behind the acquisition, including a great discussion that’s been going on over at WebAnalyticsDemystified.com that you should check out.

Adobe specifically stated in its press release that — “by combining Adobe’s content creation tools and ubiquitous clients with Omniture’s Web analytics, measurement and optimization technologies, Adobe will be well positioned to deliver solutions that can transform the future of engaging experiences and e-commerce across all digital content, platforms, and devices.” It was the “engaging experiences” part that really caught my attention.

You see, it was a little more than two and a half years ago, right after Adobe bought Macromedia that I coined a white paper for Adobe, while I was at IDC, entitled— “Creating a More Engaging Mobile Experience.” You can see what I wrote here, as Adobe still has it on their site. That tagline was used later that month in the company’s messaging at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, splashed in big letters across its booth and on its marketing and press materials. They rode that campaign for quite a while.

My paper was about a new class of emerging mobile services that delivered a different experience from what people were receiving on mobile phones previously. Examples of these new “experiences” were coming from companies like NTT DoCoMo with its i-channel service, and from Verizon Wireless, which was using Flash-enabled applications (by Adobe) in its Get It Now service. The argument was that if you delivered more eye-appealing content, more multimedia pizzazz, you could drive higher ARPU, and keep your customers. A new experience was great for consumers, developers, handset vendors, and mobile operators. Remember, this was pre-iPhone, and Adobe was pushing Flash hard across handset vendors, and was doing quite well at it. I also outlined the “multiple click” problem in getting to content, but mobile operators were still dragging their heels on that one two years later.

And so, now Adobe seems to be using the words “engaging experience” literally across the entire spectrum of all digital content respective of platform or device. In buying Omniture, it gets a company that provides site data, measurement, insight, and ROI for its customers (advertisers). Will Adobe put Omniture into Flash? Was this a preemptive move against Microsoft and Google? Or a preemptive move in hopes that Adobe can sell itself to Microsoft down the road? Will this help Omniture, which was increasingly battling Google Analytics, Unica, and others in the web analytics space? All questions being asked in the blogosphere this week.

I believe Adobe when it says that its vision is to drive engaging experiences across all content types, platforms, and devices. And the analytics behind that content are increasingly important today. That is, if the data is representative and is to be believed. And Web analytics forms, including Omniture are working on improving data validity.

But I also agree with John Bastone at SAS who posted on WebAnayticsDemystified.com that “we’ll (SAS) continue to be agnostic on the technologies driving the interactive customer experience. Whether the front end is driven by Flash, Java, HTML, or for that matter, a point of sale system, and whether it is accessed via Webpage, Mobile Device or Social Networking site, we believe more businesses are moving to an integrated view of the customer across all customer touch points.” You see, no one lives in a one platform, one party system (Adobe, Microsoft, Google). An “integrated view of the customer,” means that a media company needs their content to spread across TV, Web, and mobile, with great “integrated” analytics underneath it all, and pulled into focus. Not disparate pools of data (and mobile analytics is still not easy) like today.

And then today, Omniture announced a partnership with comScore

Disclaimer-

I was hired by Adobe to write a white paper on “Engaging Mobile Experiences” two years ago.

-Randy Giusto

randygiusto@newdigitalcafe.com