If you're a Visual Sciences customer, the news of the company's acquisition by Omniture must have come as somewhat of a surprise. Even though you've been waiting for the other shoe to drop since the July announcement that the company is for sale, to think that the company would be purchased by arch-rival Omniture is an interesting plot twist.
So, the question is, will you need to say good-bye to Report Builder, or Visual HBX, or any of the other aspects that you've liked about HBX? Well, as it's all speculation at this point, I'd say yes and no.
If history is a guide, we could view Omniture's acquisition of Instadia, a Swedish web analytics company, as a model for what the future holds for Visual Sciences customers.
Omniture acquired Instadia in January, 2007, and is still in the process of digesting them. The company's target for completing the migration of Instadia's ClientStep 200 clients to SiteCatalyst is pegged for June, 2008. However, its not clear how the migration is going. Early indications seemed to point to a relatively easy migration of data, but difficulty in matching up reports up between ClientStep and SiteCatalyst. I expect HBX customers could expect the same experience. (Are there are any former Instadia clients out there who could shed more light on this?)
So, if it's expected to take 18 months to migrate 200 customers, it will likely take a lot longer to migrate 2,000 customers, which is roughly the current HBX client base.
So, it's possible you may have your HBX implementation for awhile yet.
What about the features in HBX? Again if Instadia can be used as an example, Omniture has claimed that it will be folding in ClientStep's much loved online survey feature into a new release. This hasn't yet happened, and it's not clear when it will.
Like pre-season predictions, it's time now to speculate on what the future holds, and in this case try to predict what Omniture will keep, or not keep, and what it uses to tweak its current offerings. My guess is that ultimately there's not a whole lot of the HBX product that they'll incorporate; Visual HBX will go away and the few customers using the platform will all get migrated to Datawarehouse and Discover.
That leaves the Visual Site platform, which will probably stay intact as a stand alone product offering because Omniture doesn't have anything like the technology.
You could say that the good news from a customer perspective is that Omniture knows web analytics, and therefore should be more attuned to customer needs than a company with little experience in the business. On the other hand, if you're a Visual Sciences customer, you probably had reasons for not selecting Omniture in the first place.
If you're a Visual Site or HBX customer, what do you think?