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Well, Gary, I think that the future really depends on what Omniture wants to adopt in the VS toolkit. I’ve already been asked by a few people what this move means in web analytics. The answer for us, I think, is: not much right now. Per Phil’s post, it’s going to take a while for Omniture to integrate VS clients into any new hybrid version of SiteCatalyst/HBX. And a hybrid version could be a great thing – imagine Omniture’s flexibility combined with HBX’s Report Builder – or a SiteCatalyst with 100 active segments instead of 5 – or a SiteCatalyst with tagless campaigns. Then again, they could do the opposite: a hybrid version without Report Builder, only relying on Discover 2.x for segmentation, with Omniture subrelations replacing Custom Metric Dimensions or Content Hierarchies. That would be tragic. But I don’t see a hybrid version coming out anytime before the end of 2008.

The other thing Omniture might do is keep HBX intact, treating it as a simplified version of SiteCatalyst and giving it a separate tab in the Omniture interface (like Discover, TouchClarity, and SearchCenter are currently). This would be a shame for current HBX implementations, but might be the path of least resistance for our friends in Orem. Or they may do nothing by way of integration, and current HBX clients will simply go on as usual and end up transitioning to Omniture as their HBX contracts expire.

I do not think Omniture will keep HBX alive as a standalone platform or even as a tab in the current Omniture portfolio of products beyond the middle of 2009. In terms of the migration path for HBX customers to SiteCatalyst, the strategy employed here by Omniture will be critical to ensuring ROI on the acquisition.

Feature wise I do think Omniture would be wise to integrate several key items within HBX including:

HBX's in-system charting and graphing layering capabilities

HBX's browser overlay tool which I have found to be slightly better then Click Map

HBX's Population Group feature, although I suspect you could do this with S.Props now in Omniture

I have also heard as mentioned in Paul's comment that HBX Report Builder is one of the best Excel analytics modules out there.

In regards to VS/Platform 5...well that is a whole different story. I think that with some Omniture enhancements to the Visual Site/ Visual Workstation interface the tool could be a replacement for Discover or at least a significant extension of Discover.

I think that Omniture should leverage the VS DPU, FSU, and Visual Load architecture as the foundation for scaling the Genesis network. To truly map upwards of a million impressions from a display campaign and actively correlate/segment that data to site click stream data will require serious processing power and the VS underlying architecture surely has it.

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